Why It Is Completely Okay to Attend Your Parents’ Alma Mater

Yea, to you it was forever ago and to them, it might feel like forever ago too, but the point is they went. They went and were able to make the most of their own experiences. Going to the school that your parents went to doesn’t mean you failed the college search.

There’s a weird, but completely understandable phobia of going to the same college your parents went to.

I get it.

You want to have your own unique experiences and you have an innate aversion to turning into your parents.

That’s natural, but by some twist of fate, you may end up going to the same school your parents attended.

I’m here to let you know that is completely okay.

Seriously, you’ll be fine. Believe it or not, your parents were your age once upon a time.

Yea, to you it was forever ago and to them, it might feel like forever ago too, but the point is they went. They went and were able to make the most of their own experiences. Going to the school that your parents went to doesn’t mean you failed the college search.

Far from it.

It just means that the school you are attending has stood the test of time. Here are some other reasons why it is completely okay to attend the same university your parents attended.

#1 You’re not your parents

Seriously. You are not your parents. Going to the school they went to will not turn you into your parents.

Obviously, you share similarities with your parents (they’re your parents) but that does not make you replicas of them. You have your own interests, desires, and ideas of what makes a good time. These differences will manifest themselves while you are away and help mold your college experience.

Don’t let the fear of becoming your parents paralyze you. In fact, imagine your worst fears if you go to the school your parents went to and write it down.

Then read those fears aloud or have a close friend read them out loud. Do those fears sound a little off? They should because chances are your worst fears are greatly overexaggerated.

This is not an attempt to invalidate your fears- only to put them in context.

You are not your parents.


#2 The experience will be your own

Just in case you haven’t heard this enough, you are not your parents.

The experiences you have in college will be your own because you are your own person. In fact, if you ask them what their favorite part of college was, you’ll probably find that their experiences will be uniquely theirs and yours will be uniquely yours.

Plus, the campus has changed. Chances are by the time you go to college, the school will the same in name only. Remember when you used to hear your parents talk about how much the school has changed? How they can barely recognize it now?

Yea, that’s going to be your school. There’s going to be different programs and more resources at your disposal. There’s going to be opportunities your parents could only dream of that you get to live out.

This is your experience. Your chance. You get to make the most of it…or not.

The only reason you won’t have a blast attending your family’s alma mater is because you chose not to.


#3 You don’t have to see your parents all the time

This is not me encouraging you to abandon your family. Of course, you should call and check in every now and then. They’re your family.

At the same time, going to college is a major transition. It’s a major part of adulting. Even if you’re living at home, you’ll be busy being fully engaged in your college life and campus community (as you should).

You probably won’t see your parents as often as you did when you were growing up. That’s natural. It can be hard, but you’ll get through it. (Your parents did, didn’t they?)

Your parents will miss you but they want to have their lives back too. Even if you only live 30 minutes from home, that doesn’t mean you have to visit every weekend. Literally, you only have to chime in on Facebook every once in a while to prove you’re alive. If you need money or to do laundry you can make a surprise visit home.

On the other hand, some of you may be stoked to get out of the house and that’s awesome. You’ll handle the transition well. Just remember to call every now and again and you’re all set.


Personally, I have always wanted to attend the University of Houston from a very young age. I am incredibly blessed to have been able to attend the school of my dreams. With that being said, in another life, I wouldn’t have minded attending the University of Texas at Dallas (my father’s alma mater). I am very proud of my father for coming to the US and graduating. He worked hard for his degree and the school has blossomed over the years. Even though I did not end up going to UTD my father supported me full-heartedly when I chose to attend U of H. He is a proud Cougar Dad.

Now a special note to parents: Regardless of the school your child chooses to attend, it is important, vitally important to their success that you support them in their academic career. That does not mean you have to forsake your alma mater, but family always comes first. You have worked so hard to help them come this far. They need you in their corner to finish successfully. That means any rivalries you may have had against their school goes out the window once your child is admitted. You need to become a new convert and true believer. If you’re an Aggie but your daughter is a Longhorn, it’s time to practice those Hook’em Horns. Whatever the case may be, your kid’s college is your college as well.





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