DEAR HARRIETTE: I am a junior in high school, and I plan to go to college. I told my parents that I do not plan to go to college in state. I told them that I would prefer to go to school out of state. My mom and dad got upset with me because they feel like they would never see me. My mother really wants to see me go to a school that is closer to home, but I feel I should be able to choose where I want to go. I need help. What should I do? -- Distant Learner, Memphis, Tennessee
DEAR DISTANT LEARNER: It is natural for parents to want to hold their children close at the very moment when they are about to leave home and begin to live on their own. This is an emotionally challenging time for parents, so be gentle with them as you figure out your next steps.
Also, who is paying for your college? If it is your parents, you should know that going to an in-state school is far more affordable than going out of state. They may be considering cost as well as emotional loss when they urge you to stay nearby.
If you have the financial resources through scholarships or financial aid to go to the school of your choice, you can make that decision. What you should do is talk to your parents about how you can stay connected to them via Skype, regular visits and phone calls.