When my mom was in college, she called home once a week, if not every other week. Me? I text my mom just about every day for advice about job hunting, what to wear, and what to do when the pipes burst in the kitchen in my downtown house. But I’m not the only one—many of my friends call or text their parents even more often.
With the introduction of all the technology we now use on a daily basis, we are able to not only call home whenever, but also text, email, Skype, or FaceTime all throughout the day. For most students, our parents are only a quick phone call, text, or email away. This grants us the ability to contact them with every little question or concern we have.
Of course it’s great when you need a quick bit of advice, like which top should I wear for my interview or if I should rephrase something from my cover letter. But when you call every time you face something that’s the least bit challenging, it’s a mistake. College is supposed to instill independence and autonomy in young adults–technology eradicates that. Kids in our parents’ generation had to face the challenges of life on their own with little to no help from their parents. Likely, they wouldn’t have even wanted to ask for help; kids today are closer than ever to their parents. And while it isn’t a bad thing to maintain a close bond with your parents, college is the time to break free, if only slightly, from that inhibiting codependency.
Within seconds we can reach out to our parents for help or advice, if we forget our social security number when filling out paperwork for jobs, or even to transfer money instantaneously if our checking accounts get low. In fact, just the other day I panicked and called my mom at 11 p.m. when my car got stuck in the snow in the alley behind my house. Granted, she would have been happy to help, but there was nothing she could do, since she was over a thousand miles away. Thankfully, a kind stranger came by with a shovel and a friend helped me push my car out. But rarely are we faced with a challenge that we are truly and completely forced to deal with on our own.
I think that this has a detrimental effect on our personal growth and development, and consequently hinders us from truly becoming adults. How are we supposed to learn to face any of these challenges if we don’t learn while in college? College is the quintessential time to make mistakes (and learn from them), without our parents being there to help us and guide us.
Next time you are faced with something and have the natural urge to reach for your phone and text mom for advice, don’t! Try handling the situation yourself first. Let’s put down our phones and try figuring things out on our own accord because it will make the post-graduation transition into complete independence a lot less terrifying.