Learning to Appreciate the Helicopter Parent

Cam photoCameron Frazier will be serving as the 2016 Head Parent Orientation Leader. He is a Senior Mechanical Engineering major from Lacassine, Louisiana. He is an LSU Ambassador and has also been involved with STRIPES, Student Government, and LSU Lacrosse. His favorite spot on campus is Tiger Stadium on Saturday night.

Four springs ago, I sat in a vehicle on my way to Louisiana State University to attend the annual Spring Invitational, an event dedicated to recruiting and orienting high achieving students across the nation. It felt like the first big step in what would be an incredible journey for me on this campus. For reference, I am the only child of two incredibly loving and caring parents. For reasons I probably don’t need to explain here, they can be a bit… hands on when it comes to big steps in my life. Attending this University, as mentioned, was definitely such a step. I’ve learned along the way that this tendency to be so active in my affairs is okay.

Back to Spring Invitational, or SPIN as it is frequently called on campus. As I began to see and experience so many wonderful things this campus has to offer, I was overcome with the urge to be free. I wanted the upcoming fall to begin immediately so I could be on my own and tackle a million and one things. However, fall wasn’t close and I was still a part of our household of three. I wish I knew how many times during those few days I thought or mumbled “Ugh Mom.” She asked questions, she worried, and she probed me every step of the way. I can’t even imagine what she must have been experiencing as the day I would leave suddenly became painfully near. Being the stubborn child I am, though, I only saw my Mom “hovering” over me and wondered when it would end. Fast-forward through several years of wonderful experiences and it turns out that it still hasn’t. But stubborn ol’ Cam learned to appreciate it, not loathe it.

Cam pic 1

The reality is this: The transition into any University from a steady environment can be difficult for every party involved. Parents and guardians will miss their student. Students will miss home and likely never admit such a thing is occurring. Trust me when I say that there is NO reason that interactions between students and family should suffer. My parents are still as involved in my day-to-day as they were then. They still offer to shelter and protect me from two hours away. They are always calm ears I can pursue when I am in need of listening. And yes, at times they still “hover.” Your student will learn to appreciate this readiness to aid and willingness to love eventually. I encourage every family member to allow their student to come to this University and pursue their dreams; never hinder their ability to move forward. But don’t disappear either. We need you. We will always need you. We are here because of you. Allow us to fly and I promise our flight path will bring us back to you.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s