To Every Doubter You're Succeeding Without

To Every Doubter You're Succeeding Without

While you're busy putting me down and making fun of my dreams, I'll be busy making them come true.
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Most everyone has experienced having a dream or a goal that someone you know didn't support.

Maybe you want to be an actor, but your parents want you to go to medical school.

Maybe you want to be a doctor, but your teachers don't think you're smart enough.

Maybe you love to sing, but someone said you didn't sound good.

No matter what the dream or goal, everyone has experienced this at some point. Maybe it was your parents, your teachers, your so-called "friends," even a significant other.

This is a letter to all of those people that doubted you, and you proved them wrong.

* * *

Dear Doubters,

I'm sure you thought you would be right. I'm sure you thought that I wouldn't succeed. But I did. You thought you could laugh at me, make fun, or convince me it would never happen. You couldn't see how much that dream meant to me. You couldn't get past your own personal agenda to support me. Maybe it didn't fit with your life. Maybe you thought I wasn't good enough, or maybe you even thought I could do better. No matter what you thought, I proved you wrong.

Maybe you didn't realize how much your lack of support hurt me, or maybe that was your intention. But it did. In life, you lean on the people around you to lift you up, to support you. That's part of what family, friends, and relationships are for. I depended on you to push me, to support me, and you didn't. You had your own idea of what I would do in life. I couldn't do different, I couldn't do better. But you were wrong.

No matter how much your lack of support or your hurtful words tried to bring me down, I didn't let it. I continued to work for my goals. I continued to chase my dreams. I fought for what I wanted in life. And I'm still fighting. Without your support.

So how does it feel? To put all of your effort into bringing me down, and for it still not to work. To make fun of me, while others admire. To see me achieving all of my goals, while you're too busy bringing others down to even work on yours. I hope it feels like a punch to the gut because that's what it felt like to have someone like you do what you did.

So I'll continue fighting, striving, and achieving. I'll continue accomplishing the things you thought I couldn't, and being admired by the things you made fun of.

I'll use you as motivation. I'll use all the negativity you sent my way as motivation. It will only make victory so much sweeter.

I only hope that you'll finally stop putting others down, and focus on yourself.

Victoriously,

The Winner

Cover Image Credit: Sydney Moore

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
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Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.


Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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The College Girl's Guide To Building Friendships That Will Last Long After Graduation

Friends become our chosen family. Choose wisely.

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It took me about three months to get acclimated to the college environment. I still struggle with homesickness and being alone, but finding friends was the toughest battle I fought through. I've come to realize in the past couple of weeks that seeking new friendships shouldn't be forceful. It takes time to feel comfortable around new people you've never met before. Here are a few tips to making faithful friendships and finding your place on campus being away from home.

1. Keep in touch with your friends from high school

I wouldn't be the person I am today without the love and support of my best friends from high school. No matter the circumstance, everyone misses at least one person while they are away from home. I make an effort to keep in touch with old friends to cultivate long-distance relationships. Though we may be hundreds of miles away from each other, FaceTime calls do not keep us apart.

This being said, lots of people change after high school. Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and make new friends on your college campus. These people will help you with the everyday struggles of homesickness and often will share the same interests as you do!

2. You don't have to be besties with your roommate(s)

There's no rhyme or reason in determining a good roommate. Some choose to live with their best friend since kindergarten; others decide to pick at random through an online roommate finder. If you're not connecting with your roommate just as you thought you would, don't panic. Every college campus is full of opportunities to meet new people who share the same values and ideas as you do. While it may seem discouraging to not be besties with the person next door, reach out to those who will accept you for who you are.

3. Get out of your dorm room

If you're an introvert like me, it can be hard to put yourself out there to meet potential friends. While staying in to watch one more Netflix episode may sound like a great idea, you never know the possibility of making connections while going to campus events or joining an organization. Clubs hold you accountable to get out meet new people while meeting regularly throughout the semester. Repeated interaction is an important ingredient of establishing long-lasting friendships.

4. Don't be afraid to be vulnerable

Those who complain about "short conversation" don't understand that opening up about feelings leads to a lack of communication. Vulnerability isn't easy, but real connections do not spark unless we allow ourselves to be seen. Sharing your hurt and realizing your worth is a great step to making friends on campus. Who knows? Maybe you both are experiencing the same trials and suffering and can work towards a solution together.

5. Find a group

Doing something you love with others creates a special bond for friendship. Whether you have an interest in sports, leadership, or service, find an organization that allows you to connect with those who share similar interests. Sharing experiences gives people a topic to talk about which often leads to having a new friend.

6. Become an organizer

Often find yourself sitting alone with no plans? Don't be afraid to be the initiator for conversations. Take an active role in making plans that everyone will enjoy. Go on a road trip. Have a coffee date. Study at the library. Working together with multiple people can make small tasks easier to complete and downtime more enjoyable.

7. Understand your priorities

It can be easy to plan out your day going to classes, attending club meetings, eating dinner, and then making time for social life. While you may want to go out on Thursday night to have a great time with friends, make sure that your priorities are aligned with your goals. Is it better to stay out till 3 a.m. when you have a morning class or finish that homework you've procrastinated on? Decisions, decisions.

8. Be yourself

The most important part of any making any friendship is to be yourself. Let your personality shine through so that people will be drawn to who you are as a person. Those who don't accept you for who you are don't deserve to be your friend. Surround yourself with those who will build you up and show support.

While this article covers a lot of ground, the best advice I can give is to put these tips into practice. Applying just one piece of advice into your daily life can make a huge difference. Go out there and share your experiences. Have a great time. Make connections. Taking one of these steps can lead to a happier, healthy life and possibly a new friendship as well.

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