Transitioning into a young adult is a constant process in college, one that typically occurs with the absence of parents in your everyday life. So what happens when your parents finally see you as the young professional you’ve worked so hard to become?
“He texted me and said ‘Mom, I took the car to get the oil changed,’” says Karen Buda, mother of Penn State junior Alex Buda. “I thought ‘Wow, he really is becoming an adult.’”
Whether college students realize it or not, there comes a moment of realization for parents when their child has suddenly grown up. As students are quickly whirled into a space of diversity, freedom and immeasurable knowledge, they are also subconsciously thrust into a competitive environment of individual change.
But similar to any major life change, Buda explains, the transition can be difficult. “It’s very hard because teenagers and young adults can be very adult about some things, but be very teenager-y about other things.”
As students strive to be masters of their craft while finding their passion, it’s only natural that individual progress can temporarily go unnoticed.
When it is noticed, however, the reward, according to Buda, is “beautiful.”
“You want them to still need you and want your advice, and in some respects, they still do,” Buda explains. “But it’s beautiful to see that your child has become an independent adult.”
Whatever the moment may be for your parent – dropping you off at school, seeing you behind the wheel or listening to you speak of your new grown-up life – it’s important to realize that while you’re adjusting, you parents are adjusting along with you.
The moments you realize you’re growing up are important, but the moments your parents realize you’re growing up should not be overlooked either.
Photo by Lauren Johnson