Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Teenager Fears College Life Will Ruin Her Perfect Life At Home

Dear Tazi:

My life is very normal. I have two wonderful parents, still married, who never argue in front of me or my sister. Speaking of my sister, we get along great – she is the best little sister anyone could ever want. I have a dog (sorry, Tazi!) who I love to death and enjoy taking for long runs in the park, and I live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood. My family is not rich, but I do not want for anything I need; I do well in school; and have great friends who do not pressure me to drink or do drugs. I am a cheerleader for my high school and my boyfriend is one of the Captains of the football team (surprise, surprise huh?). Basically, my life is so incredibly perfect it is positively abnormal!

I guess you are wondering why I am writing to you, huh, Tazi? I will be finishing my senior year of high school later this year, which means college is only a few months away. Both of my parents are legacies from the same college, and they would love for me to go to the family alma mater, as well. I would love to continue with this family tradition, but I am scared to go out on my own! The school in question is three hours from home, so there is no way I could commute every day; I would have to live there, in a dormitory or an off-campus apartment.

Moving away to school would mean leaving behind my dog, my little sister, my friends, my parents, and my entire life! My boyfriend would be going to school nearby, so I would have him to depend upon, but I know he will be busy with his own school and probably football, too (he has been offered a scholarship). I want to make my family proud; I just wish college was closer to home! Do you have any advice to help me overcome my fears and enjoy the rest of my senior year, Tazi?

Future Tiger

Dear Future Tiger:

Something I have learned from writing this column is that Southern traditions die hard, so I can understand why you want to continue the tradition of your parents and your grandparents and your…

Moving away from home for the first time can be incredibly heartbreaking, especially when home is such a wonderful place. A three hour drive may sound like a million miles away from loved ones, but the truth is it is not that far – especially nowadays, when there is Skype, and Facebook, and other ways to communicate in real and almost real time.

A big part of growing up and making the transition from childhood to adulthood is moving out of your parents’ house and being responsible for yourself. Moving into a college residence hall is often a first step, a halfway point between living at home and being completely on your own. Living in a residence hall can offer many benefits while in college. In addition to making new friendships it relieves you of several hours a week of commuting time (which can be used for be used for both studying and extracurricular activities); plus it helps you to learn how to be responsible for your own life, without having Mom and dad there to tell you what to do and when to do it. In short, you can learn a lot of important life-skills that the classroom cannot teach you.

The fact that your boyfriend wants to continue your relationship through your college years is the sign of a man who cares very deeply for you – a lot of young men move away to college and forget the promises they made to their girlfriends back home – so he will be one constant in your life that will help you to adjust to your new living situation. Plus, there will be weekends where you can go home for a visit and weekends when your family will come to visit you (I have a feeling the latter will occur most often during football season!).

Just because you are moving away for a few years does not mean that you are moving on permanently; try to keep this in mind as you finish your final year of high school. As the school year winds down, your friends are bound to start firming up their college plans; let yourself get caught up in the bittersweet excitement and the future will not look so daunting!


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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