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Family relationships grow stronger at students attend college

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A student texts their mom while away at college. 

*Editor’s Note: Sophomore Grace Su prefers “They/Them” pronouns

Doane students have found that their relationships with their parents have grown stronger since they left.

In a survey conducted by the Doane Owl, 85 of 100 respondents said their relationships with their parents have improved.

Sophomore Grace Su left their family in California. Su said their relationship with their mother was stronger since leaving.

“I’ve matured and I think not being in the same vicinity of each other 24/7 is helpful,” Su said.

Su said they talked to their mom at least once a week.

27 percent of respondents said they talked to their parents once a week. Forty-four percent said a few times a week.

Su said they missed their mom, but that they weren’t “crippled” by that. Su said saying goodbye to their family was not that hard.

“It was probably harder for my mom than for me,” Su said.

Su said it was hard not being able to go home for three day weekends or breaks.

“Especially since I do summer research, there can be long gaps between when I go home and being here,” Su said.

One survey respondent said, “I’ve grown to appreciate my family more now that I’ve experienced time away from them.”

Su expected their relationship to stay strong after college. They plan to live at home while attending graduate school.

Respondents to the survey said they were satisfied with their family relationships.

“The more mature I get, the more satisfying the relationships are,” said one response.

Likewise, several respondents said they wouldn’t change anything in their family relationships. Others expressed wishes that their parents would let them (the student) be more independent.

Many respondents said their friendships they’ve made in college had replaced the missing family dynamic.

“Maybe it’s just me, but I honestly think that living far away from your family is easier than people think,” said Su. “It seems scary, but it’s not that bad. You can text, Facetime, call. It’s much easier than it was 20 years ago.”