The Tower Pulse

University hopeful seeks independence amidst parents’ indifference

Graphic by Eva McCord '22

Graphic by Eva McCord '22

Eva McCord '22, Staff Writer

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Late nights, long days, and the ever-open Microsoft Word window with a blank but  almost-due admissions paper.  For most seniors, the college application process is littered with the stress of deadlines, time consuming essays, and the desperate grabs for scholarships.  However, senior Lydia Beaton’s stress stems from a more personal concern: her parents.

“I want to go to Northern Michigan University,” Beaton said.  “But my backups are Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State, and Oakland University. My parents are more interested in those options.”

Northern Michigan University, has the arts, criminal justice and nursing administration as its most popular programs. Also, it is 456 miles away from her home and sounds like a dream to attend, according to Beaton.

“I want to major in nursing or children’s speech pathology, and the independence that comes with being so far away from home is really exciting to me,” Beaton said. “It’s a chance to be myself.”

Despite her wishes, Beaton’s parents don’t share her excitement; the distance amplifies the constant parental worry, according to Beaton’s mother. And this worry may cause more harm than good, according to a recent study conducted by the University of Hong Kong.

“There is a general assumption that the more invested parents are in their children, the better,” The University of Hong Kong stated on their website.  “But new research shows that there could be a dark side to such devotion from parents, and that a healthy boundary may be necessary.”

Beaton admitted to feeling somewhat controlled by her parents while applying to college, and said that she struggled to make a definite choice of where she wished to attend.

“I understand that they want what’s best for me, and I get that it’s scary to let your child go off and be by themselves in college,” Beaton said.  “But I really want to be able to make my own decisions and attend the school I want to go to for myself, and for no one else.”

According to Elite Daily, individuals- especially young adults- best learn about themselves by making independent decisions that allow them to live their own lives.

“I just really like the thought of the independence it (college) will bring,” Beaton said.  “I feel like I’ve grown a lot over the past couple of years, and think that college will be a really good change of pace for me.”

Self governed learning, especially for those still in high school and entering college, allows for flexibility, improved time management skills, and an increased curiosity for education as a whole, according to idea platform InformED.  To Beaton, such qualities and life skills are exactly what she’s looking to gain from college itself, regardless of where she chooses to attend.

“To me, college isn’t about the school itself, or the location; it’s about your personal education and you growing as a person,” Beaton said.  “You’re exploring adulthood, and the college you go to shouldn’t impede that.  If I make a mistake, it’s on me; the college I choose to attend and how I perform there are my responsibility and something I need to learn how to manage.”

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University hopeful seeks independence amidst parents’ indifference