First-generation Latino college students are dedicated, determined, and creative students. That’s why we’ve teamed up with State Farm® to make this back-to-school season a success for college students who are paving the way for future generations. It’s not always easy to be the first, but it is always an accomplishment.

There are lots of perks to being a child of immigrant parents. Family parties for every occasion, the kind of home-cooked meals that will ruin restaurant food forever because you know your mami can make it better, and often, the privilege of practicing your ancestors’ vibrant language and culture.

Loading the player...

Sure, they might have instilled the deep fear of the chancla in you at a young age, but a Latino parent’s love is fierce and unconditional — until you tell them your plans to move out of state for college, that is, which they tend to view as the worst offense imaginable.

The truth is, Latino parents are no strangers to sacrifice, typically uprooting their lives in their homelands and leaving everything behind in order to give their children the opportunities they were never granted. And for that, we are eternally grateful.

But, understandably, when it comes time to allow their children to flee the nest in pursuit of these opportunities, they struggle with something that we all struggle with at some point in our lives: letting go. Of course, with Latino parents, everything is infinitely more dramatic. Always a telenovela.

If you want to move out of state for college but are not sure how to tell your overprotective Latino parents, here are a few ways to open up the dialogue. The most important part is to remember that they want what’s best for you, even if they have a funny — or scary — way of showing it.


Everything for them ❤️ but as my first year comes to an end, it’s all going to be worth it #sisepuede #CapCut #fyp #firstgen #collegelife #collegestudent #hispanic #latina #emoryuniversity

♬ original sound – Myrka

Do some research and prepare for the conversation

Why have you chosen to move out of state for college? What is it about this specific school that is perfect for you? How far away is it exactly, and what are your plans for traveling back home? These are all questions you should have the answer to before talking with your parents.

Whether your school of choice has the best program in the country for your major, or it has the highest success rate in finding jobs for graduates in your field, or maybe you just visited the city and fell completely in love with the people and scenery — make sure you have a strong “why.” After all, your parents will ask over and over again.

Consider the distance and formulate a travel plan for visiting them, detailing the mode of transportation and frequency. They’ll not only feel better about the fact that you plan to visit and won’t completely abandon them but also that you’ve thought this out so thoroughly. Look at you. Con las pilas puestas!

Sit them down and try to express yourself as calmly as possible

Be forewarned — they might not want to hear it. They might try to brush you off immediately, storm out of the room, or aggressively try to remind you how much you need and rely on them. 

They’re not wrong, as there is no better feeling than seeing clean, folded laundry mysteriously appear on your bed like a fairy did it for you.

However, it’s necessary to stay firm and express yourself as calmly and articulately as possible. 

Do not become emotional over your parents’ initial protestations, which they’ll definitely have. Instead, demonstrate that you’ve given this decision much thought, explaining why the other options aren’t as promising.

Try to communicate why you think this is the best move for you, listing all of your major points. Remind them that this is exactly what they made their sacrifices for and that you want nothing more than to make them proud. Cue the waterworks.


this has been weighing on my heart for a really long time ib: @giselle

♬ My Kind of Woman – Instrumental – Mac DeMarco

Reassure them every step of the way

Since Latino families tend to be tighter-knit than most, the news of your departure may come as a shock, and it’s natural for their feelings to be hurt at first. They did not envision this idea of “losing you” when they came to America, a country full of uncertainties. This is why they might start wondering what they’ve “done wrong.”

“Pero porque?” They’ll ask. “Aren’t you happy here?” This is an excellent opportunity to explain that your choice has nothing to do with them or how happy you are living in their home but entirely about your future and all that you hope to accomplish.

Reassure them that they’ve done nothing wrong. In fact — the exact opposite. They’ve raised a brave, ambitious, and confident individual who is ready to fly. Tell them again and again how often you plan to visit and how much fun the road trips will be.

Tell them you already can’t wait for the tamale care packages and the sweet homecomings. Let them know how much you love and appreciate them. This will soften them right up like microwaved mantequilla. And most importantly — it’s the truth.

Give them the time they need to fully accept your decision

While it may break their hearts at first, most parents come around to the idea of their child moving away for college, as they eventually realize that stifling their children’s dreams is no way to keep them safe. It might not be overnight, but it’ll happen.

And when you walk across the stage on that fateful day to get your diploma, no one in the audience will cheer louder, even if they had to travel to get there.

Click here to learn more about how State Farm® has earned the reputation of being a good neighbor to many generations past and more to come.