Dear Mom & Dad,
I want to start by telling you guys how thankful I am for you both. I appreciate everything you have done for me in the past.
But I have to be honest, I am a complete and utter mess. I know that surprises you, since every time you call and ask, “How’s everything?,” I take a deep breath and say, “Everything’s great!” I know you hang up and tell everyone how much fun your baby is having at school, which I am but there’s something else.
It’s not that school is hard; it’s not easy either. The issue is the times. You grew up during a different time and to understand “how everything is” at school, I have to explain a few things first.
- You are not in school, I am.
You had your chance to major in whatever your heart desired. Presently, I am the one enrolled in school. You say my only options are Pre-Med or Pre-Law, and you’ll tolerate one of the Business majors, but that’s not what I want. Since starting college, I have learned that no matter what I do, if I’m not passionate about it, I won’t perform to the best of my abilities in that field and I won’t be happy. You want the best for me. I understand that. At the same time, you have to realize that no matter what my future holds, I want it to all be because of the choices I made, not the choices you made for me.
- Psychological disorders are REAL
Depression, Anxiety, Suicide, Eating Disorders, and Addiction are very prominent on college campuses. These disorders are real and they have a nasty habit of triggering during college. Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illnesses in the U.S., and I’ve had my share of anxiety attacks. When I have an attack, or experience any of these disorders, I want to feel comfortable enough that you guys will help me through these times.
- I am an adult
I am an adult when I’m at school, and when I return home. I know I will always be your baby, but at some point you have to realize that I have grown up. You can’t pick and choose when you want me to be an adult and when you want me to be a child. I have to take responsibility for my life and actions and I will.
- Honesty is key
Even though I haven’t been as open with you guys as I could have, it is never too late. A lot of parents want their child to tell them everything, but that will never happen if the circumstances and atmosphere are not right. That means you guys have to make me feel comfortable. You have to remove yourself as parents and be a friend. Help me see your point of view as I share my perspective with you. We can learn so much from each other and I think you guys forget that sometimes.
- Freedom is important
When I say freedom, I don’t mean letting me do whatever I want to do. I mean freedom to find myself. These are the experimental years of my life. While taking complete advantage of getting an education, I want you to support me in taking complete advantage of being at this moment in my life. I want to experience all life has to offer before I decide what I want to be officially doing for the rest of my life.
Now that we have the essentials down, you guys will make the routine call to ask me, “How’s everything?” My new response will be, “School is stressful. Sometimes I want to cry, sometimes I want to come home, and sometimes I am stuck not knowing what I want to do. I don’t want to stress you guys out with my problems and at the same time I feel like you guys won’t understand. Some days I think I’m depressed. I want to live like an adult but I barely want to pay rent every month. I constantly need money, and feel bad asking you guys for it because I’m so “grown.” I’ve been spending all my money on unnecessary things. My room is a mess which I feel is a reflection of my life at the moment. While I’m dealing with all this, I am still calling you guys with the same old lines. But I know life will not always be this hard, and I know that everything I am going through is preparing me for something great in the future. I also know that with you guys supporting me, I will succeed. I am a stressed college student, but you guys taught me how to be a survivor, and I’m going to make you proud.