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Parents’ Weekend Made Me Realize How Much College Changes You

Thursday night, Sep. 26, 2019.

It was my sister’s 15th birthday. As she, my brother, and my parents made their way to Tallahassee for Parents’ Weekend, I couldn’t help but be excited. It had been a month of living on my own in a new place and I was ready for the familiar feelings that came with hanging out around my family. Except those feelings never happened.

As we grow up, things change. Beliefs are challenged. You become friends with people you never imagined you would have. You’re exposed to a variety of different perspectives, political views, and religions. Relationships take on new meanings and attitudes. Your relationship with your family, specifically your parents, is no exception.

My Family Weekend honestly kind of sucked. The entire time, I had been picturing us maintaining the same relationship we had when I was growing up, but it wasn’t. Being independent, no matter for how much time forces you into evolving into your own person. I no longer agreed with my parents on everything. I no longer lived in a tiny, Miami Catholic school bubble. I no longer had to hide anything from my parents because, well, they couldn’t ground me anymore. But I didn’t realize that.

Courtesy: Manuela Espinosa

As the weekend went on, I grew frustrated trying to keep the relationship I had previously had with my parents. I was wearing a façade of what they had expected me to become, but on my own, I had grown into a different person. I had begun seeing the world through a different lens than they do. Eventually, this caught up to me. I had had all these expectations of what Parents’ Weekend was supposed to be like and when it wasn’t how I expected I let it get to me, but didn’t say anything. Instead of talking to my parents and telling them what was bothering me, I held it in, like I always had. This worked until I had a meltdown in the middle of the church parking lot.

Parents’ Weekend is supposed to be your family’s sneak peek of how you’ve been doing. It’s a small glimpse into your adult life and the perfect time to stock up on groceries since they’re most likely the ones paying. We’ve figured out a routine, our own way to do things, and for me, throwing my family into the mix kind of stirred everything up. But what I learned was to never keep anything from them.

After a long day of arguing and mood swings, my dad and I got to talking as he was dropping me back off at my place. He told me that I shouldn’t be hiding my frustrations. On the contrary, I should lay them all out on the table, whether we agree or not, and we both knew we were not going to agree on a lot. But that’s just life. That’s growing up. Just like how we’ve matured while being on our own, our relationships with our parents have developed and evolved. Our parents’ roles shift from authoritarians into confidants and advisers.

Courtesy: Helena Lopes on Unsplash

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Senior at FSU from Miami, Florida double majoring in English and Political Science.