Cherish your parents while you can

By Julia Lawrenz | LTVN Executive Producer

As an emerging adult, you are in a tough position toeing the line between young adulthood and complete independence. Growing up, I always had a healthy relationship with my parents, but once I started college it was a learning curve of balancing my newfound freedom and having intentional communication with them.

Currently, I am in the last semester of my senior year at Baylor, and I have learned a lot of valuable lessons during these past four years. I believe one of the most important lessons is to build a meaningful relationship with your parents while you are in college, so you have a strong foundation to lean on once you enter the real world.

While in high school, you are usually completely dependent on your parents. You rely on them financially, emotionally and even for the basics necessities of life. However, when you enter college, everything changes, and they are no longer required to support you.

Some parents have the opportunity to financially provide for their college students, but that doesn’t happen for everyone on the Baylor campus. College is usually the first time in your life that you don’t see your parents every day and are not required to fill them in on all the minute details of your life. Depending on your prior relationship with your parents, you may talk to them once a week, once a month or possibly just for the holidays.

I understand that not everyone has a great relationship with their parents. Family trauma and broken relationships are not uncommon. However, I want to you reconsider what is holding you back from mending that relationship. I don’t think that you have to be best friends with your parents, but you need to be okay knowing that when they die, you are content with the way the relationship ended. There is no way to turn back time and say one last ‘sorry’, one final ‘I forgive you’ or even the last “I love you …”

I have been blessed that my parents are still financially supporting me, and while I may owe it to them to keep them updated on my academics, personal life and future endeavors, I believe regardless of what you may owe or not owe, you should still make an effort to foster a healthy relationship with your parents.

At the end of the day, friends may come and go, you might break up with your significant other, but your family is the one constant. Your parents are indefinitely connected to you despite the status of the relationship. However, you still have to tend to this relationship like any other in your life. All relationships require time, energy and work.

I believe that all college students should make an effort to call their parents at least once a week. You don’t need to talk to them every day in order to have a healthy relationship, but I urge you to take a step in the right direction and nurture this relationship.

College is such an odd time, you are still under your parents’ authority to a certain extent but at the same time, you are your own person with independence and freedom. There will never be a time like this ever again, so use this time to build a strong foundation that you can rely on once you are out of college.

Your parents won’t be on this earth forever, so take the time to know them outside of just authority figures or rule makers but as real people and confidants.