How your mom becomes your best friend in college

Kathleen Keaveny

IMG_3912Last year, I was a cocky little freshman, strutting around campus with my lanyard and Corbett access key, just happy to be out of my parents house and free to do as I please. I moved from Kansas City to the beautiful state of Colorado, high on life and my new found independence.

In high school, my angsty, “misunderstood” and independent self found my mom to be overbearing and interrogative. I only disclosed with her the need-to-know and other than that, I was relatively shut off.


She was my mom, sometimes my pal, but when it boiled down to it, she was a mom. She held the conservative, Catholic views I was raised to practice, and, as most teenagers do, I wanted to develop my own identity and ideals. It was difficult for me to consider that she had likely been in the same place that I was at some point in her life and that she could handle my realities.

As freshmen year progressed, I was surprised that my relationship with my mom was progressing instead of breaking down, as I had previously anticipated having moved 660 miles away from home.

I began to open up.

I told her the gossip between my friends. I confided in her about boys. I became more honest about my social life. I confessed my mistakes to her. I requested and valued her advice.

She has been on the phone with me for two hours at a time during multiple mid-semester meltdowns and life crises, listening to my frustrations, stresses and confusions. She continues to teach me to not let people, circumstances or obstacles knock me down. She has encouraged me to persevere and stand strong, as she has done before and will continue to do.

When you are separated from a mother, father, brother, sister, guardian or friend for periods of time, you understand the importance they hold in your life. You do not realize they have an understanding of you that no one else possesses, when they may have previously appeared to be a nuisance.

College is the time when many young adults are on their own for the first time. Independence, personal growth and individuality are key developments during this period, but it is valuable to have a friend there to give you guidance when you are all out of ideas and a friend to vent to. Many of us do not realize that we already have these friends in our lives, at home patiently waiting a phone call. They are always there to answer.

I found this in my mom. I was ignorant enough to not realize that I had this in her all the time.

She is my best friend and confidant.


Collegian Interactive News Team member Kathleen Keaveny can be reached at or on Twitter @katkeaveny.