Dear Annie: I am a college student who is about two years from graduating. I have been living with my parents while I am in school, because it’s cheaper than living on campus.
A few years ago, I decided, for several reasons, to move from Ohio to Florida when I graduate. Although my parents have told me my entire life to do what I want to do, they are against this move. When I first told them about this decision, they thought I was just dreaming. However, as my college education is winding up, they are trying to convince me to stay. They will not let up with their reasons for me to continue to live here.
I keep telling my family that moving is not a final goodbye. They are welcome to visit anytime, and I surely will return to Ohio now and then. But this information hasn’t convinced them to stop badgering me. I don’t think I can take the pressure anymore. What do I do? – Pressured Family
Dear Pressured: Your family wants you to stick around because they will miss you terribly if you move away. They foresee you marrying someone from Florida and raising a family there, where you will have only periodic contact. You see this as developing your independence. They see it as a permanent separation. If you can understand their underlying fear and sadness, it will help you respond more compassionately to their “badgering.” But this is your decision to make, whether or not they agree, so please have the courage of your convictions, which includes the ability to withstand the pressure.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@ comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.