5 Things I Don't Tell My Parents Often Enough

5 Things I Don't Tell My Parents Often Enough

You've given me everything that I've ever needed, thank you.
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Maybe it's because I'm an only child that I have an incredible bond with my parents. Or maybe it's because of the way that I was raised. Whatever the reason might be, my parents will never understand how much I appreciate all the love and support that they have given me over the years, even on the days (or weeks) where I am moody and anything but lovable. Life is too short to leave words unspoken, so here are the things that I want them to know because I don't tell them enough.

1. Thank You For Supporting, Loving, and Giving Me Whatever I Needed

College isn't cheap, from tuition and books to rent payments and other little things, the costs continue to pile up. I know that you feel as though paying for me to get through college is your responsibility as a parent and something you have to do but it isn't. I could be like almost every other college student and struggle to make my rent payment, live off the college staple foods, and take out student loans. I'm thankful that you both have been willing and able to save me from three-square meals Ramen noodles and letting me focus on my school work rather than worry about money. I hope that one day all of the hard-work that I'm doing now will pay off so that I can repay you for all of the things that you've done for me.

2. You Make Adult-Life Look Easy

I've only been living on my own for a month now so I really haven't gotten the hang of it yet, but it is seriously hard. Between keeping the apartment clean, the cupboards stocked, the dishes washed, and cooking a meal every night while doing homework and trying to keep up with my current obsession on Netflix, I don't know how you do it. Maybe after some practice this will get easier, but I doubt it.

3. I Look Forward To Talking To You About My Day and Yours

I'm not home to see you each and everyday like I was before going away to college. This has been a huge adjustment to me and to you as well, but overall, leaving home was the best thing I could have done. We've talked about how I've become more confident in myself and independent which I'm not sure I could have gained had I stayed at home. I do enjoy the independence that I have while at school, but don't misunderstand, I still miss coming home each night, seeing you both, and hearing about you day or neighborhood gossip. It may sound crazy but seeing my phone light up with either of your names makes my day and I treasure those phone calls no matter how long they may be.

4. You've Raised Me Well

I never really saw what others did when they said, "Your just like your mother and/ or father" but now that I have had to start living on my own and taking care of myself, I can see bits and pieces of the two of you in the things that I do. I know that the person I am right now and will continue to become as I get older, will be a reflect of you both, so it is my hope that I make you proud.

5. Each Time That I Leave To Head Back to School, It Never Gets Easier

I bet you didn't know that each time I go to say goodbye, I get a lump in my throat and can feel the tears start to burn in the back of my eyes. It's kind of crazy because I know that I'll see you again soon, maybe in a few weeks or months but I still miss you both so much. I tell myself each time I leave that the next time it won't be as hard but I doubt that that will ever be true because I love you both so much.

There are so many people who aren't close to their parents or, worse yet, know them at all. It truly is a shame. I'm truly blessed to have wonderful parents who taught me the difference between right and wrong and gave me the chance to follow my dreams. Saying thank you will never be enough but, maybe, hearing the words that I don't say often enough will be a start.


Cover Image Credit: Flicker

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​An Open Letter To The People Who Don’t Tip Their Servers

This one's for you.
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Dear Person Who Has No Idea How Much The 0 In The “Tip:" Line Matters,

I want to by asking you a simple question: Why?

Is it because you can't afford it? Is it because you are blind to the fact that the tip you leave is how the waiter/waitress serving you is making their living? Is it because you're just lazy and you “don't feel like it"?

Is it because you think that, while taking care of not only your table but at least three to five others, they took too long bringing you that side of ranch dressing? Or is it just because you're unaware that as a server these people make $2.85 an hour plus TIPS?

The average waiter/waitress is only supposed to be paid $2.13 an hour plus tips according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

That then leaves the waiter/waitress with a paycheck with the numbers **$0.00** and the words “Not a real paycheck." stamped on it. Therefore these men and women completely rely on the tips they make during the week to pay their bills.

So, with that being said, I have a few words for those of you who are ignorant enough to leave without leaving a few dollars in the “tip:" line.

Imagine if you go to work, the night starts off slow, then almost like a bomb went off the entire workplace is chaotic and you can't seem to find a minute to stop and breathe, let alone think about what to do next.

Imagine that you are helping a total of six different groups of people at one time, with each group containing two to 10 people.

Imagine that you are working your ass off to make sure that these customers have the best experience possible. Then you cash them out, you hand them a pen and a receipt, say “Thank you so much! It was a pleasure serving you, have a great day!"

Imagine you walk away to attempt to start one of the 17 other things you need to complete, watch as the group you just thanked leaves, and maybe even wave goodbye.

Imagine you are cleaning up the mess that they have so kindly left behind, you look down at the receipt and realize there's a sad face on the tip line of a $24.83 bill.

Imagine how devastated you feel knowing that you helped these people as much as you could just to have them throw water on the fire you need to complete the night.

Now, realize that whenever you decide not to tip your waitress, this is nine out of 10 times what they go through. I cannot stress enough how important it is for people to realize that this is someone's profession — whether they are a college student, a single mother working their second job of the day, a new dad who needs to pay off the loan he needed to take out to get a safer car for his child, your friend, your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, you.

If you cannot afford to tip, do not come out to eat. If you cannot afford the three alcoholic drinks you gulped down, plus your food and a tip do not come out to eat.

If you cannot afford the $10 wings that become half-off on Tuesdays plus that water you asked for, do not come out to eat.

If you cannot see that the person in front of you is working their best to accommodate you, while trying to do the same for the other five tables around you, do not come out to eat. If you cannot realize that the man or woman in front of you is a real person, with their own personal lives and problems and that maybe these problems have led them to be the reason they are standing in front of you, then do not come out to eat.

As a server myself, it kills me to see the people around me being deprived of the money that they were supposed to earn. It kills me to see the three dollars you left on a $40 bill. It kills me that you cannot stand to put yourself in our shoes — as if you're better than us. I wonder if you realize that you single-handedly ruined part of our nights.

I wonder if maybe one day you will be in our shoes, and I hope to God no one treats you how you have treated us. But if they do, then maybe you'll realize how we felt when you left no tip after we gave you our time.

Cover Image Credit: Hailea Shallock

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7 Life Lessons My Parents Taught Me

Your parents have been there from the start, and have no doubt shaped you into the person you are today

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I'm so grateful for everything that my parents have done for me. Even more so, I'm incredibly grateful for all of the life lessons over the years. At this point, they've taught me way too many life lessons to list here. However, I thought I'd take the time to write down seven of the most important ones!

1. Be Respectful. 

If there is one thing my dad has instilled in me from a young age, it's to always be respectful. I have always been impressed with my dad's ability to stay cool and calm in situations where that's the last thing anyone would expect from him, and he has taught me the importance of maintaining a respectful and mature attitude, even when life gives you the sourest lemons.

2. Be bold. 

My mom is the coolest woman I know, and she has always taken on life the only way she knows how: with unbelievable boldness and fierceness. Being bold means not being afraid to be different or to stand out, and my mom has taught me how badass it is to be the true version of yourself.

3. Be forgiving. 

Arguments and fights are unavoidable parts of life, and ever since I was little, my dad has consistently reminded me of how important it is to pick your battles. Knowing when it's time to pick up the pieces and move on is essential in order to be a forgiving person, not only to yourself but to others as well.

4. Be generous.

Growing up, I was fortunate enough to be spoiled by my parents. Not only was I lucky enough to go on vacations and get beautiful gifts around my birthday and holidays, but I was especially lucky enough to be spoiled by my parent's love and kindness. Being generous, not only financially, but with your ability to love and respect other people is something I am so thankful my parents have taught me.

5. Work hard. 

Both my mom and dad are incredibly hard-working people. Growing up, there were times where my dad worked 12-hour days, and my mom juggled work, household chores, and taking care of me. Even though their hard work resulted in some sacrifices, they always did what was best for my sister and I. My parents have naturally pushed me to be a hardworking person in all aspects of my life, and I think it's a very admirable quality.

6. Be kind.

My dad is the type of person who will always stop in an intersection to give money to a homeless person, and my mom is the type of woman to never think twice about sacrificing her own needs to help others. Both my parents have shown me, along with the rest of the world, what it means to be kind and selfless, and I can only hope I will one day be as good at it as they are.

7. Stand up for yourself. 

Before I came to college, I often found myself doing what everyone else wanted me to do. I jumped into things quickly, hoping it would please others and make them like me. However, once I got to college, I quickly called my mom on the phone, crying because I regretted some decisions I had made. My mom told me how important it is to stand up for yourself, learn to say no, and only do the things you really want to do. Learning to live your life for you, and not let other people rule your universe is key to being happy, and I'm fortunate that my mom helped me realize this.

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