My Mom Won't Let Me Live On Campus

Question: I just got accepted into one of the two universities that I applied to. It's about 30 miles or 45 minutes away from where I live. Here's the thing. My mom, who I live with with (plus 2 siblings; no dad) wants us all to move to the city where the university is, but I want to live in the residence halls to meet new people and become a little more independent. My mom is a super, over-the-top "protective" parent. I know that if I tell her just like that, she'll go ballistic. I don't want to live on campus the whole time though. Just from Monday-Friday when I have classes and then at home for the weekends, breaks, and summer. I don't know how she'll take it, because I don't want her to tell me that if i move out, I can't live with her anymore. How do I tell her without causing problems?

I always tell parents that one of the most valuable parts of going to college can be the "going" itself. What you learn in the classrooms, library, and labs can sometimes pale when compared to the experiences you will glean from sharing space with a roommate and negotiating all the assorted challenges of dorm or apartment life. There's nothing like a few healthy, “Who ate my Reese's Pieces?" conversations (or “Didn't I vacuum last time?") to prepare a teenager for marriage down the road! And asking your neighbors politely to turn down their music at 2 a.m. can set the stage for a successful career in international diplomacy. ;-)

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