Growing up, it has become much easier to understand the sacrifices my parents have made for me. As my first year of college comes to a close, I want to reflect on what I have learned and how navigating college life alone has changed the way I view the relationship I have with my parents.

Dear Mom and Dad,

You two have done a good job, I think I've turned out pretty well. You've raised me to be the intelligent, responsible, kind adult that I am today. I often take most of the credit for how I've turned out but lately, I've felt extremely grateful for the experiences you two have given me that have shaped me into who I am.

Thank you for valuing my education so highly but simultaneously reminding me that a grade isn't everything. (I think all those talks in the car after I cried over a B have finally made their impact) Thank you for investing in my learning and ensuring that I had the best opportunities available to me, I know that I am extremely lucky in that way. Thank you for understanding that learning is my ultimate passion and wholeheartedly supporting that through the years.

Thank you for all of the things you have given me and for the things that you haven't. You both have worked hard to make sure that I don't encounter some of the struggles that you two have gone through. In the same sense, thank you for trusting me to navigate certain challenges on my own and lending a hand when necessary. I admire you both for your independence and strength and I hope that one day my kids can say the same about me.

Thank you both for finding the time to be the best parents you can be. Of course it's your responsibility to care for your children but I recognize that from the moment I was born, you two have done everything to make sure that I have everything I needed and more. I truly don't know how you two have found the time to be everywhere for all of us at once, but I appreciate it more now, as I'm figuring out how to make time for the people in my life.

Finally, thank you for simply allowing me to be who I am and being proud of me. I haven't always given you two an easy time but you've given me the space to figure myself out on my own. As I'm getting older, I find myself cherishing the time that I have with the both of you, the conversations, the silence, and everything in between. I feel blessed to have you two as my parents and best friends, as my biggest supporters and my family.

I love and appreciate you both endlessly and I'm thankful for the life you have given me.