The Thank-You Letter Mom And Dad Earned Years Ago, But Never Got

The Thank-You Letter Mom And Dad Earned Years Ago, But Never Got Till Now

Mom, Dad, I should have said this years ago.

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On the first day of every school year, the director of my high school, Mr. Dioli, would come up and give a speech to the entire school. By our senior year, we figured out that it was pretty much word for word the same speech every year, specifically a part about saying thank you. He said that every day you should go home and say two simple words to your parents, "thank you."

Now, as a senior feeling on top of the world, I paid little to no attention to this speech, as I was too busy focussing on getting out of there and going to college. I figured, I say thank you to my parents all the time, why should I specifically say thank you today after my last first day of high school?

However, now that it's five years later and I'm a (dare I say it) senior in college, I have fully realized that Mr. Dioli's speech was by far the most on-point speech I've ever heard. We all forget to thank our parents. We take most of what they do for granted and after you leave them, you truly realize how much you owe them.

So, now that I'm in my final year of college, I'm saying a thank you to my amazing parents who honestly deserve way more than just an article.

Dear Mom and Dad, Thank you.

Thank you for the past 21 years. For supporting me in every choice I make. For coming to every water polo and basketball game. For the early car rides to practice and the countless tournaments that took over our summers and weekends.

Thank you for dealing with me when I'm sick, and for always being willing to drop everything to make sure that Will and I are okay.

Thank you for allowing me to go to college where I want. Thank you for flying across the country to come to see me, and for allowing me to yell "Go Cocks" at the TV during every sporting event.

Thank you for being there every step of the way; for every adventure I take on and for encouraging me to continue to challenge myself.

It's because of you guys that I am the person I am today. I would not be nearly as confident, driven, or sarcastic if it wasn't for the lessons that you both have taught me.

From you two, I've learned the importance of sunscreen. I've learned that yelling at the television during sporting events is a totally normal practice. I've learned that "this could be the Christmas card" is just a way to get everyone in the picture to smile, and that even though no matter how much I complain, we will probably always do something active on Thanksgiving.

You've taught me how to be the bigger person. You've taught me that even if things do not work out in your favor, to continue to work hard because something will work out for you.

I can't thank you enough for everything that you've done for me. For all of the lessons learned, all of the trips made, tournaments watched, flights scheduled to South Carolina and phone calls made at random hours throughout the day.

I know that sometimes Will and I (but mostly Will) are huge pains to deal with, and we don't make anything easy, but we love you. I am nothing but grateful for everything that you have done for me and I can't imagine having anyone else to call mom and dad.

You guys are the best, and as much as I hate being across the country from you guys, it has made me realize how easy you guys made life for me back home, and how easy you made it for me to transition into college life and become an adult (even though I'm definitely not a real grown up yet).

Thank you again, I couldn't have done any of this without you.

Love,

Em

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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5 Reasons Teachers Deserve Better Salaries

The national average salary for teachers is $38,000.

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Let's not beat around the bush: teachers do way too much and get paid way too little. As a future educator, I have spent a lot of time observing my former teachers, and I can tell you that they do way more than just what students experience in the classroom. Yes, some teachers can be tough graders and yes, teachers receive longer breaks. But, that does not justify the unreasonably low wages they receive. What exactly do teachers do? Well...

1. They literally create ALL other jobs

No job can exist without a teacher giving you the foundation of it. Elementary school teachers are responsible for encouraging students to have hopes and dreams, therefore allowing them to open up their minds to any type of future. Middle school teachers lay down the foundation of each type of subject, teaching students about different fields, and encouraging them to pursue knowledge. High school teachers help students to increase their knowledge in multiple fields and guide them to a course of specialization in high school

2. They are much more than just teachers to students

Especially in high school, teachers are more than just teachers — they are mentors, confidantes, coaches, and friends. Students spend a large chunk of their lives in school, so it's no surprise that they rely on teachers for moral and emotional guidance. Students tend to turn to teachers for life advice, especially in terms of future planning. So why, again, are we paying them so little?

3. Many teachers work two or more jobs to stay afloat

Depending on what area of the country you are in, your teacher might be making just above the poverty line as their salary. This is evidently not enough to support oneself with rent, groceries, and amenities — let alone support a family. Many teachers are also tutors, side business owners, or even bartenders. They work long hours, both in school and out of it, and deserve better rights.

4. When they are not teaching, they are grading, planning, coaching, and more

Before and after school, teachers are often coaches or sponsors for extracurricular activities, which means that they are in the school building for sometimes up to 10 hours a day. On top of that, they grade work, lesson plan, and have to take care of their homes and families. (Especially women, but that's a topic for another day.)

5. They create a home away from home

If you've ever walked into a classroom, you know that it isn't blank. There are motivational posters up, students' work displayed, and other things to make students feel more comfortable. Teachers are creating safe spaces for children whose home lives aren't the best so that they at least have one place they feel welcomed.


So the next time you encounter your teachers, thank them. They did a lot more for you than you may realize, and they truly do care about your success. Give them a handshake, a hug, or (if I'm your teacher in the future) a $5 Starbucks gift card never killed nobody. But, in all seriousness, advocate for your teachers. Although they knew what profession they were choosing, it is always nice to know that someone has your back. After all, they have yours!

If you're interested in learning more, visit http://teachersalaryproject.org/resource-center.

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