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What Living Alone Taught Me About Mother-Daughter Relationships

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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 U Mass Amherst chapter.

My mom and I were both crying in a way-too-hot dorm on the last Monday of August 2022, while my dad tapped his feet outside in the hallway, eager to get home before the sunset. It was the end of a long day of moving, but also the end of an eighteen year long journey of living with my parents. I was excited to move into college, but also confused on what my life would with no housemates that knew me so well.

What I did not expect, however, was how much more I would fall in love with my parents when away from them, especially my mom. That day was not the first time my mom and I were both crying simultaneously. Those eighteen years were not all sunshine and rainbows. There were plenty of arguments and fights between two people who were experiencing motherhood and daughterhood for the first time.

A funny story I like to tell is a quote a teacher told my class when we were misbehaving. This woman was obviously dealing with her own motherhood struggles — when she failed to calm me and my girlfriends down, she then proceeded to say “When you go onto middle school, you will become b****es to your mothers. They will hate you.” (Isn’t that so insane to tell a literal ten year old?!! I almost fainted when she said such a naughty word. And don’t worry — she got fired lol.) I remember hearing that, and thinking I will never be mean like that, I won’t be a b**** in high school. Well, here’s a message to 10-year old Sophia from 19-year old Sophia: You had your bad moments, but don’t freak out because you needed to feel anger before you felt love.

When I started growing up, into puberty and entering middle and high school, I really wanted space. My mom just existing seemed like the antithesis of such a want, that I would be frustrated when she would simply ask “How was school?” (Which the answer would always be “good” and that answer was almost always a lie.) I actively rejected my mom’s requests to hang out because it didn’t seem like I should hang out with her. I thought she wasn’t cool like my friends, and wasn’t new like the experiences I sought after during high school.

It wasn’t until the days that followed that August when I learned how hard it was to be an adult, searching for love from the people around me. My mother was always a guaranteed source of love that I tended to under appreciate. When I started living alone, I no longer wanted space. I wanted to eat dinner with friends, I wanted to talk to strangers, I wanted to work with classmates. The time in between the work and socialization of college, I spent calling my mom.

When I moved away, I learned how hard it was to be an adult woman in society. I was constantly overlooked and soon I was seeking for a source of love and comfort from someone else. I felt empathy for my mom, who just wanted to be there for me and was greeted with rude snarks from her teenage daughter. Now, I share a healthy bond with my mother. Sure, we don’t talk everyday, but that’s good for us. It gives us more to say on our weekly calls! College put me through many friendship tests that taught me the most about relationships overall. I realized I needed to make more of a commitment to my loved ones, and starting using what I learned in my college relationships with my family bonds.

My mom needed someone who was able to emotionally commit with her. After I was no-longer a housemate, I was able to drop the saltiness and commit to an amazing relationship with her.

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Sophia Hutcheson

U Mass Amherst '26

Sophia is a political science major and IT minor at UMass Amherst. This is her first semester at HerCampus, and she couldn't be more excited! In her free time, Sophia loves practicing guitar, reading, and playing with her dog, Daisy.