The concept of freedom envelops what we classify as the “college experience.”
Being away from home leads to limitless opportunities and independence, and this transition is one most people look forward to as they move away and begin college. The sense of being free and finally on our own can have an appealing illusion at first, but that slowly starts to disintegrate once the autonomy incorporates itself with everyday life. It becomes less exhilarating and more nonchalant.
As the thrills cease and reality sets in, what takes the place of the freedom is a different kind of homesickness. A homesickness where we wish we had utilized our time at home differently to form a stronger bond with our parents and not be so insistent on escaping so quickly.
For many people, college is a time where the relationship between them and their parents takes an unexpected turn. Physical distance usually implies a distance in connection as well. Moving away may mean leaving home, but also leaving behind certain bonds to form new ones. In the case of parents, however, these rules don’t seem to apply.
Where we expected to grasp at every possible opportunity of freedom, we instead find ourselves wanting a chance in between the load of work to just call home. The sentiment of independence vanishes quickly only to reveal that more than ever, we want to be able to talk to our parents, tell them about our day, and get the advice that we always used to avoid.
No matter how long you have lived in a certain place, sometimes it can never compare to the comfort of home and being surrounded by a loving spirit. Work can get to be too much, personal issues can build up or sometimes it may just be loneliness. That’s when we realize that our parents are always there.
This concept grows stronger as the years go on and during my 6 months away from home, this inclination has become very prominent.
College teaches us the ways of the world in more ways than one and it allows us to delve on the fact that the reason we are able to do many of the things that we are doing is because of our parents. They have played such an integral role in our life that the distance forces us to come to the conclusion that we really haven’t taken advantage of our time at home to make an effort and talk to our parents. It’s always been the simple talks about how the day went or school but the realization of their sacrifices or the willingness to share things never occurred back then.
Returning home to visit holds a more meaningful connotation now. It’s about trying to establish the bond that we were never able to before and reminisce on old memories. It’s about actually talking to them to let them in on the occurrences of our lives and get the help that they’ve always wanted to give us but we never accepted. It’s about understanding just how grateful we truly are for their presence.
Our newfound independence reflects the fact that we are in a new stage of adulthood and we are worthy of freedom. This bridges the parent-child gap and allows us to form a more significant connection where we come to understand how similar we are to our parents. Honesty and trust find their way into this relationship. Whether we need them now to just talk, to get advice, to de-stress or for emotional support, they will be there.
Our parents miss us just as much, if not more, than we miss them once we leave for school. These sentiments translate into the ultimate bond and connection we form with our parents in the end.
College entails new experiences and opportunities. We learn a lot about ourselves that we never realized and we grow as individuals. One of the most valuable lessons we learn is that our parents have always been there even when we didn’t seem to need them and now more than ever, they want to be there for us.
Being away from home does not mean leaving behind our parents to become our own people; rather, they can help us grow into the people we aspire to be. The truth of the matter is that we do a lot in college and we become new people, but what remains static is our parents. College allows us to appreciate all that they’ve done and form the bond that we have always craved. Our parents have always been there and now more than ever we have internalized it and reciprocated the connection.