Dear Mom and Dad,

I know this time may be difficult for you. Seeing your first born and only daughter go off to college for four years, and to start her adult life, but I'm here to tell you that I'm ready. I know it may not seem like it with the clothes on my floor and the makeup all over my sink, but I'll learn once I'm living alone. And I'll remember all that you taught me.

I know that we fight sometimes, but we also have good times together. Like, family road trips to Rhode Island and our last vacation to Las Vegas. These are all memories I will cherish forever. I'll definitely miss the small memories, like coming home after a closing shift and watching "Live: PD" with you and laughing at the idiots on TV, or watching dogs that maybe are too much to handle sometimes. I'll miss the home-cooked meals, for sure, like my favorite spaghetti and meatballs, or even trying new recipes that mom finds online. And it'll be hard to not tell you about my day after something dramatic or exciting happens.

I know you're a phone call away, but I know I don't want to bug you too much and the same goes for you. But I will never reject a phone call. Ever. (Only when I'm in class or studying really hard.) I also realize that you think I don't know how I'm going to budget my money in college, but trust me, I'm listening to every word you say and I'm going to try my hardest, I promise you that. I only want the best outcome from these four years (and my possible year of grad school,) and I want to follow my dreams. That's why I have no intention of stopping. I want to become the best therapist you've ever known and to make you proud of me.

Mom, Dad -- It's going to be hard to leave and stay at school, especially since I'm not too far away. I know I always say I'm so ready to leave and to get away from home, but that's only because I need change. I've been waiting for this moment for four years. And it's finally here. Yes, I know you always say you can't wait for me to go to school and to be away, but it can't be that true. Who's going to make you laugh as much as I do? I know I'm kind of funny.

Thank you so much for all that you have taught me ever since I was young -- thank you for teaching me that, "Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable," for teaching me that we need to think of the less fortunate when we have enough, for teaching me that everything will be okay in the end, for teaching me that it is okay to get help, and for teaching me what love really is. Thank you for teaching me how to be independent, how to follow my dreams, how to work for the things we want, and how to be open minded. But most of all, thank you for always having a home for me to come back to.

My years at Monmouth University will be amazing, thanks to all the life lessons you have taught me. I'm only a phone call away, an hour and 45 minute drive away, (but don't do that without asking first please) and a text away. And I will promise you that I will be home for every holiday and more.

I love you,

Your little girl