Everyone always says that the relationships you establish in college are the ones that will last a lifetime. The people who will end up being your bridesmaids or groomsmen. While this is true, it can be easy to put your friends over your family.

Moving away from your family and being on your own means learning independence in its true form. Some of us cling to the people we first meet in this new stage of life out of fear of being alone. I found myself doing this my very first semester. When these things happen, family is everything. They are the ones you call when you feel like nothing's going right. They are the ones who will sit down with you and have hours upon hours of conversations.

One Saturday morning, my dad woke me up at 7 a.m. to take me to my grandma's house to do a deep clean of the garage and landscape work. These are the words every high school student dreams of hearing on a Saturday morning. Even though I was not happy to be there, my family members expressed their gratitude for me on multiple occasions that day. They were so appreciative of me coming to help on my day off. In the amount of time we worked, so many stories were shared that I would have missed out on if I would have instead said no.

Whether or not you have realized it, I think all of us at one point or another have canceled plans with our family to go hang out with our friends. In this particular moment, it will seem like the option that is more exciting and has more in it for us. We have to understand, however, that family is always what we fall back on. The best stories, pieces of advice, and sharing of hearts and dreams have been with the people in my family. Our time is precious, and while sometimes it may seem more fun to go out with friends instead of going to the large family gathering, you will thank yourself in the future for the quality time you spent with the people you love the absolute most.