Tours are being scheduled, interviews are being held, acceptance letters are being received, and over there, right in the shadows, is a parent crying at the thought of their child leaving for college. Nevermind the mere idea of their child attending school that’s not down the street, but the idea of them living on campus? No way. Not on my mom’s watch, at least.
For the past seventeen years, my mom has fed me, put a roof over my head and has been no farther than a phone call from the nurse and a 5 minute drive from my school. It just doesn’t make any sense to her as to why I’m planning on dorming. “How could [her] baby leave [her]?”
Showing up to a new school with all of your luggage in a new city with a bit too many new faces is nerve-wracking. Most of us seniors are ready to take on this challenge though. Our parents, not so much. I get it. It’s more nerve-wracking not knowing who your child is going to be living with for the next year, or if they liked the food they ate today, or if they even ate at all.
Don’t they want us to grow up though? I find myself contemplating this question every time my mom is baffled by me not knowing how to cook a turkey dinner but then, ten minutes later, she is begging me to stay home and commute next year. College is supposed to help us gain our independence. I thought that’s what they wanted.
But the reality is, our parents rather have us living in their house for the rest of our lives than for us to go live at college. They rather deal with our mood swings, hungry stomachs and poor attitudes than to only see us once a month.
And as much as we think we want to get out, we’ll be crying on move-in day too. Our parents are the only roommates we’ve ever known. They’re also the best roommates we’ve ever known because who else will cook and clean for us just because we don’t feel like it or don’t know how to?
Of course, living on college campus may not be the best fit for everyone, but it does open up a lot of doors for those who decide to. On top of being an independence-builder, dorming allows students to make more solid connections with their peers, especially their roommates, to be more active in the school’s activities and to feel more apart of the school’s community. It’ll be heart-breaking for our families to let us take this life-changing step, but it’s a major part of the college experience.
If you or your parents are hesitant about the whole dorming situation, I suggest planning a visit to the college with them. Once your parents meet adults and students at the school, they’ll hopefully warm up to the idea. It gives them the chance to know where you’ll be and to feel more comfortable about it. If they’re like my mom, a college visit isn’t enough to change their mind, but we’re working on it! College visits also help you feel less intimidated by living on campus and taking this drastic step.
So, seniors, as over-dramatic as we think they’re being right now, cherish the time you have left with your parents. Take your mom out to eat, or better yet, learn how to make her favorite meal. Involve them in the college process and be patient with their stubbornness, they’re only being protective. It’s a big step for them too. June 5th is approaching fast and before you know it, you’ll be at Target getting your twin-size comforter set for your new room.