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.