Students discover freedom on campus

For many students college is the first step to being on your own. No longer do you have the pressures of your parents’ watchful eyes looking out for your best interests, or their constant push on your everyday life.

College is the time for students to become young adults and come into their own. Now that many students are on their own for the first time, one question comes up: “How do I make it on my own?”

During freshman year many were still getting used to not having mommy and daddy around to hold their hand. Now they are stuck with dealing with the reality of having to be their own bosses.

“I was scared ’cause I thought I was going to come up here and mess up. I thought I would not focus because I no longer had someone telling me what to do, but thankfully it all worked out for the best,” said Desarae Garland, a third-year pharmacy student from Orlando.

Arriving at college was the first step. The second was, “what to do now that I know I no longer have to answer to my parents about my actions?” When that realization occurs, many students begin to build their social life.

When living with parents, the thought of living alone and free of their rules is commonly anticipated and eagerly desired. During this time students begin to create expectations of college.

“I expected a lot of parties, different cultures and seeing people sticking with others from their hometown,” said Garland, 21.

Though parties, drinking and all-night hangouts are a common expectation of college campuses nationwide, many students at FAMU may become overwhelmed by the freedom of living on their own and the spontaneity of campus life.

After experiencing an exciting time on campus in which they make their own rules, going home can be difficult. The time students spend at home without itching to come back to Tallahassee, becomes shorter with every visit.

“When I was a freshman living in the dorms I went home a lot, but now that I live off-campus I really can’t stay home for a long period of time,” Garland said.

For many students the hardest part of going back home is adhering to parents’ old rules.

“I have a ten-day limit, after those days I start to get a little aggravated with my mom always telling what to do. I expect to come home for a break, but she always has a project for me; it is not like I can say no,” said Ketia Felix, a 19-year old sophomore physical therapy student.

Though the control parents have over their children while minors can be nerve-racking at times, many students still hold on to some rules set by their parents.

“I always keep my space clean and rarely go out on school nights,” said Kevin Lawrence, a freshman computer information systems student from St. Martin Island.

With the possibility of being their own bosses at hand, students are faced with the challenge of making their own rules.

“Although I make my own rules it is hard to stick to them,” said Lawrence, 19.

Living on their own for the first time is a big obstacle that many students must face. Living without the pressures of parents can be an added bonus, or it can lead to default. But through good advice and responsible actions student can succeed.

“I would say to anyone on their own for the first time to take what you learned from home and apply it to your life now,” Garland said. “It will help you in the long run here.”

Contact Katrelle Simmons at