Minus the City: Parent Trapped

Parents. In college we are at an awkward stage of being a sort of “in-between adult,” where we have some independence that comes with living away from home, as well as “real world” situations that sometimes show us that we are in fact dependent. With the battle between independence and dependence, there comes a point where there is a call for balance, and figuring out how our parents factor into our lives. Are they still to be looked at as some sort of authority, or to be regarded as a friend rather than the foe that so many see their parents as during their the teenage years?  

While I have questioned this before, it has become relevant now that my parents are able to read into a part of my life I otherwise keep private through this column. With a rookie mistake admittedly being that I forgot my parents – like every Colgate parent should do if they have not done so already – subscribed to The Maroon-News, my columns were being read with questions. My article on summertime flings was met with a beckoning call from my mother asking for an explanation, while my article on “complicated” situations was mentioned in conversation via subtle puns courtesy of my wisecracking father. 

When talking about parents and their role in our relationships, this goes beyond what we chose to tell them or not. Contrary to what we think, parents always know what’s up – far more often than we would like to admit. Whether or not we choose to talk to our parents about relationships isn’t a big deal, but at what point, and to what extent, are we expected to involve them?

In college, when relationships aren’t the norm, how do we introduce our current “friend” to our parents? That already anxiety-inducing event is now exacerbated by not knowing the label under which you are to be introduced. Are you a friend? More than friends?  I’ve heard far too many tales of meeting the parents as friends, with the parents clearly catching onto the fact that they are more than friends. Regardless of what we choose to tell them, our parents aren’t stupid. 

With parents, I think it’s best to stick to the “I’ll tell you if it’s serious” rule. Unless you are the kind of person who calls your parents to gush about every regrettable decision you’ve ever made at the Jug – though I don’t know how much of that they would take pride in hearing – to each their own.  And while we are on the subject of parents, Happy Parents Weekend. Hi Mom, hi Dad. I know you’re reading.