How Divorced Parents Influence My College Life

10 Ways That Having Divorced Parents Has Affected Your College Life

Turning 18 was only half the battle, but at least you learned some tools to help you along the way.

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After your parents separated, it wasn't just a matter of court orders and paperwork. It was also weekends, compromising between families, and running around to make the people you love happy, too. When you reach college, a breeding ground of independence and reflection, there's a lot you realize to feel grateful (and still anxious) about.

1. You know how to pack

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You probably spent a few nights at your mom or dad's place, and whether or not you had your own room, you still had certain toiletries, your favorite pair of jeans, and a pair of shoes you want to wear that you just had to bring. You can pack quickly, efficiently, and you probably rarely forget all the things you need. So for all those team retreats, you have planned, weekends in the mountains with your friends you're anticipating, or a spontaneous sleepover at your significant other's, you're ready with a duffle bag in hand.

2. You can handle different people

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Your parents probably had different parenting styles. One parent is more traditional, the other lax. One easier to talk to, the other you'd have to skirt your way around and omit some information from your day. Even though all parents are like this, when they're separated into different homes and different visitation times, the difference in parenting style is just so much more pronounced. In college, you meet a ton of different people with different ways of dealing with school work, themselves, and you. You know how to notice different cues and adjust accordingly.

3. You know how to compromise

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Having parents with different parenting styles meant quite the amount of conflict between the two, especially when it came to raising you. There's probably been times where you had to mediate by combining ideas and beliefs or had to split your time to a T so as to be fair. There have also been moments where you hesitate from decisions as you consider how a parent can react or feel about your decision. This ability could help you when coworkers or project mates have conflicting ideas because you can take the best of conflicting perspectives and make a compromise that includes both.

4. Time management isn't a foreign skill to you

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Since you only saw one of your parents for a limited time out of the week, you didn't want to spend all that time doing homework! Having divorced parents has helped you manage your time efficiently for the weekends, so you can enjoy it with the people you love. In college, it's a bit more difficult because events tend to happen on the weekend, midterms get scheduled on Mondays, or there is just a lot of work to do between Friday-Sunday. Still, you're still able to schedule efficiently so that you have some time to spend with people or things you care about.

5. You have video chats and call times scheduled

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College is one of the busiest times in your life, and your schedule is packed but that doesn't mean both of your families don't miss you! Scheduling video chats to update your parents about your life can be difficult to follow sometimes, but when there's that nagging feeling you miss them, you call despite that schedule. It's all about prioritizing that time for both parents.

6. You can recite your day/week 

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Speaking of video chats or calls, you've probably gone through your day at least twice. It's completely fine though because you get different opinions and reactions from either parent as they try their best to still guide you from miles and miles away.

7. If you're close to home, you've also scheduled your own visitation times

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They got you a car for a reason. Having separated parents and living relatively close to both means you can decide where to go when you're not too busy studying for finals but now that you're 18, it's your job to decide where to go (goodbye, court order!), and it's all about evenly splitting your time amongst the people you love (even if you barely have time for yourself sometimes).

8. If you're not near home, vacations are split to spend enough time with everyone

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You're attending college, hours away from home or on the other side of the country, meaning you don't have to schedule your weekends to visit your parents. However, that does mean that when the holidays roll around, you're trying to squeeze your friends, your parents, and your alone time in a time span of three weeks. It can be hard to do sometimes, but spending quality time with people you care about makes it worth it.

9. You meet a lot of people who are in the same boat as you!

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You're exposed to SO MANY PEOPLE in college, and having divorced parents isn't going to be your only common denominator. However, you end up realizing there's a lot of people in the same boat as you, and you just feel a little less alone after having the image of a perfect nuclear family always being shoved down your throat :) Your experiences are different and that's alright!

You realize there's a lot to unpack (and that's okay). 

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Even more okay than realizing your experiences are unique is that some things you grew up seeing or hearing may have not been okay. There could be a lot to address as you mature, especially if your parents separated when you were really young and impressionable. For instance, according to the National Survey of Children's Health, those with divorced parents tend to have more aggressive, and almost violent, ways to deal with conflict with their peers. That's a scary statistic to realize, especially if you see it in yourself and something to talk about with a professional, and that's 100% okay to do.

Every experience is different for those whose parents have divorced. Some good traits benefit you in college, while others are issues you realize needs to be addressed. Sometimes it takes an emotional and physical toll now that you're responsible for the time you spend with everyone, but there is the gratification you feel when you can still turn to your mom or your dad when you need them. Neither the best familial situation nor the worst, just remember that every experience is unique, valid, and okay.

You'll be okay, too.

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Let's Talk More About Lori Laughlin Facing Up To 20 Years In Prison When Brock Turner Got 6 Months

And he was released three months early for 'good behavior'... after sexually assaulting an unconscious girl behind a dumpster.

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To start, Lori Laughlin messed up royally, and I don't condone her actions.

If you live under a rock and are unaware of what happened to the "Full House" star, here's the tea:

Lori Laughlin and husband Mossimo Giannulli — and like 50 other celebrity parents — were found guilty of conspiracy to commit fraud, and paid a $1 million bail on conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and honest services fraud. You don't need to know what these mean except that she paid $500,000 to get her two daughters, Bella and Olivia Jade Giannulli.

I know you're wondering why they did it — tbh I am too — however, these parents paid the University of Southern California to give admission to her daughters in through the rowing team on campus, despite neither one of them actually playing the sport ever in their life.

Yeah, Aunt Becky messed up and should face punishment, but why is she facing up 20 years when men like Brock Turner are sentenced only six months for raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster at Stanford?

I hate to bring up the gender card, but I'm pulling it: Why is Lori Laughlin — a woman who with bad judgement who used money to give an upper-hand to her entitled daughters — face more prison time than a man who willingly raped a woman who wasn't in a right state of mine (or any at all!) behind a dumpster of all places.

The answer? Because the system is a mess.

Yeah, Aunt Becky paid for her daughters to get into a school, giving disadvantages to students actually deserving and wanting to attend a college. Her act was immoral, and ultimately selfish, but it doesn't even compare to what Brock Turner did, and it doesn't even effect others as much his rape survivor.

The most that will happen to the Giannulli girls is an expulsion and a temporary poor reputation, however, Emily Doe (the alias of the survivor) will feel the consequences of the attack forever.

There should have been a switch:

Lori Laughlin and the Target guy should have had to pay other students tuition/student debt while facing prison time, while Brock Turner should have had to face over 20 years with more consequences.

But, that'll never happen because our system sucks and society is rigged. I guess our society would prefer a rapist walking around more so a woman who made a poor choice by paying for her daughters to go to a college.

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Teaching Is An Amazing Career, It's More Powerful Than We Give It Credit For

Teaching is a career that is heavily overlooked — it is much more powerful than people realize.

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When it comes to teaching, it's not always easy or fun. But, let me ask you this: what career really is easy or fun all the time? Being challenged can beneficial. Otherwise, you are just going through the same routine over and over. Teaching will definitely keep you on your toes because there's always something happening.

People seem to think teachers just lecture on information that they hope their students remember for the test. You know what? Those people are dead wrong. Teaching is more than that. Teaching means having the passion and drive to educate children. Teaching is turning something dull to something that students will find more interesting and enjoyable.

Teaching is also about providing tools and other resources for students in order for them to succeed, especially the ones who tend to struggle in school. Being able to give those tools to help them accomplish their goals is extremely rewarding. A teacher will work with a student who is behind on his/her reading skills to have him/her be right at the level he/she needs to be by the end of the school year. Not many jobs provide a reward quite like guiding a student, if not more, to success.

Although it focuses on academics, teaching is not just about that. Sure, being an effective teacher is key, but there are other aspects that are just as significant. As a teacher, you also have to connect with your students. Knowing your students on a personal level is so important. The connection can build respect that will, in turn, help them to succeed. Plus, students spend more time with you on a day-to-day basis than they do with their parents — isn't that frightening? So, you have to be able to support them and let them know them that you are there for them if they are having trouble.

Additionally, that connection you build with your students can last a lifetime. You can witness the growth of a student right in front of you. In fact, I am still very close with some of my teachers from elementary school. Many of them inspired me to become a teacher. Because of those great bonds I built, I had the opportunity to intern with some of my past teachers, which was a rewarding experience for everyone. Being able to develop such a connection with someone so different in age is something that is so powerful and that doesn't come with many other careers.

Teaching is so amazing. There are so many layers and beautiful aspects to it. Again, it can be difficult, but it's also a lot of fun. Not many people can say they have fun and laugh every day at work. I also truly believe that not many other people can say their careers provide as rewarding of a feeling as teaching does. To be able to make such a difference in someone's life is an incredible thing. Teaching is my passion. I know teaching will not be only gratifying but something that will bring me pure joy.

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