College students have gotten the short end of the stick in 2020.
This is NOT what you signed up for. College at home. Virtual classes. Inaccessible professors. Confused colleagues. No freedom. No dorm life. Your internships and study abroad are on hold. And it’s just too much to deal with!
We get it. You expected to be away at school living the dream. Instead, you are home with your parents. Having to navigate online classes and a weird home dynamic. It’s the in-between, in a global pandemic. What a messy combination. It’s no wonder many are seeking online therapy for college students during these tough times.
How to maintain your independence and be mature while still living with your parents.
Is it even possible? Well, we can explore that here. I think so! It takes work. Intentionality. And clear communication. Also, boundaries and respect. Easy peasy, right? Perhaps it’s easier said than done. We’ll give you some concrete tips. First, let’s talk about WHY this is such a strange and difficult way to do this season of life.
Late adolescence and early adulthood is a time where your relationship with your parents is evolving. In adolescence, you were establishing your identity and self in the context of your peers while still very much under your parents’ rule.
Now, you may technically be an adult by most people. But, at home, you may still be seen as “daddy’s little girl” who should be home by 8pm and keep her nose in her books. Or, maybe you’re the little boy that mom has to constantly remind to keep up with his responsibilities. Perhaps you were just looking forward to growing in new ways without constant parental oversight and involvement.
This may be particularly jarring if you spent your last year away at college. Learning to be self-reliant and honing your decision-making skills. It can also put a damper on those who have been holding out for the opportunity to spread their wings, only to have to hold out for a little longer.
If you were longing for independence, don’t let the 2020 delay derail your growth.
Step out of repetitive patterns from your child and teen years
Sometimes we miss the way we are contributing to these patterns. For example, an adult college student is constantly complaining about being late on assignments, and then the mother constantly nags. This is a pattern that was probably established long ago. Be mindful of what you say and what kind of attention it will attract. Talk about ways you are taking responsibility and self manage ways you need to do better to help change this dynamic.
Adulting is not just a buzzword.
It sounds funny, but quite frankly, you need to figure it out. Especially now. If you can use this time to learn and practice the skills necessary to maintain a comfortable quality of life, you will be giving your future self a gift. Right now, you have a safety net of your parents or family to help you if things get hard. But, it won’t always be that way. So, this is a great time to work on your domestic skills. To develop a healthy morning routine. Create healthy habits. Learn or master a new skill while learning new things in class. Seek out guidance from professionals in fields you are interested in pursuing. Your instructors may or may not be as connected to you this year. But, your education is up to you. Not your parents or even your professors. You can use this time to wallow and feel annoyed, or you can take a deep breath and move forward. This simple mindset shift will help you accomplish your work quickly and efficiently.
Be proactive in providing information
If you know your parents’ triggers, be proactive in communicating. This gives you more control over the narrative. Shows some responsibility. Develops the sense that you will come to them with info instead of them chasing you around. For example: let them know plans for the weekend and how you have considered schedules and safety. Thoughtful consideration can go a long way in showing your parents you have grown. Thus, increasing the likelihood that you will be treated like the adult you know you are.
This is weird. The weirdest, most wild time most of us have ever lived through. But, we are getting through it. One way or another. Things might not be what we expected, but they are still worth figuring out. College is a time of self-discovery and personal growth. You can still have this time and use it well, even while back at home.
Want to talk it out? Online therapy for college students in New Jersey can help.
If you want help navigating this unexpected season of life, we would love to talk. Reach out about therapy for college students today. Our Scotch Plains therapists can help you anywhere in the state with online therapy in New Jersey. Your future is too important to let these strange times derail you from pursuing your goals.
Begin online therapy for college students in New Jersey today