An Open Letter To My Mom

An Open Letter To My Mom

Jasmine
Jasmine
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“I realized when you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.”
-Mitch Albom

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize how the time spent with my family has gotten so minimal. Nowadays I'm out with friends, studying, working, or just hanging out in my room watching the newest episode of whatever show on Netflix. Being in college, I seem to have forgotten about the people who got me to where I am, and I’ve especially forgotten about the one person who pushed me to make me into the person I’ve become, my mother. So mom, this one is for you.

Dear Mommy,

I want to start by telling you how much I love you. I know I don’t always show it and I know I’m not really around these days and honestly I don’t even say it that often, but I do. You are the most important woman in my life, and you always will be. Ever since I was little you have been my hero and someone I’ve always looked up to. I know life is hard for you and I don’t always do much to make it easier, but you have sacrificed so much in your life just to raise me, and it means more to me than I’ll ever be able to express in words in this article. You are the strongest person I know, full of love and motivation, and I am incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to have that all of my life. So, Mom, I love you so much, to the ends of the Earth and until the day I’m no longer walking on it.

Next comes me telling you, thank you. Two words that means so little when comparing them to every little thing it is that you do for me. Thank you for the countless hugs. Thank you for that time you let me cry on your shoulder when I was fighting with my best friend. Thank you for working ungodly hours just to buy me that watch I really wanted for Christmas. Thank you for the laughter, the smiles, the lessons, and reminding me that I’ll always have somebody who loves me for who I am, flaws and all. You have shown me that it is okay to make mistakes, it’s okay to cry, and it’s okay to be who I am.

Lastly mom, I want to tell you how I am sorry. I’m sorry for all of the times I fought with you, for the times I’ve let you down, and for the times I chose friends and other things over you. Sometimes I tend to lose sight of the things that are most important to me. I never meant to fight with you when you told me I couldn’t go out on that one night because you just wanted to sit and watch a movie together. You truly mean so much to me and I don’t express it enough, and I certainly don’t prove it when I leave you doing the dishes to go out to some party. A lot of the time, especially lately, you deserve someone who pays more attention to the things that you do. I hope that by the time I’m older you can someday forgive me for this.

All in all, I love you to death mom. You are my entire world, whether you know that or not. Thank you for being everything to me, always.

Cover Image Credit: Jasmine Somers

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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15 Amazing Junior Year Memories That I Don't Think A Busy Senior Year Will Make Me Forget

It's the last week of school, but I think of it more as the last week of my favorite year of high school.

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Ups and downs, highs and lows. Whatever I call the many bumps on the journey I had in the past nine months, that won't change the fact that the fun parts of the year were truly fun. I met so many new people and made so many new friends that I can't keep track of how quickly time is passing when I spend time with any of them. I learned so much new content in my classes that my brain hurts just trying to remember everything. I feel so happy when I imagine various moments in the past year that it just wouldn't be fitting to let them all fly away.

1. When Homecoming Dinner Couldn't Get Any Weirder

Let's just say that the restaurant wasn't as family-friendly as it had originally advertised. And, not to sound like a restaurant critic, but the food certainly didn't make up for the strange environment. In fact, I had to go home from feeling sick. But even with the mess that dinner was, the night was a crazy adventure that I doubt I'll forget anytime soon.

2. When We Went To Barnes & Noble To Study For Finals

One of my best friends and I have a tradition of going to either a local Starbucks or our Barnes & Noble just to study, and if we're not able to get our table (the one with a leg rest and outlets), then we can't focus. In fact, we'll stare at the people at our table until they leave on their own. Plus, once we get started on studying, the next two to three hours are nonstop working.

3. When We Celebrated Halloween By Hiking Through A Forest Five Times

Am I exaggerating? Absolutely not. For Halloween, a few of us volunteered at our local nature center to lead tours around the surrounding forest for the children who came to the event. From six in the evening to 11 in the night, we walked step after step through winding hills and large fields, and when the leg pain came afterward, we couldn't stop complaining.

4. When We Found A Planetarium So Close To Home

My dad and I found a small planetarium at a nearby college that was open every Friday night for anyone to visit, and we'd spend every Friday for two months going there to see how the star patterns had changed in the past week. Sometimes, I'd accidentally fall asleep during the presentations because I was exhausted from school that day, but being able to learn surface-level knowledge about astronomy was priceless.

5. When We Went To A Concert Twenty Minutes After Hearing About It

There was one time my best friend and I were studying for finals at Barnes & Noble back in December, and she brought up a concert happening at our school that was going on that night.

"Do you want to go?" I remember her asking.

So we drove quickly to school with half an hour left before it started by the time we reached. We sat there and stared at the school building, and this one song that neither of us will ever forget began playing on Spotify. That was probably the most nostalgic, heartbreaking moment I'd ever experienced. The school stared back at us, empty hallways lit up and visible through the windows, and I remember just thinking about how there would be a day that we'd see some of our friends for the last time before college.

The concert was amazing, though.

6. When We Drew Flowers On A Balloon In Physics

I had gotten a balloon in the previous class, which I brought with me to Physics. I should've known how bad of a decision it was on my part to mention the balloon because all of us took turns drawing flowers on it using a Sharpie. We were so tired that the only thing we could focus on was drawing plants.

7. When The Class Grew Glowing Bacteria Cultures

Unfortunately, our group couldn't grow our bacteria because of a small procedural error, but I still love this picture of another group's. It was magical to see how simple scientific concepts could come together to make microscopic bacteria glow just as brightly as huge stars in the sky do at night.

8. When We Watched An Episode Of "Friends" In Biology

I sometimes stumble upon this picture and laugh because we were all incomprehensibly tired in class that day. To make a point about the mystery of the debate between evolution and religion, our teacher showed us the episode of "Friends" where Phoebe and Ross debate the two concepts.

9. When Starbucks Could Never Spell My Name Correctly

As if this is the only instance of my name being spelled incorrectly. I've also received "Shraya" and "Shrenya" if we're wondering.

10. When A Club Induction Ceremony Felt A Bit Sinister

When they began to light the candles and made us stand up to take an oath (which, by the way, sounded oddly cult-like), a couple of us were wondering if we were supposed to feel a darker vibe. In any case, though, the cake they gave out afterward was the best I'd had in a while.

11. When We Built A Theme Park In Honor Of "The Great Gatsby"

Our AP Lang class channeled "The Great Gatsby" vibes when we were challenged to create a theme park that delved into the details of the book. Being tasked with creating a park for West Egg, this was the first time I got to meet three of the most amazing people.

12. When We Binge-Watched Two And A Half Seasons Of "Lucifer"

Another one of my best friends asked me one day if I'd ever seen the show "Lucifer," and I went on an entire spiel about how I watched every episode of the first season when it was on cable a few years ago.

"Okay, but do you remember any of it?" she asked.

"No, why?"

"Do you want to watch the show from the beginning?"

13. When We Went To Our Friends' Art Showcase

This showcase took place earlier in May, and it was amazing to see the talent right in our school. Three of my closest friends had their works on display, and I almost made a bet with myself to see if I'd fill up my phone storage with the countless pictures I was taking of their pieces.

14. When We Went To The Dam For An Entire Afternoon

It was unforgettable mainly because my family and I used to go to the dam all the time, but because this was probably the first time we'd gone in a year or so, I felt at home for the first time in a while. The dam is always serene, save for the sounds of children screaming and playing in the distance.

15. When We All Danced To "High School Musical" In The School Hallways

I even told the people I was with during this memory that I would never forget that night. Science Night had just ended, and with all the children gone home, we were left to clean up the experiment stations. Of course, before we could clean up, we all needed a bit of time for ourselves, and in the completely empty main hallway, five of us danced to "High School Musical" songs.

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