Growing up, it’s natural to be dependent and reliant on your parents, especially if you’re not even an adult yet. As you get older, you either get taught to do things, learn how to do things, or you’re still asking your parents for favors. Being somewhat reliant on your parents is perfectly fine as a college student, but how reliant should you still be?
To start off, if you are a part of a family with financial stability, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your parents paying for things. And if you are a part of a family with an unstable financial background, that is okay too! Either way, it is important to start inching your way into being independent. For example, if you have the time to get a part-time job when you’re in school, try to find one. Making your own money will give you some financial freedom and valuable skills to lead you into good saving and spending habits. Before you know it, you will be able to form a budget which you can divide into investments and an emergency savings fund (if you can save at least $1,000 in a do-not-touch account, you will already feel more self-reliant. How great is that?).
Whether you’re fresh out of high school or you’ve been in college for a couple years, it is perfectly fine if you want to focus on your education and let your parents pay for your needs. However, there comes a time when you have to stop being completely reliant on your parents and learn to do things for yourself. For example, when you’re away at college or even if you are commuting, laundry is something every adult should learn how to do. When you learn how to do laundry on your own, you won’t have to depend on your parents doing it, especially if there’s an item you need cleaned as soon as possible.
Being less reliant also includes learning how to cook. At the end of the day, you don’t need to be Chef Boyardee, but learning some cooking basics when you’re away from your family is essential. Hey, it may seem scary at first, but picking up some vegetables and cooking oil is a money-saving no-brainer compared to more expensive options like dining out.
Another area you can’t always rely on your parents for is managing your schedule. Instead of asking your parents when your next dentist appointment is, you can call yourself. Sometimes, they may not be able to make the time to call and set up your appointments for you, so this is something you will eventually have to feel comfortable doing. When you learn to feel comfortable and set up appointments yourself, you’ll feel better about reaching out to people, and you won’t have to wait on anyone to do things for you. It’s a quick and easy process, and you’ll get the hang of it before you know it.
If you don’t have a car and you depend on your parents to give you a ride, it may be beneficial to learn how the bus systems work in your city. Whether you’re taking the bus to the mall or the train for an appointment, learning how they work can help you to not wait around for your parents to drive you and pick you up. It’ll also allow you to figure out where everything is in your city (if you’re away for college) and can help you to do things on your own.
If your parents are still doing all the above for you, you may be too reliant on them. However, slowly inching your way to be comfortable doing these things will help you to slowly be independent. It just takes one day at a time and soon enough, you will find doing these tasks as easy and quick.
My name is Linda Tran. I'm 24 years old from Boston and I'm majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Social Media at the Southern New Hampshire University. A fun fact about me is that I learned coding and HTML at the age of 11.