To The Mom That Got Her Daughter Through Freshman Year

To The Mom That Got Her Daughter Through Freshman Year

Thanks for never giving up on me, even when I wanted to give up on myself.
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Mom,

Wow, we made it! It feels like just yesterday you were giving me a teary hug goodbye just outside of my tiny dorm room and heading home without me, and now it's nearly time for me to come home after my first year of college! I can honestly say that I never thought I'd be able to live away from home without you waking me up in the morning and reminding me of all of my tasks for the day, but somehow I survived. I also know how to wake up to an alarm now, so if that's the only thing I learned this year, I'm sure you're relieved. I'm so glad that I'll be headed home to you for Summer and that we can spend some quality time together.

Thank you for always being there when I needed someone to talk to. No matter what was going on in your world, work, taking care of the rest of the family or even an emergency, you always had time to either give me some of your world-famous advice or just listen when I needed it. We may have been over 300 miles away for nine months (aside from my breaks and weekend visits home, of course), but somehow we managed to grow closer than ever with me away at school. I loved having you come up to visit for a football game and I'm super thankful you helped me move some stuff out of my room ahead of time, the already cramped backseat of my sedan will thank you later.

Even though I haven't taken my last final exam yet, this year is coming to a quick end. The more I think about it, the more I know I couldn't have survived it without you. You gave me the strength and guidance to be able to live (really really far) away from home and succeed in school, and I'll always be thankful for that. Not all of my friends had such great experiences, and I have no doubt in my mind that the foundation you set for me made all of the differences. Thanks for not letting me go away to college without learning how to manage my own money and do laundry. Also, thanks for letting me choose my very own path and pretending to love my school half as much as you love your alma mater.

SEE ALSO: A Thank You To Freshman Year

Though I know sending your very first kid to their out of state dream school, not knowing what to expect definitely wasn't easy (or cheap, even though I had a nice amount of scholarships); you never stopped me from dreaming big and going for everything that I wanted. Because of you, I know that I can do anything that I set my mind to. Thank you for listening to me talk about potential internships, reading over every draft of my resume and looking at all of my projects. Most of all, thank you for believing in me.

So, get ready, because I'll be home soon! Now you'll be able to tell me to clean my room and give me a hug every day, something that I've missed so much since I left. (Yes, I really did miss you telling me to clean my room).

Love,

Your daughter, who's now a sophomore.

Cover Image Credit: Taylor Hall

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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You Can Still Get Homesick While Having The Time Of Your Life

Not every moment has to be fun and glamorous.

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We often look at college life and study abroad and backpacking trips on other people's Instagrams and see all the fun they're having and all the friends they're making. This is especially the case with study abroad, when these people seem to travel to a new place every weekend and live their absolute best lives. As a result, when we embark on these trips ourselves, there is often a disparity between expectation and reality that can majorly affect you both physically and mentally.

It's important to understand that even if you're meeting new people every day and exploring a new country every week and living out your dreams, there will still be days where you feel like you just want to go home to your group of friends and hangout at the local boba shops or sit with your family at home and just watch TV while fighting over the remote. While you're absorbing all these new and wonderful things around you while abroad, your body will yearn for something familiar, comfortable and secure. And that would be your life at home.

You may feel the need to just stay in your apartment for 2 days straight and binge watch YouTube or call every single one of your friends back home just to catch up. Or you may end up revisiting pictures from the past and salivate over the Korean BBQ trips you took back at home and get intense urges to eat food from home. There's absolutely nothing wrong with feeling like this. In fact, a good way to help appease these feelings are to search for the cuisine that you're craving for in your city, and go out of your way to eat it just to get that familiarity back. I have found myself at Asian restaurants and bubble tea shops in Paris more often than I ever was at home, and while others may consider this as a waste of time and that I should be experiencing only French food, it's a really good way to appease those feelings of homesickness. Trust me, the moment you take that first bite of beef noodle soup, you'll feel much, much better.

This isn't to say that you should only stick to the familiar even in a new city. Explore as much as possible and be open to trying new things, but every once in a while, when those feelings of homesickness hit, don't feel bad about buying that boba or starting that 3-hour long video call. After all, you can't have the time of your life if you don't take care of your mental health in the process.

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