Threa Almontaser | Correspondent

A strange play-on-words to describe a parent figure that constantly ‘hovers’ over you. We’ve all faced them at some point in our lives. If not, you most likely have that one friend that isn’t able to spontaneously go out because they have to practically set up a business meeting a week prior with their parents to beg, plead, and do extra chores, before they’re finally allowed out (with a ridiculously early curfew).

There are many different levels of helicopter parents, from the level 20 extra stern, can’t-even-walk-to-the-mailbox-without-holding-their-hand parents to the level 8 ‘it’s cool, you can go out after I get everyone’s numbers, parents numbers, and background check each ‘friend’ parents. You may think those are equal levels of stringent parents, but trust me when I say they aren’t. It’s socially and globally understood that one’s culture and religion play a huge role in how much noise a parent’s ‘hovering’ can make, whether it be constantly loud to the point that you can’t hear your own thoughts, or just a mild background noise that only gets blasted on certain occasions.

Multicultural counselor and psychologist Dr. P.J. Adams at the NC State Counseling center agrees. “In many cases, we receive messages about parenting from our own family and from how our family specifically expresses the cultural values of the larger group. Two families who may share the same culture may express those values differently in their own family system.” He goes on to add, “Some families may be perceived as being more “strict” than others, but it’s important to remember that what is considered strict or not is subjective and often culturally grounded. We should be careful not to associate “strict” and “lenient” with negative/unhealthy and positive/healthy.”  According to Dr. Adams, helicopter parenting has more to do with “the anxieties of parents related to the potential success or failure of their child’s future.”

Overbearing parents are real and terrifying, especially when you finally leave the nest as a college freshman. Some of us get out lucky like Thomas Reed, a zoology freshman here at State. He says he never got any specific rules to strictly follow, with only one call-in when he started getting settled into his dorm. He already has two older sisters in college, so his parents were already used to the whole ordeal of letting their ‘babies’ go off alone.

This wasn’t the case for Sree Patel a senior in business administration. When she first started off at State as a business major pup, her parent made sure the rules were set down. She wasn’t allowed to dorm, so her dad wasn’t too worried on that front. But he made sure she got nothing below a 3.5 GPA, putting her entire effort and concentration into all that she did. And when she wanted to study abroad in Europe, she knew her dad would never send her off so far away unsupervised. Fortunately, he started to reminisce about his college trip to Germany at the last minute, when he then allowed her to send in the application the night before it was due (not without a list of rules to follow, of course.)

Don’t freak out- there’s plenty of help and support if you’re dealing with severely firm guardians as you start off your years here at State. Dr. Adams and other mental health professionals at the counseling center can help with that. They’ll make sure to observe your situation in a way that is culturally sensitive to you–the answer has never been a universal one. The counselors and therapists are well-trained to deal with different backgrounds of students. This enables them to find the best path to help you separate yourself from family as an individual in a fitting, cultural way.