Recommendations for Parents of College Students

Both my parents went to college in Africa and were successful in their careers in medicine. This never changed when we came to the US. They started from the beginning, took the GED and took college classes and within the eight years since they came, completed they’re associate in nursing, an accelerated bachelors in nursing and are now registered nurses who moved the family from a condo with little to no space for four people to a house. Honestly it should be an inspiration. But for me and my brother it’s a continuous reminder that:

  1. We should be in the medical profession
  2. We have to make the same amount or more income than them
  3. If we don’t, we have no excuses. We have simply FAILED.

The reality was that me and my brother were completely different from my parents ideals of what they wanted their children to be. And because they went through college, me and him had no excuse to fail or struggle. I grew up feeling like anytime I made a mistake, I was the worst person to ever exist. My parents were trying to parent us into success but the pressure, shaming and dismissive only went away when we were good in their eyes and were doing better in school. We didn’t establish our own identity and struggled face or conceptualize the many challenges he encountered. Both my parents were viewed as the American Dream by their colleagues and family because of their accomplishments and would wonder how their children were failing to make it in their picture perfect world. And here is the thing, it took me and will take me a long time and work to repair my self worth and confidence. I know I can’t do it for my brother but I can do it for me. So through therapy and self advocacy I want all parents of college students to understand the following:

  • We need to cultivate our own identities, you had to figure yourself out, your profession, friends, relationships, religions. When we don’t, we grow up at risk of delinquent behavior, low self esteem and low worth. Let your children learn about who they are to know what they want to study.
  • We need affection and comfort, yeah cognitively we are not developed and we are well aware of it. Only disciplining your children and not allowing us to know that we can come to you for comfort. It will make your children not come to you for their success.
  • Support us in our venture to become part of society however we want to. Sometimes we need time away from school to find the determination, passion and confidence to complete a degree. Because if we can’t do it for ourselves, how could we do it for you.
  • Simply just be there for us.   

To my parents, I want them to know that it will take a lot to time to turn for emotional/mental support for them. And now with this moment of independence, they will have to earn my trust and love. They will have to really learn about mental health and creating relationships with their children. If you raised your children right, you should trust them too.

Thank you for reading Lovelies!

Comment below what your parents did/didn’t support you in college? What advice would you give college students?

3 thoughts on “Recommendations for Parents of College Students

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