I went home last weekend to hang out with my folks and my brother. I was goofing around the house waiting for dinner to happen. I began to rummage around the kitchen for something to tide me over, but then stopped. I felt the urge to ask my parents if I could have a snack before dinner. I had to stop and remind myself of a few things. I’m 22 years old. I know I’m hungry. Dinner wasn’t for another 30 minutes. If I wanted to eat, I should eat.
I’ve talked about this before, but there’s something about being back home that makes me feel like a little kid no matter how old I get. I regress back to my role as a dependent child waiting for my parents to tell me what to do next.
Up in Emporia, I’m my own boss. I decide when to eat, when to sleep, and when to go hang out with my friends. Back home I feel like I should check in with my parents before making any big decision.
It’s not a matter of being considerate. I think if you are sharing a roof with somebody you should keep them up to date with your comings and goings. For me it’s about getting permission to do the simple things I do on my own all the time.
And it isn’t brought on by my folks – they are fully capable of treating me like a full-fledged adult. I’m the one that seems to have problems thinking of myself as a grownup when I go back home.
But maybe it’s not all bad. The point of going home, and getting away from Emporia, is to relax and take my mind off the stress of school. It’s kind of nice to go home and not take any of my worries with me and let my parents tell what to do again. It’s a nice change of pace when you can give up the responsibility of making every little decision.
The other thing I’m starting to realize is that I have a strange desire to prove myself to my parents. Does that happen to anyone else? Maybe it’s because I know how important being in college is to them. They didn’t get their college degrees until much later in life, so I’ll be the first in the family to get one right after high school.
It’s costing us a pretty penny to put me through school, so whenever I come home I feel compelled to prove to them, (and to myself I think) that it’s worth all the money. I tend to do that through elaborate, very abstract conversations about current happenings in the news or in society.
Maybe I’m over-analyzing the situation. Back in high school I would talk to my folks for hours about anything under the sun, from politics to history to art. And I didn’t think much of it. But now that I’m a full time student, I guess I feel more pressure to prove my worth?
It doesn’t really matter I guess, because I love all the conversations I get to have with my family. Most of the students I know in Emporia hate talking about school when off the clock, so getting able to really discuss the material I’m learning is not a common experience for me.
I know my parents are proud of me, and would be proud of me no matter if I were in college or not. I think I’m really just more interested in proving my progress to myself in an attempt to show that I’m really growing up, and I’m not the same person I was when I lived at home.