I'm finally a freshman in college, and I still can't believe that I'm on my own. My dorm room is my home. I keep thinking that I can't go anywhere without telling an adult even though my keys are hanging right by the door. Instead of cooking for three and four, I'm only cooking, only grocery shopping, only doing laundry for one. I don't have to ask to have a boy over–they can literally just knock on our door and come right in…not that I'm having boys over or anything.
This all hit me when my roommate and I were putting our own TV together during move-in…it blew my mind just how adult we'd become while we were buying cable cords and screwing in the mounts. Not to brag, but we were pretty damn good at it, too.
Of course, I've always felt more independent than most teenagers, and up until last year, I think I subconsciously thought I was so independent that I would never need to depend on my mom again. Some of you freshmen might get to that point this year–the point where you don't call your parents for anything but money and you avoid going home for months at a time–because you just escaped that suffocating home environment. For the first time ever, your decisions are yours to make. Why call when you don't have to?
But, as I learned last year, this newfound independence isn't all it's cracked up to be sometimes, especially for freshmen in college. This is the first time that most of us are living without our parents. There's no way that we completely know what we're doing on our own just yet, and we're going to need some guidance along the way.
So why not pick up the phone and call? If you can't bring yourself to call your parents, call another responsible adult, or seek help from an adult on campus. Someone around you knows how to adult, and they usually don't mind teaching us kids.
Even though I lived semi-independently at my former residential high school, I'm still trying to figure out how to live on my own. And just so you know, there's no such thing as a perfect adult, nor is there such thing as a perfectly independent teenager. If you can't figure out how to clean your toilet, you can call your parents. If you get a flat tire and don't know how to change it, you can call your parents. If you're sick and have questions about medicines, you can still call your parents. If you're feeling happy, sad, angry, etc., you can call your parents. It's an option–don't make them off limits just because they're not with you anymore.
My mom appreciates it when I call her and tell her that I'm feeling awful or having a bad day. She does not appreciate it when I call and ask for gas money (unless I'm trying to come home.)
If you haven't already, call ya mama and/or daddy today and talk to them for a good five minutes. Try to phone home once or twice a week or visit if you're close enough. Then you can resume your very independent life.
Parents, we love you!