College Growing Pains

As the cool temperatures approach and the holiday season is taking shape, freshman like me are wrapping up our first semester in college. The first few months have held many adventures and teachable moments, including being flexible between our class schedule and work, balancing budgets, or keeping our dorms/apartments together. Adulthood has taken on many forms. There have been lows, like having the air conditioning go out three times in one week, or needing to go to the grocery store after a long shift. There have been highs, like the freedom to make your own decisions, and the exciting bonding with coworkers. There’s been stress; there’s been laughter; there has been a roller coaster of emotions. Yet we are learning and growing all on our own. We are experiencing life in all of the best and worst ways.

I have found myself becoming very nervous over certain class projects, or working by myself for the first time. I have had to find new routes to drive and new ways to shop for food or housing items. I have had to tend to simple issues such as a slow dryer or broken vacuum all on my own, things that my parents always took care of. It has been completely foreign and strange to be responsible for all of these things, especially regarding working or driving. While it is helpful to have our parents to assist us and give advice, it is also helpful to allow us the space we need to create our own path—to help us by quietly letting us become who we are going to be. 

It makes me feel wonderful to know I have completed something on my own and solved these issues as an adult. As the new year approaches, things are changing. It is intricate, chaotic, and intense, but it is lovely and much needed. Make sure to listen to those you love, to be there, and to show your understanding for the stressful parts. Make sure to check in; move away from judgmental language or behavior, and offer support whenever you can. Your children are going to need you, but they’re also going to need to find help within themselves. Growth is coming; allow it the space to do so.