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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    College builds our family bonds even from afar

    Leaving family behind for college can be emotionally damaging for some students, and for others it is a complete and total act of freedom. Curfews, rules, getting the phone taken away and nagging becomes doing what you want, all day, every day, after the family departs on day one of college. Those of us who spent several years counting down the days until we did not have to deal with our families anymore were beyond ecstatic and confused by the kids who cried when their families drove away.

    Not everyone grew up confiding in their parents and enjoying the company of family. Looking back, I do not think I spoke to my parents for two weeks before I genuinely wanted to talk to them after they dropped me off at Arizona-Sonora Residence Hall. Once the first few weeks of complete freedom wore off, I started to realize that I truly missed my family and was confused about why.

    Being in college, away from family, has a direct correlation to the cliche that we do not appreciate what we have until it’s gone. I love my family just as much as the next person, but the nonexistent bond I had with them while growing up became existent after a year of being away.

    When my parents found out that I spent my weekends partying and not watching movies in my dorm room, I thought they would unenroll me from UA. Ironically, the opposite occurred and I ended up drinking cocktails with my mom during spring break. After my freshman year of college, I experienced a major change in my maturity level which allowed me to become much closer with my family. Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t have to answer to them every day or that I could finally be honest with my parents, but being away from them was the magic cure.

    As students, we seem to forget that even though we are big kids now and doing our own thing, our parents still see us as kids with paint all over our hands. Even though it took me 18 years to have a strong relationship with my parents, I think it took them even longer to realize I would not always be their little girl. As much as we like to think we are independent adults now, Mom still makes the best dinners and Dad still gives the most classic advice.

    I owe the relationship I have with my family now to my time spent here. Rules and curfews still apply when winter and summer breaks come around, but it is not unbearable like it was in high school. I now look forward to watching Lifetime movies with my mom and running errands with my dad, and I have college to thank for that.

    Whether it is a simple trip to Safeway or taking it to the extreme and bringing the parents along for a night out, enjoy your Family Weekend.

    — Caroline Nachazel is a junior studying journalism and communication. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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