Yes, Friendships Are Important — But Family Is Everything

Yes, Friendships Are Important — But Family Is Everything

It can be easy to put your friends over your family. Don't.

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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.

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True Tales Of Growing Up In A BIG Family

Spoiler alert, I get tackled a lot.

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I was born into a fairly large family. I have upwards of twenty-something first cousins, many of who are around the same age as me. It has honestly been both a blessing and a curse to have so many people around me all the time. Some of my favorite memories come from family gatherings where all of my cousins were there. However, since most of my cousins are male, there has also been a lot of physical violence where people get hurt, even if the intentions were innocent. I have so many stories about my family, some of which I won't share here because they are a little bit inappropriate, but others are too good not to share.

The first story I want to share is from this past Easter. Most of my cousins on my Dad's side were at my Papa's house celebrating the holiday. There was so much food we could probably feed a small army. Some of the older cousins decided that we were going to play a game of whiffle ball. All of the cousins who were playing were at least sixteen and some of them were much older. Many of us had or are playing sports in High School or College so this game of whiffle ball got extremely competitive very fast. I ended up being the Umpire/pitcher because I played softball for so long. The game ended with my brothers winning and my other cousins upset that they lost, but it was still one of the memories I will cherish the most even though I definitely threw out my shoulder pitching.

I can remember playing a game of football on Thanksgiving when I was young (maybe five or six). This game, not unlike the whiffle ball game we played at Easter, got super competitive super fast to the point where even I, as a six-year-old, was being pushed and tackled to the ground by much older boys. I honestly can't remember much about that game, maybe I got hit in the head too much, but I do remember having so much fun playing with my cousins.

I've been on a cruise two times in my life, both times with my extended family. One cruise was to Mexico when I was very little. What I remember about that cruise was getting extremely sea sick and that the cleaning staff would make towel monkey on our beds. The cruise was to Alaska when I was a lot older, I think I was fifteen. Since I and my cousins were much older on that cruise, we caused a lot more trouble and were able to get away with it. Every night we would go to the pool and swim. Then, we would go to the buffet and only eat pineapples and mac and cheese. We, also, may have or may not have gone into a bar to sing karaoke. While the cruise was fun, I wouldn't have had such a great time if I wasn't with my family.

While sometimes they can be a pain, having so much family has taught me a lot about communication and playing right. Again, I only have scratched the surface here in regards to the plentiful stories I have, many of which are so much funnier. I love my family so much and I would never trade that in for the world.

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