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COLUMN: Get to know your parents

You spend 18 years growing up under your parents’ wings.

They buy you cool things, tell you that you’re awesome and listen to every dumb thing that you find exciting. But they think it’s exciting, too, because they want to.

Eighteen years, and then you leave.

You go away to college and spend time around people who aren’t your parents.

Then you begin to realize every time you go home, things are a little different.

Your mom might have a couple more wrinkles on her forehead, and your dad might sleep more. They might be fighting more or even more in love. You might not necessarily feel “at home” and a little lost for comfort.

You don’t know these people anymore like you used to.

They have their own little world, and you have yours. You try to fit back into theirs, but it’s only for a day or two.

Suddenly, nowhere really feels like home because, somewhere along the way in college, you lose the connection you have with your family.

Sometimes it feels like I’ve created my own little family here at school with friends. But, they’re not the people who raised me for 18 years. I’ve known most of these people for two.

I no longer know what my mom’s favorite thing to watch on TV is, nor do I know my dad’s favorite color or cereal.

But the worst part is, I can tell you the favorites of a guy I once hooked up with but no longer talk to. I can tell you which coffee my best friend will pick at the café. I can tell you what my neighbor wants to do with his life after graduation.

I slowly see myself morphing into my mom. From the way she laughs to how she bites her cheek when she’s thinking, I am becoming her.

But what do I really know about her?

If you’re in this situation, too, I challenge you to take more time to get to know the people who raised you.

Instead of calling your friends while walking to class, call your mom or dad.

Go home more, because you can. College is four years of your life, but your family is your life.

Sometimes, I just want to sit on the couch, eat popcorn and watch a ton of bad TV with my mom. I want to hear about how my dad is feeling. I want to know what they find exciting.

Because I want to find it exciting, too.

One Comment

  1. Every time I read an article about someone going back home to be with family, it involves eating bad food on the couch while watching hours of TV.
    Is this really all there is?

    You’re around people at school who, for the most part, dread being there, not knowing what they want to study, and then they go home for breaks and just sit on the couch.

    What’s the point?

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