Dear Harlan: I’m going to college next year. I want to live on campus. My parents don’t want me to live on campus. The main reason is that the floors are all co-ed. They feel that it’s not safe or appropriate for me to share a floor with a bunch of men. I’ve explained that they do this for a reason. If this was unsafe, they wouldn’t continue to do this. They are being very protective. Their rules are non-negotiable. They keep telling me that I will one day understand and thank them, but I don’t see it. How do I deal with parents who think they know it all, but have no idea of the truth?— Stuck
Dear Stuck: They are not going to listen. You’re their kid. And for some reason, listening to you is not what they do best. We all know that living on campus is important (this is why some schools require it), but your parents need to know this. Living on campus means less driving, more opportunities and it’s safer (no commute). Instead of trying to convince them of the truth, let other people do the work. Reach out to the director of residence life, resident assistants, the dean of students, campus police and students with similar backgrounds. Explain the situation and get the facts. Give your parents access to the people you contact. Tell them what you asked, and ask them to do the same. While you’re sharing what you’ve learned, thank them for encouraging you to find answers. And for what’s it’s worth – I’ve never heard of co-ed floors being unsafe. In fact, the men feel protective of the women who live on their floor.