Parents should let go in order to help students succeed after high school

Aubrey Illig, Staff Photographer

“Seatbelt on. No texting. No talking on the phone. Lights on. Under the speed limit.”
Thanks, Mom. I had no idea.
In a little under a month, I will be 18 years old.
I will be able to tattoo my body.
Buy lottery tickets and cigarettes.
Move out.
Drop out of high school.
I can do what I want without permission from my parents.
And here I am, driving a block and a half to Starbucks, and I’ve got my Mom, Cop Michelle, reminding me of things I have known since I was out of my car seat.
As I have considered my current debacle, I looked around at my surrounding peers and realized some of them face the same challenge.
Our parents do not know how to let go.
They don’t know how to let us grow up.
They need to let us become our own people.
In under a year, I am possibly going to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design.
1,068 miles away.
That’s a 17 hour 48 minute drive, to be exact.
What is my mom going to do then?
Make me call her every time I get to class, go out, and get back to my dorm? That seems illogical.
This is my last year to be a kid, and I understand that.
However, it is also a transition period. I am learning how to be responsible, be an adult and apply the lessons you have taught me for nearly 18 years now.
I know you are only trying to protect me because you are my mother and you want me to be safe and happy. But I promise, I’ve got this.
You taught me well.
From the basics of being a good person, to things like changing my car’s oil and making dinner that consists of more than bread and peanut butter.
I am going to make mistakes. I am going to get speeding tickets. I am going to get my heart broken. I am going to learn. I am going to grow up.
It is all a part of life.
Not to be completely cliche, but eventually, I am going to have to leave the nest and try to fly on my own.
Unfortunately for you, you’re going to have to let me.
I know even after reading this you probably won’t accept it.
You probably are not going to see the point of this entire thing just because you do not want to accept the fact I’ve grown up.
I know in your blurry eyes you don’t see me quite clearly. I am not the 5 year old little girl who scraped her knee and needed my mommy to take care of me.
I am a nearly 18 year old, preparing to start my own life, preparing to go off on my own and get an education, job, husband, family and home — and no, not a home next door to yours.
We are not going to be able to Skype every night, be next door neighbors one day, and be mom and daughter best friends for the rest of our lives.
I am always going to need you.
You were the best mother a girl could have ever asked for and you did everything to the moon and back to give me the world.
And you did.
Now it is my turn.
I am going to have to do it alone.