Mom, Dad, Thank You For Letting Me Go With A Military Man.

Mom, Dad, Thank You For Letting Me Go With A Military Man.

You did not have to let me go, but somehow you did

Mom, Dad, thank you for letting me go – with a military man.

I know that none of us could have guessed my life would go this way. When I was a little girl you probably imagined me going to college and exceling. You probably imagined raising this strong independent young woman that would graduate college and get an amazing job. Then after getting the career of my choice I would settle down. You probably thought it would be a few miles down the road. When I went through heartache after heartache, you probably both changed that though to, she will be strong, independent and living with us the rest of her life.

When I told you about the guy I was talking to and then very quickly became my boyfriend, you were thrilled at first. I am sure when I told you he was military part of you went "oh my." When you finally got to meet him, I know you could see how we felt about each other. You both may have started to wonder how far it would go. I am betting that you, Mom, probably knew the night you met him where this would go.

When he left again, you both watched me sit around in my room and cry. You watched me mope around the house, waiting on the phone to ring. I know you both saw through the happy face I tried to put on. I am sure more than once you thought to yourself, or even aloud to each other, what has she gotten herself into. You watched me live what seemed like half a life, because my other half was hundreds of miles away. During family time, you let me be on my phone constant. You would let me eat dinner in my room on Facetime, or Facetime him into meals. Mom, you always did everything to cheer me up when I was having a rough day. You always hugged me when I cried. Dad, you would try to distract me from the pain of missing someone that was my whole world. You both knew and seemed to understand how hard it all was for me.

When he started talking about marrying me to you, I’m sure that you were both happy and a little sad. You knew that every day would be an adventure for us, but far away from home. Mom, you helped plan a beautiful wedding and helped me get ready. Dad, you talked me down the idle. That weekend, you both knew that it would be the last time we would all be together as a family for a while.

But that weekend you let me marry the man of my dreams, and the military.

I thank you for that.

I thank you for knowing that I will be away more than I am home. It is not easy being so far away without you. Thank you for trusting in the good judgement I learn from both of you, as well as independence and the ability to be strong rolled. You both raised a well thought, strong, independent young woman. I thank you for teaching me to follow my heart. I know you could not have imagined it would lead me here. Thank you for always being understanding of me and my emotion. You still do on bad days when I am without him. Thank you for believing in both of us, as well as trusting that we both know what is best for us. With that, thank you for supporting us in any way possible. By now you probably know the exact postage to send a box to use. Thank you for even keeping traditions intact, even though you aren’t here and I’m not there. Thank you for mastering the art of Facetime so I can hear your voice and see your faces. Thank you for understanding the military comes first. Somedays I think you accept and understand it more than me. Thank you for always answering house questions from how to cook this, how to wash this or how to fix that. Thank you for always showing what love is, in good times and bad. Thank you for knowing that when he gets called to go away, or even just to train for a few days, I will need your support. I really do not think there is a way I could thank either of you enough. This life style is not the easiest. You did not have to let me go, you could’ve told me to run in the opposite direction. You could have told him to get lost and get off your doorstep. But you did not.

I guess most of all, thank you for putting my wants and needs before yours. You both accepted and knew it would be easier for you to miss me that to watch me miss him. When you told me this, I cried a little bit.

So, one more time, thank you Mom and Dad for letting me go, and giving me away to a military man. I know it was not easy, and it was not easy to watch me leave. It wasn’t easy for me when we drove away.

I love and miss you both.

- Your Military Wife Daughter

Let's be real, these two are SO wonderful.

Cover Image Credit: Photo Credit: EMusselman Photo and Design

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34 Things I Should Have Brought To College At The Start Of Freshman Year, But Didn't

To the incoming freshman from the rising senior.

Coming from a rising senior at the University of Dayton who has lived in an over-sized double dorm room, to a suite-style quad dorm room, to a house with virtually no storage space sharing an octagon-shaped single room (and single closet)... These are the random little things no one thinks to bring to college or put on these lists, but they will make your life on campus a million times better. I ended up buying these items long after I started college, and they were a big help. Don't make the same mistakes I did.

1. Shoe organizer

These are great for various items such as toiletries, snacks, and, of course, shoes.

2. Under-the-bed storage bins

During college, most of my storage has been under my bed, so this is a must.

3. Photos

To remember the happy times with your friends and family. Add to your collection over your college years.

4. String lights

Just to add a little something extra to your space. The dim light is totally relaxing.

5. Makeup wipes

For when you're too tired after going out to actually wash your face.

6. Extra sheets and towels

Trust me, you're not going to want to wash your sheets and towels right away so you can use them immediately. Bring back-ups.

7. Tide pods

These are awesome. Plus they smell heavenly.

8. Drunk dorm/microwaveable snacks

For when you come back after going out and the dining hall has already closed. Ordering Domino's or Jimmy John's night after night is NOT a cost-effective option.

9. Gatorade

For when you're too dead in the morning to walk down and get one from the dining hall.

10. Keurig and coffee

Just in case the dining hall runs out of coffee during finals week. Believe me, it can happen.

11. Chip clips

You will accumulate many of these from free vendors and events on campus, but somehow, they are no where to be found when you need one.

12. Paper towels / Clorox wipes

You can never have enough.

13. Rain boots

So you'll be able to make it to class on those rainy days without having to sit in soaking wet socks and shoes for 50 minutes (yikes). And you can jump in all the puddles you wish.

14. Alarm clock

If you're like me and could sleep the whole day if you didn't have an alarm, your phone alarm just doesn't cut it sometimes.

15. Back study pillow

Even if you don't think you will use it, you will end up wanting it.

16. Command strips

These are the only things that will stick to most dorm room walls.

17. Rug

Especially if your room has a cold tile floor instead of carpet.

18. Air mattress or sleeping bag

For your friends visiting you on campus, or if you ever go on a trip.

19. Disposable dishes

At least while you live in a dorm with a community sink.

20. Red solo cups

Because you don't want your morning-after milk or apple juice to taste like last night's $8 vodka.

21. Costumes/holiday wear

This is something I totally didn't even think about when I first came to school. Now I have an entire bin JUST for costumes and holiday decor.

22. Crazy daydrink clothes

If you have a few jerseys, you're set. If not, take a trip to the local goodwill with your squad and pick up a few things. The crazier, the better.

23. Towel wrap

If you're like me and just like to chill in your towel after you shower ( and a robe is too hot for you), these are a must. And they're super cute.

24. Wristlet/clutch/small purse

You won't want to lug around a large tote while you're out with friends or doing daily activities.

25. Comfortable heels

Don't let this be you!!!! I've been there, and nothing will ruin your night of dancing at the club like shoes that give you blisters and disable your walking by the end of the night.

26. Business casual and business professional clothes

And make sure you know the difference and when each is appropriate.

27. Water bottle

In college, your water bottle is your best friend. You never go anywhere without it, and it actually helps you to drink the amount of water you're supposed to drink each day (maybe).

28. Blender

If you're a fan of smoothies (or frozen margaritas) and want to make them at home for less.

29. Flashcards

Flashcards are a great way to study. If they're not for you, buy them anyway just in case you want to try them out. Or if anyone on your floor is desperate for them, they will be eternally grateful.

30. Mini fridge

When you're sharing a fridge with 3+ other people, things can get pretty tight. I recommend buying this with your roommates so you can share the extra space.

31. Calculator

Just in case you change your major and have to take math again (like me).

32. Thermometer

So you can know for sure whether or not you have a fever.

33. Drying rack

Because you're actually not supposed to put everything in the dryer, who knew?

34. Rubbing alcohol

Works wonders for getting those impossible Thursday night Xs off before your Friday 9 a.m.

These things have helped me make it through three years of college, especially freshman year. Hopefully, I have helped you prepare for your college years somehow. Good luck and have fun!!!

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Cover Image Credit: oregonstateuniversity / Flickr

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6 Tips On How To Get An A From Your TA

Being a teacher's pet isn't a bad thing--at least for that A.


1. Show Up On Syllabus Week


Even though your two years older brother, whose going to the same exact college, swears that syllabus week isn't necessary--it is. Some teachers get their classes up and going right away, taking no time for reviewing the syllabus because you're a big college kid now and should've done that on your own time. During syllabus week, you'll either hop right into lessons or actually review the syllabus that you should've before but you know you didn't. Either way, it's beneficial to go just for the sake of learning where the class is, if not anything else.

2. Show Up On Time After That

Mitchell Hollander

Punctuality is everything about how others see you for first impressions. If you're the kid strolling in ten minutes late everyday, everyone is going to get annoyed--including the teacher. Have some respect for yourself and others. Be sure to attend class on time. Some would say if you're five minutes late, don't come at all, but that's more for the sake of the class and you've got to be watching out for yourself.

3. Sit In Front

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It's not awkward or weird to sit in the very front of the lecture hall, I promise. You're actually setting yourself up for the best when the teacher's mic fails and she's resorted to shouting the rest of the lesson instead of cancelling it. Not only that, but your questions are always addressed first and you can be the first one to reach her after the class is over, instead of the tenth in the line of people who were too nervous to ask the questions during class.

4. Participate In Class

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If, or rather when, the teacher asks the class to answer a question, just raise your hand and answer it. Stop stressing over whether you're wrong or not. It's far easier just to answer and let class move along instead of sitting there for an awkward five minutes of silence and paper shuffling. Another note, if you have a question, ask it. This refers back to the line of ten people that appears after class because they were too nervous to ask in front of a crowd. Not to mention you're all probably asking the same question. Moral of the story, if you have a question, ask it because at least one other person out of two hundred has that same one.

5. Go To Office Hours

Nastuh Abotalebi

If you need help, get it. Or even if you don't, get it anyways. Have them check over the outline of your paper or ask them what topics they feel will be touched on most during the test. Or even just go in there to have coffee with them. Office hours suck when no one comes in and many TAs enjoy getting to know their students. You're in college; you're supposed to be networking.

6. Talk To Them Like They're People

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Because they are. Don't raise your voice when you didn't study and weren't prepared and didn't get the grade you wanted. Don't yell when you aren't getting something. Form a relationship, a good one, because they're students too, probably only four years older than you. They like to get drunk on Friday's too--you'll see them out at the same bars you go to right after you sent that email to them, asking a question about the paper.

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