Many times, you hear teenagers say how much they do not like to hang out with their families, and how they would much rather be with their friends. As much as I like to hang out with my friends, anyone who knows me knows for a fact that this is a statement they would never hear me say. I am lucky enough to have grown up in an incredibly close knit family, and, my entire life, it has been one of the things that I have always been most thankful for.

From when I was very young, more than just my immediate family has lived with me. I grew up with my grandparents living with my mom, dad, sister, and I, which they did until they passed away. Those years that I was able to see them every morning and spend time with them every night are ones that I am grateful for every single day. In addition to this, my aunt would, and still does, come over every single weekend, and, no matter what we do, it is always memorable.

Not to mention that whenever we go on vacation, or have any type of celebration, it is a full family affair, filled with unforgettably good times. Whether it is a cruise, trip to Disney World, or spontaneous weekend trip to the beach, there is never a dull moment, and I can honestly say that there is no one that I would rather share these memories with. There is nothing better than being able to say that whenever my family is together, it is a time filled with love, laughter, and special moments that we will talk about forever.

On top of this, one of the best things about having a close-knit family is that I am constantly surrounded by unwavering love and support. I know for a fact that no matter what happens or what decisions I make, I will have my family behind me, cheering me on one-hundred percent. There is no group of people in this world that I can trust more, or that gives me better advice, even when it might not be the advice that I necessarily want to hear. Their honest opinions mean everything to me, because I know that in the end, they want nothing more than what is best for me and for me to be happy.

What I have learned more than anything else from being in a close-knit family is that family is most definitely not defined by blood. Most of the people in my family are not blood-related to me, but are friends who have become my family, and it does not change how much I love them and how close we all are. After all, “DNA doesn’t make a family, love does.” I realize how lucky I am everyday to know that my truly one-of-a-kind family will always remain close-knit, and I would not give up the relationship we have for anything in the world.