10 Ways That Having Divorced Parents Has Affected Your 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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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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What I Never Expected Senior Bible Study To Be For Me

It seemed like the last thing I wanted but turned into just what I needed.

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At NC State, most of the Cru Bible Studies merge by area of campus. They merge into one women's study and one men's study for senior year because the upperclassmen who lead the lowerclassmen studies have graduated. This was the case for West (my area of campus) for my senior year.

Thirty girls who had been in various West studies were put in a group message and given the opportunity to meet together for bible study weekly. This can be hard because you have different groups of different sizes coming together, schedules might not line up, and a new leader with her own personal leadership style is facilitating.

I honestly spent the whole summer before senior year thinking about how this would be. Would it be weird? Would there be a lot of girls from a particular study? Would they be cliquish? Would it be surface level? Should I even still do Cru? I had a lot of ups and downs with my Bible study freshman through junior year and had not felt connected for most of junior year. All I could think of was the weekly meeting where I sat in the back with tears streaming down my face because I didn't have anyone to sit with.

I asked God to give me direction in how I was to be involved with Cru for my senior year. I truly did not know if I should be involved until I attended the Leaders' Retreat. It was there that I found out who would be leading the senior study and I did not know what to expect or what would come of this weekly time but I decided that I would commit to going, as well as any other Cru activities.

Flash forward to February and what a gift this study is to me. A group of like-minded people, some who knew each other all of college, some who just met this year, studying the Bible together, laughing and crying together. I am so thankful for this group. It is not perfect. There are some girls who have been in the study together all four years and so naturally they are close. There are some people who are not ready to go deep but there are others who are.

Most importantly Jesus shows up when we meet and I get to experience Him and His love through this mismatched group of friends, and that has been more than I could have asked for. It is a very unique experience, a group being formed out of several other groups right at a transition time, but what a great experience and answered prayer it has been for me.

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