Dear mom and dad, you've done well. You've raised me to be a strong person. You've raised me to stand up for what I believe in and to show love and compassion to everyone I meet. I came into this world with nothing but your love for me. You've given me everything you have and I've given you sleepless nights and worry lines. You held my hand as I took my first step and picked me up when I fell down. For years you've been my greatest supporters, biggest fans, and guiding light, but I'm changing and I need you to, too.
When I was a freshman I was scared, confused, anxious, excited, and hopeful all at the same. I didn't know what the next few years would hold. I didn't realize then how much I would change or what parts of myself I would lose. I didn't know the friends I would find or the experiences I would have. Back then everything was so different.
Since then my life has changed one hundred times over. I wouldn't even recognize that girl who arrived at college just a few short semesters ago. I'm not the same person I was two years ago, a semester ago, a month ago. I'm changing so fast I can hardly keep up.
I will always be your daughter, but I need you to see that I'm not a little girl anymore. I don't need you to sweep in and save the day, I just need you to tell me that you love me and that you're proud of me and let me be my own knight in shining armor. I will do things that you won't agree with and make choices you won't like, it's inevitable, but at the end of the day I want you to know that I love you and respect you just as much as I did when I was that little girl.
Mom, you are still my personal counselor and shopping partner. You've comforted me at my worst and celebrated with me at my best. Despite our arguments and disagreements, you are still irreplaceable to me and I love you dearly.
Dad, you are my inspiration, always have been always will be. You've taught me so many valuable life lessons that I hope to one day pass onto my children and grandchildren. You encourage me to always seek the truth and to put my best foot forward every day.
As hard as college is on me, I know it is just as hard on you. Your little baby isn't such a little baby anymore and that's a hard fact to accept for everyone. Growing up is not an easy step, but it is one everyone must take sooner than later. I'm ready to take that step and I pray you're ready to let me.
The unknown can be scary, but I don't want you to worry, you showed me that I can do this. Don't fret when I don't have it all figured out. Don't loose sleep over my busy week. I know it is in your nature to protect and provide for me, but I'm doing okay, promise. Sure life gets a little hectic now and then, but I'm learning to handle it, on my own.
There will be days when I don't call, but don't worry, I haven't forgotten about you. Some days I won't want to talk about school, not because I want to keep you in the dark, but because I don't have all the answers yet and talking about my future confuses me more than it helps me.
You are the best parents and you've raised me so well, but now it's my turn to take some swings, even if miss a few. I love you both more than you will ever know and I am so grateful for everything you've done, and will do, for me.
To the last twenty one years (and two years of college) I say thank you, you've given me a solid start, but to the next twenty one and beyond I say sit back and watch the show, I'm only getting started and you're not gonna wanna miss this.