My first love was my mom and dad, both of which I am fortunate enough to share an amazing bond with. My dad taught me to treat others the way I would want to be treated and was also the one who let me keep my training wheels for four whole years. My mom, on the other hand, taught me how to save money and also how to use it, both important life skills. Together, through word and deed, they showed me what unconditional love is and I always try to remind myself to never take that for granted.
When I decided to go to Stony Brook, I never knew how hard it would be to be separated from them. Choosing to study in the states put distance between us and I know it was hard for them to let their only daughter go, but still, they always supported me. Therefore, whenever life gets overwhelming, I think of the sacrifices not only I've made but the sacrifices they've made.
College for most of us means leaving home and learning to take care of ourselves when we are sick and making sure we aren't eating Dominos every week. You don't have your mom yelling at you whenever you have to wake up or a leaning shoulder to cry on. It has been two years since I left Japan but when I do get to spend time with my family, I try to make sure to cherish every moment spent together. It's never too late to start building a relationship.
I have a love-hate relationship with the airport. Every time I leave Japan, going through customs is the hardest thing to do knowing my loved ones are having to watch me leave. To smile and think to yourself that it never gets easier is something I'm sure a lot of students can relate to. I've heard a saying that you never really know how much someone means to you till you separate from them. As much as I hate to admit, I understood the importance of my parents' love when I went abroad. 7000 miles is far, but I remind myself to instill the life lessons that they have taught me daily.