How College Students Feel!

Here is a real-life exchange between my daughter “A” and me last year before she graduated from college. I was expecting her to apply to internships and jobs, she was planning a cruise with her friends after graduation (paying from her savings). I said no, because I wanted her to start working and earn her own money once she was done studying. “A” responded with this email:
I let C know I applied but they keep the position open till May 4th so I guess I will hear then? Plus, that internship and also the discovery one (so I’m guessing many others) start June 18th which is after the cruise and I’m not gonna get drunk and fall over the railing. Just cuz you don’t like cruises, you can’t keep everyone else from going on one, plus when I get an internship and a job my life is basically over and I won’t be able to travel or do anything and that’s what people always say to go on crazy adventures and travel when you’re in your twenties when you’re young and have time. And I’m not being overly dramatic; it’s proven science that every year you sit in a tiny cubicle punching numbers and listen to your boring boss talk about boring numbers, mergers, and other crap, more and more of your soul dies till one day you lose your mind and hang yourself from your shower curtain…suicide in adults is increasing because people start hating their routine lives of going to the same boring job everyday coming home to their spouse of 30 plus years and sit in silence with the TV on in the background because they ran out of things to talk about 20 years ago and are only staying together because divorce is expensive and neither has anything the other wants half of anyways. Seriously look at pictures of adults…real adults not models, look how their smiles never reach their eyes, how their eyes are dead inside. Then look at pictures of kids how their eyes shine bright with hopes and dreams and are so full of life. If the eyes are really windows to the soul then looking at the eyes of adults show how dead inside they are, how dead inside we will all become sooner or later. Our imminent death reaches us many years before our bodies actually crap out on us. You see, we die three times: 1 when the soul already gives up and leaves us, 2 when our bodies shut down forever and 3 when the last living person on earth says our name for the last time because we all are insignificant and we will all be forgotten eventually so what is the point? You see we all learn in college about the life that awaits us after, how hell is not a place where bad souls go when they die, it is right here on earth called corporate America and you see why we really never want to graduate. Hence, please let me go on this cruise before death number 1 becomes real. “A”
Mom’s response: Where on earth did you hear that crap?! We just had a group discussion in the hallway debating your argument. My co-workers and even the boss told me to let you go. You should be a lawyer. But you will have to tell Dad when you come home. Mom
Okay cool see ya tomorrow! Thanks :) “A”
(Mom) A few hours later: I thought about your argument some more: First of all, children’s eyes shine bright with hopes and dreams because their bills are still paid for by adults, as were yours up to now. Second, I am deliriously happy with my life, my job, my hobbies and even chores because I do all the things I am passionate about, so my smiles do reach my eyes. Life is not over after you graduate and not all adults feel dead in their jobs. I am thrilled when I wake up in the mornings and can’t wait to start the day. I take classes that challenge and excite me, I work with amazing people, I indulge in my passions – reading, writing, walking, coffee, chocolate – and I expect good news and miracles every day. My life rocks!!!
I haven’t told Dad yet, you can do that when you come home.
Now get busy and keep applying, you will see that earning your own money and paying your bills is awesome and liberating!! Mom
(I am happy to add that the cruise went well, “A” didn’t fall overboard, and afterward landed a good internship in Cambridge, England for six months from which she will be returning next week.

Daughter asks “Helicopter Mom” to back off!

I need you to listen to me and I need you to listen good because I’m really about to lose it and I don’t really know how to say this without it sounding mean and I hope it doesn’t hurt your feelings, that’s not my intention but I’m not one to sugarcoat anything so here it is.
Stop helping me.
I don’t ask for it hardly ever you just always do. And help is good but I don’t want you to help me anymore unless I come to you to for it because I really don’t know what to do like paying taxes or bills or that kind of adult stuff. When I come to you stressing out I just want to vent and I just want your support. I don’t want a life lesson and I don’t actually want help unless I say “Mom idk what I’m doing I need help”. All my life you’ve been doing things for me before I could ever even try to do it myself. I went to college and my suitemate had to teach me how to do laundry…I mean I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t and yes our basement still really creeps me out but still. I like being able to do things for myself like for instance I didn’t tell you about my whole bankcard situation from Germany until about December because for the whole month of November I was trying to fix it myself and then when I was totally out of ideas I came to you. That’s why I get so mad when you have dozens of people changing my resume… I know you show your colleagues because they are intelligent and highly educated but you forget that I am too. I took an interviewing class where we learned fundamental interviewing skills but also how to properly formulate a resume, cover letter and elevator pitch and I got an A in that class and my senior year I took Business and Professional Communications where we polished those skills and I got an A in that, too. But you don’t believe that I am great too, I know you say you do but you constantly doubt my abilities and need to call in your professional friends before I can even try.
But I learned at school, away from home, how truly great I am. I solved so many problems on my own; ones that you never knew and probably never will know about and so I learned new skills and shaped the person I am today that I have come to really like. I know that sounds a bit stuck up but that’s just because we live in a society where if you like yourself and put yourself first you’re a bad person. How dare I look in the mirror and not become horribly depressed by what I see, how dare I walk with my head up and not be afraid of the world…well, oh well.
And maybe you don’t doubt me, not really, but you’re so afraid of me failing that you push any problem I might face out of the way. But I’m not afraid of failing. In fact I know you have to fail in order to succeed. So overall, I’m not living to please you anymore, or Dad or anyone else. I’m living for me and is that selfish? Damn right it is, but it’s my life and I am allowed to be selfish. Just like you should be selfish with your life. Everyone should be selfish with their own life and living for themselves, it’s their life and no one else’s. And that’s okay. It’s good! We just live in a world where we are taught that being selfish is a bad thing but it’s not really if you think about it.
So, I’m probably not going to email that girl from that place you told me about because I’m not interested in that kind of work. In the past I have always done what you wanted me to do and I’ve mostly ended up not liking it (no offense) like I took the first job that hired me in school. I hated it and I was holding out on working at Forever 21 but you told me to take the first job that hired me, so I did. Same with X University. I didn’t really wanna go there but they were the first school that accepted me and were relatively cheap. So there I went and the only reason I didn’t try to transfer was because of my sorority which I did for myself and by myself. I worked hard to get in and I worked hard for the positions I held and I felt really accomplished and that’s part of the reason why I loved it so much. I also took that spa job even though I knew I would hear back from [the internship] soon but there was nothing I could do because you emailed L for me because I wouldn’t answer my phone because I was the game with Dad…of course I wasn’t gonna answer my phone mom! But there I went and then just as I knew would happen I had to get myself out of a situation that I didn’t wanna be in that you put me in. But it wasn’t you that had to make the phone call saying I had to leave and I had wasted both their and my time so I guess your hands are clean.
And this internship…As fantastic as this opportunity is and I love every second of it, you made this happen with M, not me so it’s not really my accomplishment is it? You single handedly paid for my schooling which is seriously the greatest gift I have ever received and I can’t thank you enough for it, but if you paid for it then it’s not really mine is it? I know I put in the work but whose really is it? I mean do I really have a single accomplishment that I can call my own? I guess not yet. You guys own my car and the house I live in, my dog and the cats. You really could just kick me out and leave me nothing if you wanted to. I own nothing yet…am nothing really and I don’t like anyone having that kind of power or control over me, or any kind of power or control, so I will live out my dreams, I will find myself a job in the city that I love and I will do it on my own with my own acquired skills and when I fail a few times that will be on me. I will have no one to blame but myself and I will be okay, and when I succeed and oh, will I succeed, it will be a fabulous day because I know I did it. And of course I know I will need some help along the way, but you have to at least let me try alone first. Does that make sense?
Please don’t think that I think you’re a bad mom, you’re a great mom and pretty cool and I love you, but I just need you to back off with the helping so much. Support and just being there is enough I swear and I will come to you for help when I need it, but I need to try it on my own a bit first. And if all this makes me seem like a bad person or even a bad daughter then sorry, but I’m not sorry. This is just me growing up and that’s a good thing!!
Anyways, sorry to drop all this on you but I’m gonna lose my mind if it stays this way. You don’t have to respond if you don’t want to or you can scream at me I guess, but I won’t see it till tomorrow because I need sleep and morning comes early.
Good night, love you!

Response: This is probably the best letter in history and it makes me feel FREE! I love every word you wrote and I will treasure this letter forever and refer to it when I feel the need to step in.
If it weren’t for Dad always thinking the worst, worrying about you getting a job, I think I would be more relaxed. But I will read it to him and together we will try to back off.
You still need a ride home from the airport, right?
You are awesome, amazing and I am the proudest mama ever. Now I hope I can let you live your life. I never planned on becoming a helicopter mom or to love you too much to let you breathe, but when you were born and they laid you into my arms, and I looked at you and you at me, this is what happened. My life, my being, all evaporated and you became my whole life. That’s the only way I can describe it. Still better than the other way around though, right?
This is incredible, thank you. Love always, your Mama