Thank Your Family For Helping You Get To College

To The Class Of 2022, Don't Forget To Thank Your Family

While you're excited to finally get out of the house and into college, remember to thank the people who helped you get there.

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Yes!

You're finally free from the confines of your hometown. You don't have to travel the same roads, go to the same hang-out spots, or see everyone that you know. You will finally be a part of a greater community of diverse and determined people that want to achieve the same goals that you're reaching for.

But wait a minute. Before you jump off the boat, you should turn around.

Who is there standing behind you?

Who are the people who have shown you relentless support (financially, emotionally, etc.) and picked you up when you were down?

That's right. Your family.

Without them, you probably wouldn't even be going to college. You wouldn't be given the freedom to experience collegiate life and meet new people to network with... Or even make those lifelong friends.

These people are giving you the ability to mature, flourish, and learn. Sure, there will be nights where you'll avoid doing any of that. You'll go out on the town with your friends, perhaps go drinking, and wake up on the floor of your dorm room or apartment, wondering where the time went. But that's all a part of the experience. (As long as you don't participate in that too often.)

You're there to improve yourself, learn about yourself, and find your passions. Never forget that. There's enough life left in all of us to party on the weekends, but never put that before your work. You have people rooting for you to succeed and to make sure you don't fall behind on the thing you wanted to do the most.

There are people guiding you to greatness and you cannot ignore it. Your parents might be working overtime, two jobs, or more than that, just to help you pay for the costs of higher education. If you have siblings, they probably sacrificed a lot for them, too (or will sacrifice a lot for them).

These are the people who will continue to care for you as college drains your assets. These are the people who will send you money when you have none or care packages when you're feeling homesick and broke. They'll forever be by your side, especially through college, as things get harder and harder. Your family will pick up the phone during your breakdowns (that you definitely will have, no matter your major), build you up when your grades aren't reflecting your hard work, and keep you sane until the end.

You owe a lot to the people who helped you get this far and who will be there when you surpass this stage in your life. You'll regret it if you forget to thank these people. Let them know what they mean to you before you wave to their car as they drive away. Let them know that you appreciate them.

Family is forever and never take that for granted.

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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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Finding Your Niche In College Starts With Finding You

Attempting to be someone you are not for the sake of having company only hurts you in the long run.

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Transitioning to college is hard enough, but trying to find a place where you feel "at home" can make this time even more stressful. Here are some tips on how to find that place/group of people that make you feel like sunshine.

I have always felt a little out of place wherever I went, but it wasn't until college that I realized that this feeling was so special and more people should capitalize on their differences rather than conforming to a certain mold. Transitioning to college and finding your place among so many people can be very overwhelming. The added stress of attempting to be someone you aren't for the sake of having company adds a whole other layer to this problem. The easiest thing for me to do in any situation like this is trying to make the setting a little smaller. One of the most obvious ways to do this on a college campus is by getting involved!

It is inevitable that within the first few weeks of the semester at any college, there will be an organization fair. This is a chance to scope out all that your school has to offer! Chances are there will be some type of group or club that lines up with your interests. Most college campuses have extracurricular opportunities ranging from social sororities and fraternities, professional ones, intermural sports, vocal groups, and so many more. You are more than likely going to find some type of organization that you can call home if you seek them out. Joining an organization is such an easy way to interact with people with similar interests. An interest can bring two completely different people together and create some beautiful friendships. It is situations like this where it is important to be your authentic self and mingle with those you share something with.

That being said, finding your place in college isn't always about being involved. Getting involved on campus is just one of the simplest ways to start. There are so many other opportunities on campus to meet people whether it be among others in your residence hall, people in your classes, or just people you find yourself stumbling upon! Finding people to spend your time with is easy; however, you should make it a point to surround yourself with people who bring you up.

Once you have a set group of people that you find yourself spending time with, it is important to pay attention to the way you feel when you're around them. If you find yourself feeling bad about yourself or get the impression that you need to change something in order to "fit in," chances are the people you're around are not the best for you or your self-esteem. It is important to surround yourself with people who allow you to feel comfortable in your own skin. That being said, you also want people who encourage you to make good decisions and help you reach your goals. People who encourage toxic behavior in your life might be fun in the short term, but in the grand scheme of things, you need to be surrounded by people with your best interest in mind. Essentially, surrounding yourself with people who influence you to be your best self is one of the best decisions you can make short and long term.

The key to all of this is being conscious of your own feelings and needs. Pay attention to who reaches out to you to hang out. Notice the ones who pay attention to you as you speak when it feels like no one is listening. More than anything, be conscious of who you're with and where you're at when you experience moments of pure happiness. Life is too short to waste your precious time on people who don't build you up. Wouldn't you rather spend your time with more moments of pure joy than self-hate? Start living for you!

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