Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I am leaving for college and don't want to hurt my family, pleas advise.

Knowledgeability Clarity of Response Politeness 
10                       10                           10
Comment: thank you very much you've helped a lot.

Questioner: Ashley

Subject: college life

Question: Hi,

I'm actually not a parent, but I didn't know where else to put this. I'm 18 and I'm leaving for college in January. I've always been extremely close to my family and I think that move in day is going to be an awful one. I actually don't want them to help me move in because of how miserable I'll be thinking of them leaving me there. I don't know how to tell them this though because i don't want to hurt their feelings and make them feel not involved. What should I do? and do you have any advice that might help me adjust to life without them sooner?

thank you

Answer: Dear Ashley:

Of course you have to do what is best for you to adjust. My concern is that it sounds like you are pushing your feelings away rather than your parents. It is normal to want a "clean break."

However, it may be emotionally healthy for you to come clean. Tell them how much you are dreading the whole separation thing and how much you will miss them. How you are afraid moving day will be full of longing and loss. Face your feelings upfront, share them.

Don't buy into societies expectations of you as an adult. You don't need to not need your parents anymore just because you are going off to college. You will just need them differently than you did before.

You are entering a new part of your life and you can take your parents with you in your heart and your daily life. (I am assuming they are in your favorite 5?) No one will every love with the intensity as your parents. They are not replaceable. However, soon you will make new friends and your life will get quite busy, you will go from calling them and missing them to having to schedule trips home into your schedule.

I think from your e-mail it sounds like they have been and will continue to be a large part of your life and your world. And still you will make your own life and you will let them know how they can be a part of your life.

Talk to them, it is not your job to take care of their feelings you will have your hands full adjusting. They love you and will be there for you in whatever capacity you will let them.

Give yourself permission to call them when you want to hear their voices. They will miss you just as much as you miss them.

Keep a journal for those times when you miss them and write your feelings down. You will treasure these notes later and and you can share them with your parents as well. They will also come in handy when you have children of your own who go off to college.

Be kind to yourself, be gently and be compassionate while you are adjusting and the rest will come quite naturally.

Best Wishes!


M Kay Keller