Distance doesn’t come between family

Theresa Edwards

Students maintain close ties with parents, keep in touch while away at school

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Cassie Jackson and her mother, Chris Jackson, sometimes go kayaking together when Cassie visits her home in Mentor, usually every other weekend.

Cassandra McClelland likes to shop with her mom, go out to dinner with her family and play cards when she goes home, about once a month.

But no matter whether Cassie goes home every other weekend or McClelland goes home once a month, they said they still feel they have close ties with their parents.

“It’s just me and my mom, and I guess that helps us be really close because that’s pretty much our family,” Cassie said.

She said she usually talks to her mom about twice a day, but sometimes, the phone calls can be a bit much.

“I don’t always want to elaborate on absolutely everything I’ve done,” she said.

But the sophomore nursing major said it’s good to know her mother is there for her.

“I think it’s more because we’re the only immediate family we have for each other,” Cassie said. “I don’t have any brothers or sisters. It’s just me and my mom, so we check up on each other.”

Freshman nursing major McClelland calls her family about three or four times a week to check in.

“I just keep them informed about things in case the worst happens; that way, they don’t freak out about it,” she said.

Chris’s communication with Cassie is similar to McClelland’s communication with her family.

“I think we kind of look forward to it,” Chris said. “It’s a little reassurance that we’re both OK.”

It’s hard for her when Cassie visits and then leaves, Chris said, but she thinks it’s harder for Cassie because she’s used to her freedom. When Cassie goes home, there are still curfews and rules to follow.

“She has to be considerate of my needs, too, because I get up early in the morning, so she has to be home a little earlier when she comes home,” Chris said.

Cassie, a transfer student to Kent State, previously attended Toledo. While there, she was on the flag core and had weekly football games that her mother would attend.

She said it was good to see her mother and to know that she supported her.

“It helped me adjust to being away from home,” Cassie said.

Chris not only provides moral support but is an active participant in Cassie’s education. Her mom helped her with her admission to Toledo by going to open houses and campus tours. But when Cassie transferred to Kent State, she took care of the transfer process herself.

Admissions Counselor Kjera Melton said parents are usually very involved in admissions. They usually call or stop by the office with their student to help them along.

She added that the student is always involved, as well.

“Often times the student is right there,” Melton said, “but the parent is making the call.”

Contact features reporter Theresa Edwards at [email protected].