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How I Learned to Form a Better Relationship with My Mom Because of College

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Oswego chapter.

If you were to ask someone right now who their best friend is, it likely might be a roommate, friend they’ve known for years, or even their significant other. Though if someone was to ask me, one of the people I would usually say first is my mom. Some might find that funny, but I think I’m grateful I can say that as an answer. 

Four years ago I was a senior getting ready to plan out her life after high school and living with her mom most of the week. My mom and I had our ups and downs, but it wasn’t too bad until around December. The set in for deadlines started to hit and we couldn’t come to an agreement on where I could apply to. At the time, I wanted to move as far away from my hometown as possible. I grew up in an area that was small in population and didn’t have much to offer regarding what I wanted to pursue. 

We eventually found a college to tour a little over an hour away. When this happened it felt like we started to rekindle what had made us sway away from a good relationship. A month passed, we went on the tour, and I got my acceptance to the college in the mail. My parents were both ecstatic, but I wasn’t. It was great I got accepted to a school, but it was somewhere I didn’t want to go. When I voiced my concern, the relationship started to fade again and I was back to living with a stranger practically in my house. 

When this happened I started to apply to other colleges that had a free application, trying to show that I was capable of doing it by myself. In the next coming weeks, I would get emails of my acceptance. I felt proud, but didn’t feel like I could share the news. Then, as I was planning on where to go, the world was struck with a pandemic and I was looking into if I was going to be able to go to school in the fall. 

I was even more nervous about this pandemic, because now I would be home with my mom every day and our relationship was still rocky. I didn’t think it would become better during this time, but I was wrong. 

We ended up spending more time together, she started to look into more schools with me and wasn’t upset about my decision to not go to the previous institution we toured. She also helped me in other ways, such as getting me a therapist and allowing us to get a kitten after losing two of our pets during the beginning of the pandemic. Somehow by spending all this time, we were able to rekindle our relationship as mother and daughter, something I didn’t think would be possible before I went to college. 

Months passed and in August my parents drove me to my college, about three hours away from my hometown. It was a community college with campus housing and I couldn’t have been happier. Once I was dropped off my connection with my mom became stronger. We facetimed nearly everyday, she would send me mail, and would text me multiple times. At that moment it was wild to think just less than a year before, we were barely speaking to each other, yet still living under the same roof. 

This relationship continued to flourish until mid-spring time. I had met a group of friends all from the area, I hung out nearly everyday with them, we lived in the same residence hall. I was still talking to my mom everyday at this point, but started to not want to come home after the spring semester was over. My friends wanted to all live in a house together and I wanted to do the same. So being at the “mature” age of 19, I thought I was very capable of doing this, indeed I was not. I didn’t have a job my freshman year of college and my friends did not either. So, we rather were just oblivious to reality and the cost of rent and how we would do this living situation. We thought this was possible because living on our own was our first taste of independence and we thought at 19 we knew it all. 

So, because of this taste of independence we felt, I started to tell my mom about how I was a mature woman living her life and knew everything about the world, I was again oblivious. This caused our relationship to stray, as she was looking out for me, but I felt she wasn’t letting me grow up. The spring semester ended, I packed my stuff, and came back home for the summer. Once I got back home, I started working full time. I wanted to have my own money, but over that summer I came to the realization I was still 19 and didn’t have everything figured out. I sat down with my mom and apologized for how I acted, we then started to forgive one another and rekindle the relationship. Time went on, the next year of college started, and I still had that bond, this bond would still continue to carry into today. 

Which leads me to the point of why I wrote this, because in college, I was able to form a better relationship with my mom. It is a little funny, given that the conversation of college was how the stray between one another started. Though I’m glad it worked in the end. College allowed me to have independence, but it also let me become aware. College allowed me to experience faults, but it allowed me to notice my own mistakes and grow from them. College also allowed as time went on, for my mom to see me as an adult, she noticed that I was young and forgave me for how I acted previously. 

I think the perspective can be different depending on who is reading as well and if they were in similar shoes. I was my mother’s only child, so I can see why at first she was hesitant to have me spread my wings to farther places. I also think when I look into who I was at age 19, I was still young, naive, and thought I could tackle anything life threw at me because others my age thought the same. So, even though this was a hard process to go through, I’m happy I went through it because my mom and I have never had a better relationship. 

There have been times when my mom has been there for me, where she probably wouldn’t have if we didn’t work out our issues with one another; not because she wouldn’t care, but before when we weren’t close, I wouldn’t tell her about things that happened to me whether good or bad. Now, it’s like I can’t imagine not telling her anything, she is indeed my best friend. She was there for me through the ups and downs. From going through break ups, to helping me move from Long Island to Oswego, to helping me with my mental health, the list could go on. 

So, before I close this article I want to end it with a message to anyone in the same boat, whether it be mother and daughter or a parent and child. Yes, sometimes relationships in families can be hard to rekindle, especially depending on the circumstances, because life is different for everybody. Though if you can be in a place to, learn from where one another is coming from, become aware, and forgive. In the end, if you both work towards it, your bond could be rekindled and that relationship that was once tarnished could come together again. 

Hello, I am Leila LaJoie (she/her). I go by Leila, but sometimes people call me Laine. I am a 22-year-old senior at SUNY Oswego. I double major in Journalism and English, so I have always had a love for writing in general. In my free time I enjoy writing, reading, dancing, listening to music and going on walks. As far as what I focus on while writing, I'm very open, it really depends on what I'm into at the moment as well as what is going on around my environment. I am grateful for the opportunity to start this journey on Her Campus, as it will allow for me to have a writing outlet that can kickstart and further me into my career. It also will allow me to hear more about others' stories and experiences. A stepping stool if you will to my future and connections to be made.