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The student news site of ADM High School

Black & (Red)gister

The student news site of ADM High School

Black & (Red)gister

What It Feels Like to Have Parents Living Across the Country as a High School Student

// As Told by Alexa Teckenburg //
Alexa Teckenburg with her mom and three siblings at a family photo shoot. “There’s been a lot of attention on me, about how hard it’s going to be on me by not living with my family, but I’m thinking about how hard it’s going to be on my siblings,” Teckenburg said.

I knew that it was my parents’ dream to live in Florida; they had been talking about it for years. A job opportunity didn’t come up and the right time didn’t roll around until the summer before my senior year. I knew that a job opening like this for my dad wouldn’t come around very often, so he had to take it while he could. My parents sat me and my two younger siblings down and said that the move was happening and there was no question about it that I wasn’t going to go with them. We had talked about it previously and they understood my desire to finish out my high school career in the school district with all of my friends and familiar faces. They had faith that I could do this alone, be independent and essentially live by myself.

I kind of knew instantly that I would move in with my best friend, Tatum. I’ve practically lived in her house since the 7th grade, so I knew that the adjustment would not be major for either of us. We discussed it with our parents, who were all on board with the idea. I feel very fortunate that this compromise was available to me because I figured that if I had to finish my senior year without my actual family, I’d be glad to be with people that I know and trust just as much as my own family.

It took a lot of planning and moving, but eventually, it came time to say my goodbyes to my parents and my siblings. They left for the airport at 4 A.M. directly after Christmas. It was hard wrestling with what I was feeling. Parts of me felt that they were selfish for taking this opportunity, and other parts of me were so happy they were finally getting their dream. I had already gone through the tough part of dealing with the change and saying goodbye didn’t end in many tears. I felt acceptance of what was happening. On the plus side of things, moving in with my best friend and her family has been really fun and exciting. We immediately went into a sister dynamic and it’s helped me learn the skill of sharing a space with someone, which will help me a lot in college.

The move uprooted what I had once wanted for my life. Not even a year ago I was convinced I would be attending the University of Iowa, but now I’ve begun scouting colleges in Florida. So far, things have been good and I look forward to their calls, texts and the pictures that they send to me. I know that even though this was an intimidating and fearful change, it was ultimately the right decision.

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