Santa Clara University

Letter From Your Student

Dear Mom and Dad:

First of all, thank you for everything you have done to make it possible for me to go to college. It may not seem like I appreciate it, but I do. I also know it is probably hard for you to let me go, but I truly am ready to be on my own (in other words, you did your job).

This is a very exciting time for me, as well as a scary one. It is a big change—going back to being a freshman again and having to figure out where I belong. Even though I may seem sure of myself, I actually may be feeling pretty insecure. I need your support and belief in me more now than I probably ever have or ever will.

I am thrilled about being on my own and having increased adult responsibilities and freedoms. Along with this new responsibility comes a desire to also be treated like an adult. At times I may just need some space or to be left alone. I know it will be hard, but don’t turn away even when I do. There are going to be other times when I do need you and I will want you to be there for me. Let’s make a deal—I promise to ask for help when I need it, if you promise not to “volunteer” help when I don’t ask for it.

Remember I have to make my own decisions now—you can’t be part of every important choice. And please understand that I am going to make some mistakes. For the first time in my life, the consequences of my decisions are all my own. You can’t save me from every bad experience, even if you have been through the same thing yourself. Did you listen to your parents’ advice all the time?

Keep in touch with me—whether it is by phone or through e-mail, please say “hi” once in a while and remind me that you love me. I may not act like it is a big deal, but it is. Staying involved and interested in what is happening in my world means a great deal. Please be sensitive to my struggles. They may seem trivial to you, but they aren’t to me. There will be times when I feel overwhelmed and very stressed—please just listen to me and encourage me.

Most important of all, remember that I love you and that I did listen to the things you taught me as I was growing up. Just because we don’t see each other every day doesn’t mean we can’t still be close. I respect your advice and judgment more than you know and I hope that you can respect and trust me, too. While I may no longer need rules and help with every decision any longer, your guidance and expectations will always be important to me. I still need you to be my parent, but I also need you to be my friend.

Love,

Your son or daughter