Posts Tagged ‘parents’

Confessions of a “Golden Child”

Thursday, June 6th, 2024

You have probably heard about us. The children who behave just as expected—when the expectations are high—and the ones the family brags about. We are known as the “Golden Child” and can do nothing but shine.

Since birth, I was expected to be obedient, the treasure my parents could show the world and say, “She’s such a good girl; she gives us no trouble.” I was—indeed—so good at it. It was my innate talent. My behavior? Impeccable; my grades? Outstanding; and when my little sister was born, I was expected to be something even bigger than a golden child: a role model. And the gold chain of my success started weighing me down.

The heaviness projected towards the shaping of my personality. I became a people-pleasing, rule-following, perfectionist child who hated herself whenever she made a mistake. My parents often described me as “shy” to excuse my quietness, but the reason for my lack of words was nothing else but fear. Fearfulness and the inevitable anxiety that comes with it filled my days, living terrified of saying the wrong thing or acting the wrong way. Somehow, I had connected my high grades and good manners to my parents’ love; one couldn’t exist without the other.

Image Credit:

On the other hand, my little sister would grow to be as imperfect as she needed to be. She would misbehave and do badly in school. Still, instead of getting my parents’ disapproval—like I thought I would get—they hired tutors, stayed on top of her homework, and showered her with gifts anytime she’d get something higher than a D. Regrettably, this response from my parents planted a seed of resentment. I have always loved my sister, but growing up, I couldn’t help but be upset at the different treatments we got. I failed to see that this also affected her, after all, living while feeling you need to reach your big sister’s standards also creates resentment.

As an adult, I understand my parents didn’t think I needed special attention. I was always so put together, “mature for my age,” and such a good student that my achievements were just as expected of me. My A’s were not as impressive as my sister’s C’s. They didn’t do this on purpose or with bad intentions; my sister deserved all the attention she got. Unfortunately, the effects of this imbalance between us are clear. My sister is now a confident woman who understands her value is not determined by her mistakes, while I am still insecure and believe perfection is the only way to get people to love me. However, since I moved to New York City and away from the need to please my parents, I’m slowly finding my worth beyond my grades.

Finding what I enjoy outside of a classroom

When I got here, I made mistakes, so many mistakes. I misbehaved, revealed, and learned to forgive myself for that. I eventually realized my parents didn’t stop loving me even if I wasn’t their golden child anymore, so I forgave them for making me think that. My sister and I forgave each other and became the best friends we were always supposed to be. Most importantly, I took pride in my academic achievements for the first time in a long time. I always told others that “getting A’s is not something to be proud of” as a defense mechanism because it wasn’t celebrated in my house. For five years, I stopped attending school and concentrated on finding what made me worthy.

Throughout the quest to find my value as a human being, I decided to apply for college and allow myself to enjoy my life as a student. For the first time in a while, my high GPA made me proud because I saw it as the fruit of my efforts and not as a testament to my worth, a reason for others to like me. Sometimes it is still tempting to measure my value against my academic achievements because I am still unlearning many things. It is an ongoing, difficult journey but it is also necessary. To fully embrace my college journey, I must let go of my search for perfection and focus on what being a student is about: learning and connecting.

If you are your parents’ “Golden Child” right now and feel the suffocating burden that inevitably comes with it, I hope you understand soon that you are allowed to make mistakes, that you must aim high for yourself and not others, and that your value goes beyond how bright you shine.

Use this student discount for a delicious burger combo. Vegan option available.

By Roxanna Cardenas

Roxanna is a Venezuelan writer living in New York City. Her works include essays, poetry, screenplays, and short stories. She explores fiction and non-fiction genres, with a special interest in horror and sci-fi. She has an A.A. in Writing and Literature and is working on her B.A. in English with a Creative Writing concentration.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC,  from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services.  

At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


Chapter 2: Keeping Parents in the Picture

Thursday, August 11th, 2022

After the last lamp is unloaded from the pile of Amazon boxes and set up in your room–with maybe a few choice words uttered along the way–, you follow your parents back outside to your family car. The trunk is still open from unloading all of your many (some would say too many) dorm necessities and decorations for your first year in college. With the momentous closing of the trunk, you exchange heartfelt goodbyes with your parents, filled with tight hugs, words of encouragement, and maybe even a tear or two for good measure. As the family car pulls away from your very first dorm building, you can’t help but take a deep breath and savor your newfound freedom. Your parents are (seemingly) out of your life for good, and you can’t help but feel a wave of excitement for all of the fun you’re going to have. No parents mean no rules, and no rules mean you can do whatever you want. It’s time to start a new adventure.

Except… that’s not really how it works. Your parents are not gone forever. In fact, they might even be coming back in four weeks for parent’s weekend. Maybe you have plans to see them over a fall break or Thanksgiving weekend. Regardless of how much you see them when your parents send you off to college, it doesn’t stop them from being your parents. For better or for worse, your parents play a significant role in shaping who you are as a person. On a strictly surface level, they feed you, clothe you, and give you shelter. Sometimes they are the ones driving you to and from school or registering you for different activities. They even impact your mannerisms, interests, and personality traits in ways you don’t even realize. Even though they won’t be present in your everyday life anymore, you can work to maintain a good relationship with them while in college. Using the following tips and tricks can help you to form a great bond with your parental guardians while still expressing your freedom in your time away from home.

My first and most important tip is to set a time to call your parents each week. While the average college student has frequent contact with their parents, remembering to do this can be valuable for anyone in college. I strongly recommend doing something like this for a multitude of reasons. It gives your parents an opportunity to know what’s going on in your life. If you have a positive relationship with your parents, it helps you catch up with each other. If you have a less than positive relationship with your parents, this can be an easy way to keep minimal contact with them. If you are a person who enjoys having structure and making plans to keep yourself accountable, regimented meetings such as these every week can even become benchmarks for organizing a schedule, or an exercise in debriefing your week out loud with people who care about you. Weekly phone calls were something that I struggled with at first because I felt completely sucked into my college experience, leaving no room to think about what was happening at home. This is largely because I go to a college that is close to where I live, so I was focused on completely separating my life at home from my life at college. I was afraid that my parents would try to act as if I had never gone to college and were going to expect me to be at home when I didn’t want to be. But by establishing firm boundaries between home and college, I was able to enjoy my time on campus while not feeling bad about coming home once in a while for special events. Now, going to my senior year, I often look forward to reconnecting with my parents. Instead of being a reminder of my home that I wanted to escape, they became an escape from some of my more chaotic times at college. 

One of the downsides to living on your own and away from your parents is that you lack them as a readily available resource. While adjusting to doing everything on your own can be difficult, it is okay to ask for help. Often, parents can become even more eager to help their children with whatever may be concerning them during this difficult transition to independent living at college. However, it can be tempting to abuse this and just ask your parents to do everything for you, like asking them to fill out certain forms when you don’t want to deal with them. This brings me to my next piece of advice, which is to ask your parents to teach you how to do things, not to have them do things for you. While Google can be your best friend for smaller tasks, you can use your parents as a resource for bigger tasks that require more explaining or experience to teach. Using your parents as a resource is important because it forces you to learn how to do the activity yourself instead of having to learn it on the fly when you’re living alone. College is all about learning, so what better time is there to learn life skills than in a safe environment where there are fewer consequences if something goes wrong? And if you’re someone who likes to talk with your parents, this can be another excuse to catch up or learn hilarious stories from when they were learning these life skills. 

In the same way that you don’t want to take advantage of your parents, you also want to make sure that your parents don’t take advantage of you and try to dictate your college experience. It’s no secret that parents today are more involved in their child’s life than ever before. While the ever-inflating price of a college degree may be perceived as a good reason for that, some parents use that as an excuse to control every aspect of their child’s life, from the classes they can take to the places that they can live. This can lead to students going through multiple years of college studying subjects they have no interest in or missing a social life they desperately need. While I acknowledge that every situation is different and that it can be difficult to go against your parent’s requests, I strongly recommend that you work as hard as you can to have a college and independent living experience that is good for you, not one that is strictly good for your parents. One helpful tactic when discussing with your parents about these issues is to not ask what they want but to ask what they are trying to accomplish. Here’s an example: a year ago, my parents asked me for the password to my log in to my portal account in college. I didn’t feel comfortable with my parents being able to go into my account at all times, so I asked them why they wanted access to the account. I learned that they wanted to know my grades at the end of each semester. We were able to come to an agreement that I could find a time to show them my grades each semester, instead of them going in to check themselves. While this won’t work all the time, addressing the root of the issue can help both parties come together towards a better solution. 

At the end of the day, every family is different, and your relationship with your parents is unique to you. Maybe you love to talk to them every day, or maybe you prefer learning how to do things by yourself. Nevertheless, I hope one or more of these tips can be useful to you. If you learn anything from this, it’s that a relationship with your parents is not only worth maintaining but can be invaluable for a great college experience. By the time I was getting ready to start my first semester, I, like many other college students, was basically starting to get sick of my parents. Everything they did and said annoyed me, and I felt like I had to get away from them at all costs. But by the end of the first year, I felt like my relationship with my parents was stronger than ever before. As long as you put in a little effort, happy parents can help you go a long way in both college and beyond.

Speaking of adults and responsibilities, setting dentist appointments are one in the large list of things that you’re going to have to figure out how to manage and afford for yourself. Luckily, Ultimate Dental of Cambridge has your back. You can get up 20% off an appointment with this coupon and a student ID.

By: Lucas Pratt

Lucas Pratt is a senior at Boston College studying Philosophy, English, and Chinese. He enjoys games of all kinds, Dungeons and Dragons, and getting around to finishing the copy of Dune that’s been sitting on his nightstand for months on end. Lucas has decided that the words “employable majors” don’t mean anything to him, and is eagerly seeing where the world takes him in the future.

For over 20 years, the Campus Clipper has been offering awesome student discounts in NYC, from the East Side to Greenwich Village. Along with inspiration, the company offers students a special coupon booklet and the Official Student Guide, which encourages them to discover new places in the city and save money on food, clothing, and services. At the Campus Clipper, not only do we help our interns learn new skills, make money, and create wonderful e-books, we give them a platform to teach others. Check our website for more student savings and watch our YouTube video showing off some of New York City’s finest students during the Welcome Week of 2015.


When Home Is Where the Heart Isn’t: Moving Back in with Your Parents

Saturday, June 16th, 2012

There’s no place like home—and good thing, because it’s hard enough dealing with just one of them. The dream life after college varies among students, but these dreams often have one goal in common: never live with parents again. Study results vary, but anywhere from a mere 20-47% of graduates actually achieve this goal right away, hence why we have been dubbed “Boomerang Kids” and “The Lost Generation.”

After having lived on campus and away from home, many students struggle with moving back in with their family, whether just for the summer or for who-knows-how-long after graduation. They might have to share a car or deal with the fact that what was once their bedroom is now the guest room. They might have to take care of pets and siblings. They might have to pay attention to how many possibly-inappropriate “That’s what she said” jokes they make (or maybe that’s just me). They might have to participate in housekeeping that goes beyond the fend-for-yourself methods that worked with roommates. They might have to actually have pants on as they walk around the house.

There are good things about moving back home too, though. Most students won’t have to buy their own groceries, don’t have to pay rent (though there are plenty who do), and won’t have to live with roommates anymore. The opportunity to save money is often enough incentive to make the big move back to the mothership.

Whatever your at-home responsibilities include, family life can often get frustrating and can affect your feelings towards the people you love. The sense of independence that you gained in college might start to feel restricted by watchful eyes of a parent, guardian, or even siblings. When you move back home, how can you make sure both you and your parents keep your sanity?

Of course, our parents aren’t all the same, and these guidelines won’t work with everyone, but the main point to remember is that compromise is crucial to solving many problems. Let’s face it: if you hate moving home, you’d probably only do it if you have to, in which case your parents are doing you a favor. Therefore, you should try to meet them eye-to-eye on issues that concern them (or that they think concern them).

The Problem: You feel weird having friends over.
First, you might want to establish a policy on having friends over (particularly if you want to drink alcohol, do drunken cartwheels, smash bottles, do body shots, etc.). If your parents’ guidelines are not something that you agree with, deal with it. Though the people invited might be your trustworthy friends, the location is still not your own and you have to respect the property of others. Find another place to meet up with people, whether someone else’s house, a public park, or a bar.

The Problem: Your parents want to set a curfew.
Tell them or leave a note before you go out about when they can expect you back. Be honest about where you are going, and assure them that you will be responsible. If you end up staying out later than expected, call them to let them know. Establish beforehand if a text will suffice (no one ever feels comfortable drunkenly calling the ‘rents, but spell check always helps in texts).

The Problem: Your room is now a guest room and feels impersonal.
Explain that you need a place to call home and a room to call your room. Ask them if they wouldn’t mind if you personalized your room a little bit. Offer to change it back before you leave (if you ever do!), just as if you were living in an apartment or dorm room.

The Problem: The nagging never stops.
If your parents constantly assign you tasks or complain about what you haven’t done, ask them to write a list for you ahead of time. That way, they will get an idea of the number of things they are asking of you and you will have all their requests in one spot so that you don’t forget them. This might also enable you to discuss the demands and negotiate them.

The Problem: Your family is simply driving you crazy.
Get out of the house. Rather than spending every minute either at home or with friends (though they can be a great source of sanity), consider getting a job, even if it is not your “dream job” or on the path towards it. In terms of your resumé, future employers would rather see you that you worked anywhere than nowhere. This will also get you out of the house, keep you busy, and maybe even earn you some money so that you can work towards affording your own place (if you’re not already being charged rent).

The Problem: You have no money or car and feel trapped in the house.
Again, get a job. Save money. Maybe babysit a neighbor that you don’t need a car to drive to or find a person or mode of public transportation that can bring you to your job. Ask your parents for loans, but be sure to respect their contributions, keep track of them, and pay them back.

The Problem: Your relationship with your parents is deteriorating.
As they grow up, many children start to realize the potential for their parents to be friends as well as guardians. But once parents start to pick up the roles of “Mom” and “Dad” full-time again, it is important to keep the “friend” role going too. Talk to each other about how your days are going, fill your dinnertime with conversation, and hang out—whether that means watching TV or a movie, washing the cars in the driveway, going shopping, exercising, or even just going to the grocery store together. Helping out around the house will help to bring friendliness back into your relationship as well, since it will encourage more of a mutual we-are-in-this-together relationship and less of a predator-prey, all-you-do-is-live-under-my-roof-and-eat-my-food relationship. Personally, I like to set aside time right when I get home from work to do things around the house so that I can get it done and move on.

The Problem: It doesn’t look like you will ever get out of there.
Stay positive. Set a potential move-out date, get an idea of where you’d want to move to, do research, and get yourself excited with ideas for your independent home. Also, remember that you are not alone. There are millions of others in the same situation as you, like Sabrina.

Even if you do manage to achieve an orderly parent-child relationship, both you and your parents are probably still looking forward to the day that you move out. Know that it will come, but remember that it will not happen by itself. Work towards it, have patience, keep the peace in the meantime, and residential independence will be in your grasp soon enough.

Help the family save money (and appreciate you more!) by offering to pick up the groceries with this discount coupon!

Carina, New York University. Read my blog and check out my Twitter!

Click here to download the Campus Clipper iTunes App!

Follow Campus Clipper on Twitter or keep current by liking us on Facebook.

Interested in more deals for students? Sign up for our bi-weekly newsletter to get the latest in student discounts and promotions  and follow our Tumblr and Pinterest. For savings on-the-go, download our printable coupon e-book.