College Anxiety

Should I go away for college or stay home?

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I am currently going into my senior year of high school and I already have a lot of anxiety about college. My anxiety does not come from being afraid to fail or being afraid of resposibility. I am ready for college. I honestly can't wait for college. My problem is that my parents want me to go to the community college and then go to a local college and live at home. My parents and I have had problems in the past that stemmed from my behavior. I wasn't always the person that I am today. I got caught doing things I shouldnt have and got into a lot of trouble. Since then I have given my life to Christ and I no longer participate in activities that I once did. It has been a year since my punishment began and I am still not fully ungrounded although I am slowly getting priveledges back. I am now allowed to go to and from my babysitting job and also use my phone to talk to family members only. I have had talks with my mom to get her to understand that I am 17 and in less than a year I will be an adult and I feel like she is not trusting me enough. I understand that she is apprehencive about my future due to my actions in the past but at the same time I feel like I need some control of my life. When it comes to school I have always excelled and I have already recieved scholarship offers with more to come. I also already have five out of the nine classes i need for freshman year completed. I would love to go to a university that is three hours from home because they have an excellent nursing program but my parents are very against the idea. I feel like if i go to a community college then I will be compromising the dreams I have for my future. I don't want to settle for an education when ive worked so hard to get to where I am today. My parents have said they are not going to be able to support me financially whether I go close to home or away. They have also said that if I choose to go to a college away from home then I will not recieve their moral support either. I want to get out on my own and start making my own choices but I also do not want to cause problems with my parents. I know that it would cause problems at first but then they would get over it later. What do you think about the situation? I really need advice from an outsider. Thanks so much, Krista
It would probably be helpful to talk to your guidance counselor about some of these issues, and talk to staff at the local community college and at colleges you are interested in attending. They will help you sort through the nuts and bolts of financial issues, educational paths, how various choices will affect your overall plan, etc. It may be fine to go to community college for the first couple of years, then transfer to another college for the core courses of your major, in terms of your overall education.

At some point, your parents are going to have to let you go and make your own mistakes. Normally, staying at home has financial and other advantages well worth looking at, but from what you have described about your relationship with your parents, the disadvantages may outweigh the advantages. One possibility may be to go to community college for a year, staying at home, and see how it goes. Though, as a side note, I'm not sure why there is any advantage to going to the local community college as opposed to the local 4-year college. It would give you the opportunity to show your parents your ability to handle responsibility and may ease their fears about your going away to University. Or, it could be a year of stress and frustration for everybody. In that case, you have the bulk of your education still ahead of you and can change your plans.

No disrespect for your parents, as a parent of an adult daughter, I've made plenty of my own mistakes. But, I wonder if they have considered that it might be better for you to make your adjustments to independence and responsibility earlier in your schooling rather than later, or later in adult life? I wonder if they have thought through the idea of not lending moral support if you choose to go away to college; are they not running a great risk that, by "throwing you to the wolves", you might be more likely to be eaten by the wolves?
I know that my parents care about me because if they didnt then they would care less what I did. But im at a point where Im not sure how to show them I can handle things. I do the things they tell me to. I babysit and pay for my car insurance even though im only allowed to drive for babysitting. i pay for my phone even though im only allwed to talk to family. I make straight As. I am president of FCA at school. I take 4 college classes. I have gotten several scholarships. I do chores such as clean the kitchen and living room and my room everyday. I even do my laundry plus my 3 younger siblings laundry. I tell my parents everything to ensure their trust will build. I just dont know what else to do. My mom has said several times that I will be grounded until im 18. So i guess they are throwing me to the wolves. I just really wish they realized that they arent making life easier for me by any means. They are pushing me farther away. They are making me want to go away to college even more. My guidance councelor has talked to them with me about the issue. He said although a community college wouldnt be a bad thing for me, with all my cedit hours I have, it would be wiser to go to a 4 year college or university and have a light freshman year curriculum and get adjusted to life on my own. As a parent, what is your suggestion to make them realize I am responsible?
I'm not sure there is much more you can do at this point to demonstrate your trustworthiness. The disciplines you have been exercising will stand you in good stead when you do go out on your own, so even if your parents don't respond to them as you would hope, they are of value to you. The best you can do is continue to be responsible during this next year, which will demonstrate consistency. Ultimately, it may be that the only way to demonstrate your ability to handle being out on your own is to actually go out on your own and do well academically and in your personal life. In which case it may be better to go to the university three hours away. If that, and what you are doing now isn't enough to allay your parents' fears, then it becomes painfully obvious that it is they who have the issue and it is they who will have to deal with that issue. I know that in my own family, each of my siblings had to have a talk with our mother where they basically had to tell her that they were adults now and that she had to accept that and the decisions they made as adults. It never occurred to me to have that talk, and I probably should have, though I have come to terms with my own relationship with my mother in my own way.

I would encourage you to continue to be open with your parents, keeping them in the loop as to what you are doing. It may not be possible to make them realize that you are responsible. That's the problem with human relationships, is that despite our best efforts, the other person is an independent person with their own perceptions and will. Pray for them, respect them, and do what you can to live in peace with them.

As you go forward, you are going to need to make decisions that are healthy. Some of those decisions will probably conflict with your parents' wishes. It is not healthy for either you or your parents to treat you as a child who continually needs strict control to prevent disaster. It is not healthy for you to navigate life under the external control of someone else's will and conscience rather than your own. A healthy relationship is one where the child benefits from their parents' experience and advice, but where they make their own decisions. In a healthy relationship the parents learn to adapt to their child's continued development into an adult. All of that to say that there will be conflicts in the process of growing up. It's actually a normal part of growing up, though you have perhaps more of some issues than others experience.

You seem to have a good head on your shoulders, so I expect that, as frustrating as some things may be this year, it will nonetheless be a character-building year. It will require disciplines and grace from you that will make you a stronger person, better able to take advantage of the opportunities you encounter in life. I doubt you will be like so many students I saw in college. They spent most of their first year or two partying and taking full advantage of their new freedom. Eventually, most of them woke up after a while and realized that they needed to buckle down and apply themselves if they were to get anywhere in life. There are challenges ahead, it is true, but I have confidence in you, trust in God and He'll bring you through.
I agree with Rumely.
From what you've told us, it seems you are pointed in the right direction. Perhaps you should encourage your parents with the acknowledgement that, yes, you made some bad decisions in the past, but 1. You have learned from your mistake. 2. They should take part of the credit (with God's grace) for helping you to refocus and get on the right path. And 3. God is faithful! He has redirected you and they should attempt to see this victory.

I will readily admit that as a parent, it's hard to get to the place where you can completely trust God to keep your kids safe in this world. I'm still working on this. Necessity pushes me there with 3 teenage sons in my family - AND because of my own upbringing.

May He bless you and make your path straight. Remember Psalm 119:105 His word is a lamp into your feet (helps you see more clearly right now) and a light unto your path (helps you see clearly in the near future). Draw near to God and spend enormous amounts of time with Him reading His word and in prayer. He will not leave you wanting!!
I trust that the Lord will help me to make the right choice. My thoughts as of now are worst case scenario, my parents will not like that i go off to college but I know that they will get over it. I know that sounds bad but I kinda feel like I need my independence and I need to grow as an individual. I will just keep praying and concentrating on the continuation of the things im doing now. thanks so much for your help!