Call Your Parents

Going to college is exciting. New room, new friends, and most importantly: no parents. Being completely free to do whatever you want without anyone holding you accountable is invigorating! However, those people who spent countless years raising you and making sure you got to this point are still at home, wondering about you. Regardless of who raised you, giving them a call or shooting them a text every once in a while could really help them in the long run. I interviewed my parents Simon and Denise about the transition parents go through when your kids go to college.

Lizz: What was the hardest thing about Andrew and I being gone?

Mom: We just miss having the old dynamic. We always loved doing stuff together, and I was emotional when Andrew left because I knew that chapter of our lives was coming to an end. I loved the year we had with you, because we had never had that, but I still knew that it would also come to an end. I handled it better than I thought I would, but it was still very hard to see you both go.

Dad: Seeing your brother go was hard, but my relationship with you was always more emotional. Taking you to Taylor Tower last year was hard because I didn’t want to do it in the first place and then seeing your tiny room and then your even smaller bedroom made me want to take you home. Our relationship though is still as good. It was a hard adjustment but it’s ok now.

Lizz: How often would you say you wonder about what we’re doing?

Dad: Not very often. Sometimes when I’m lonelier, missing you guys, but not very often.

Mom: I think about it all the time. Especially when you’re further away from me, I always wonder how you’re doing, what time you wake up, stuff like that. I’m trying to get better about it though.

Lizz: How does hearing from us help you?

Dad: Regardless of where you are, you’re part of the family. You still have to be an active participant even if you’re not here.

Mom: Having an open dialogue about little things is important, because if you don’t talk about the little things you won’t feel comfortable talking about the big things. And parents are there for the big things, so continued communication is important.

Dad: The cake is baked. You’re mostly done growing up, but we still have a lot of parenting to do.

I have a pretty small family. My mom, dad, brother Andrew, and I are pretty close knit. Andrew went to college one year before I did and now we are both in school in different places. Even though we’re both gone now, our relationship is still very strong due to our communication. Call your parents and you’ll be glad you did.

-Lizz Birkhoff

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