My mom has saved me from a lot of bad decisions: Blonde highlights, side bangs and getting my belly button pierced in middle school just to name a few.

My parents are smart; they have put me and my brother first and shaped us into who we are as college students. Besides the fact that they are great parents, I am the way I am because I grew up in an alcohol-free home.

My mom has been sober for 32 years and my dad for almost just as long. I have never seen my parents come home intoxicated. I grew up differently than most and their life choice has made my brother and I look at alcohol and choices in a different way.

Since it was never in my house, I didn’t feel the need to try alcohol until much later than most people in my class. It is not that I looked at people who drank at a young age as irresponsible or horrible people, I just didn’t feel the need to join. High school can be rough; people are trying to understand who they are, are labeled with clichés and want to grow up way too fast. During high school, people defined groups by how much they drank and I would’ve much rather hung out with my group of friends than with people that tried to label me.

Now, I am in a sorority, basically printing a label on my forehead of what people think I am supposed to be. However, I don’t think I am what the label says. My parents have taught me to respect myself and to make my own choices; I brought all of that advice to college with me. Sure, like most college students I had a pretty crazy freshman year, but I never lost my values.

My parents have strong morals and I think morals define a person. They show what a person cares about and what they stand for. You can learn a lot about a person by what they care about and it has made me a good judge of character. My parents’ choice has taught me to respect myself and know myself when I am making decisions. I think holding onto your values and morals in college can be tough and sometimes they're tempting to break, but I am thankful I had parents that taught me how important they are.

When it comes to raising kids and giving them strong morals, I’m sure there is a number of great ways to do it. I think everyone secretly wanted the party parents in high school and there is nothing wrong with that. But my brother and I are the way we are now after being raised in an alcohol-free house.

I was raised in an alcohol-free home, but my parents have never made choices for me. My parents have only helped me make many good ones.