Parents: Your New Best Friends

I remember the summer before I left for my freshman year at BC very clearly.  On one occasion, I stormed out of my front door screaming “I can’t wait to go to college, I hate it here!”  Très angst, no?

Fast-forward three years; looking back on this past summer, most of my memories feature my parents.  We watched Sharknado together and laughed at how absurd every single aspect of it was.  We tried new restaurants together and were each other’s dinner companions most nights.  We all go to the same gym around the same time, so we even sweat together!

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, “this girl is a total loser. Why doesn’t she have any friends?”  Oh trust me, I have friends.  At home, I have seven best friends.  I can count them on two hands.  As my years since high school grow in number, I find that I have only remained close with my very best friends.  Those people who I used to say hi to in the hallways and even those I sometimes ate lunch with have become irrelevant.  They’re doing their thing and I’m doing mine.  If you would have told me at my high school graduation that I would have zero connection with 98% of my graduating class, I would have laughed in your face and told you that I’d be connected to those people forever.

Here I am more than two years later, friends with 7/329 members of my graduating class.  That’s 2.1%.  And I’m fine with that.  We all went down different paths and pursued very diverse interests.  We aren’t connected like we used to be by our love for the cute AP Calculus teacher and our loathing of gym.  Our 8th period free is not spent in the library pretending to do homework.  We don’t sit at the same lunch tables anymore gossiping about who did what at so-and-sos party last weekend.

While I’m not sitting at the same lunch table as my friends, I still find myself at the table with my parents, joking about work and friends and life.  My connection to them, unlike my old friends, has strengthened since I’ve become a college student.

Part of it was me growing up a bit.  When you get to college, you realize how much your parents do for you and how the seemingly stupid life lessons they used to throw in your face actually apply now.  You realize that they’re not just around to drive you up the wall, but that they love you and want only the best for you.  I realized that they weren’t as bad as I thought they were on that dark morning when I told them that I couldn’t wait to get out.  Little did I know that I would love coming home to my dad’s open arms and my mom’s home cooking, both of which I was ready to part from by the end of my senior year of high school.

I’ve also gotten over myself. I used to think I was so cool and that my parents just didn’t understand the world I lived in.  Now, I fully accept that I am by no means “cool” and that I’m done trying to be “cool.” If cool means following trends that I don’t actually like and being rude to my parents and locking myself in my room and repressing my true personality, then I want no part in it.  My parents know who I really am and love that about me. They accept me, weirdness and all.

Three years ago, I would never have talked to my parents about partying or anything social.  Now they laugh when I tell them about the stupid stuff that my friends and I do.  They have opened up more to me about their craaaaazy college years.  They’re less of authority figures now and more of my friends.  They are no longer telling me what to do and respect that if I can handle my own life at college, then I can certainly do it at home.  Sure, my dad still sometimes has to tell me to turn off my light or to clean my bathroom.  But there’s no need for my parents to hound me about seeing my teachers after class or to finish my AP Lit paper before SAT class.

I thoroughly enjoy my parents now.  I can actually say what’s on my mind without the fear of getting grounded or, possibly worse, getting the computer taken away.  What was life’s worth without AIM, really?  Since college, I’ve chilled out a little and so have they, both of which are very good things.

I’ve grown out my angsty teenager nonsense phase and they are grateful.  They don’t want to be the bad guys anymore and know that I can make my own decisions without them reminding me of the consequences of my actions.  They laugh at my jokes and I can finally laugh at theirs.  I make fun of them and ask them to do things with me like seeing movies or trying new restaurants or just hanging out.

For this reason, my mom and dad are my eighth and ninth friend. They are the ones I go to about most everything, the people who I trust the most, and the people who I share a table with.  Some of the best times have been spent with my parents and I am totally happy with that.  They’re good company; in fact, they’re the best company.


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