Rated PG

Taylor Leckie

Your college experience is rated PG, as Parental Guidance is will help and is advised.

I couldn’t wait to get away to college, away from my parents, and I am glad that I did. But just because I moved away from them doesn’t mean I don’t want them involved in my life.I have discovered that many UNF students want to keep their parents involved in their day-to-day life but don’t know exactly how to go about doing it. I believe they might consider it a sign of weakness or a question of their independence.Your parents might appreciate you picking up the phone, sending a text or even an email to let them know what is going on in your life. I am not saying that you have to tell what you are doing every waking moment, but you might want to let them know who you are hanging out with. Yes, that does mean giving them names of your associates. There are situations where this could save your life.

In the event that he may turn out to be some crazy psychopath, whenever I decide to go out on a date, I drop my parent’s a note. I don’t know anything about this new suitor and I don’t want to end up as a skin suit. By giving my guardians a little info, they’ll at least know where to begin the search-and-rescue mission if something were to happen to me. I don’t give them all of the details nor do I involve them in my selection process but I do let them know I am interested in someone.

I also know that they have more life experience than I do, and their words can come in handy sometimes. For example, both of my parents have graduated from college and have had careers. Isn’t that the sequence I’m attempting to follow? Even though I know things have changed since the days when they went to school, the struggles are the same: problems with roommates arise, final exams are stressful. And the desire to be independent from parents was likely just as present them. I know that I can contact them with a concern and they will help guide me to where I need to go.

Your parents know you better than anyone else. In most cases they accept you for who you are. They want you to succeed but understand when you don’t. They can make excuses for you or give you the kick in the butt you need to move forward.

Friends are a good source for these moral boosters, but it can be easier to disregard their opinions. Sometimes their words lack the weighty impact that the more authoritative voices in our lives can have. You expect both praise and tough love from your parents, and their advice often rings the clearest. Plus, according to a report from the National Center for Education Statistics, “parental involvement in school correlates with higher grade point averages.” We can all benefit from that.

Parents are also great at coming to the rescue. They are usually the ones who help you with your college funding whether it be by giving you money or helping you apply for financial aid.   I have come to discover that I don’t depend on them just for money, I also need their assistance with other aspects in my life.

Just this past weekend my car broke down. A friend tried to help, but couldn’t quite diagnose the problem. I didn’t want, or know how, to have it towed so I called my dad. He made a two-hour drive just to determine it wasn’t the starter, as my friend had suggested, then swapped out and paid for my new battery. He is my hero. This is not the first time he has saved me and I am sure it won’t be the last.

During this time of the year, when we should be grateful for our blessings, I feel as if we sometimes forget our greatest treasure. We very often take for granted that our parents will be there for us regardless if we neglect or ignore them. Take time out this season to show your appreciation to the people who raised you. If it wasn’t for the job they did, you wouldn’t be where you are today.

As the great Dr. Suess put it, “To the world you may just be one person, but to one person you may just be the world”. More than likely, you are your parents’ world. Let them be a part of yours.

Email Taylor Leckie at [email protected]