To The Parents That Always Let Me Follow My Dreams

To The Parents That Always Let Me Follow My Dreams

My parents would look at each other, smile, and help me plan out whatever ridiculous thing I was about to do. That made all the difference in the world - I grew up truly thinking I could do anything I dreamed of doing, and that with a little help from my much wiser parents, it was possible.
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When Hillary Clinton gave her concession speech, she said: "And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful, and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams." With all my other emotions following the election, this quote stuck with me. This is the childhood and adulthood I have been given by my parents: they have always allowed me to follow my dreams, regardless of how ridiculous and far-fetched they were.

When I was in elementary school, I decided I wanted to be a forensic anthropologist. I was an obnoxious and precocious kid, who thought I was special because I was in the fifth grade but reading at a high school level and did what I called "science stuff" with my dad (spoiler alert: I wasn't). I decided I wanted to be a forensic anthropologist because I had just started reading the book series by Kathy Reichs that the TV show Bones is based on. I remember sitting at the kitchen table at dinner, the book next to me in case the conversation became dry, and saying confidently, "I don't want to be a vet anymore. I'm going to be like Temperance Brennan."

My parents shared a look, and my mom smiled. "Okay honey, we'll support you no matter what you want to do." Another spoiler alert: I am in college now, but now to be a forensic anthropologist. I stuck with my original dream to be a veterinarian, though those dreams have evolved somewhat.

My parents always supported me in whatever ridiculous things I wanted to do - double major in biology and animal science with a minor in astrophysics (trust me - I know), run division 1 track with that double major and completely ridiculous minor, but most importantly, going 800 miles away from home for school when I had spent a maximum of a week away from my parents. My parents would just smile to each other, and figure out how we were going to make it happen.

I ended up at that school 800 miles from home; I didn't run division 1 track, and I didn't even double major. In the time from the beginning of my senior year until the end, a lot of things changed. The support from my parents never did though, and that was the only thing that mattered.

I never had a conversation with my parents where they tried to let me down gently, that whatever I was dreaming was improbable, impossible, and completely insane. My parents would look at each other, smile, and help me plan out whatever ridiculous thing I was about to do. That made all the difference in the world - I grew up truly thinking I could do anything I dreamed of doing, and that with a little help from my much wiser parents, it was possible.

I can't imagine my life without supportive parents, I would never have reached for the stars and pushed myself past the boundaries I had set for myself.

Cover Image Credit: Kate Marlette

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Why Your College Best Friend Is 'Your Person'

In college, you meet that one special person who will always be there for you.
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In college, you meet that one special person who will always be there for you. I know what you're thinking — it's a guy, right? No way, it's a girl. A girl who will be there even when you feel like you have nobody.

Here are six reasons why your college best friend is "your person."

1. No matter the boy drama, she'll always be there to tell you they are stupid.


2. You hate the same people, and you know they would help you hide the body if need be.

3. Everybody knows if she is sad or in a bad mood, so are you.

4. When they are mean, you know it's only because they stayed up all night watching Netflix and you are the only one who can understand them.

5. They are the only one who agrees that if there is no food at an event, you both are leaving.

6. They will always come before everybody, and even if you are thousands of miles apart from each other, she will still be your person.


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Men Should Be Able To Give Up Their Parental Rights Before Their Child Is Born

If he's not ready to be a parent but the woman is, why should he be dragged into it?

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I have very strong opinions about abortion. Women everywhere should be able to access safe abortions, and men should not be allowed to force a woman to have a child just because he wants it. However, on the flip side, I do believe that men should have the option to give up their parental rights when their partner gets pregnant and decides to keep it.

Not everyone who gets pregnant is ready for a child. We continue to fight hard for a woman's right to terminate a pregnancy no problem, but we can't leave men out of this discussion. A man should not be allowed to force a woman to do anything, but there's no reason he shouldn't have his own rights. If a man feels that he is not ready to be a father, he should be able to give up that title no questions asked.

When this is done, he should not owe the child anything. I know it sounds harsh, but why should he be harassed into helping a child he's not ready to have? In this hypothetical, the woman has already decided that she is ready for the responsibility of motherhood and accepts the hardships that come along with it. It seems just as barbaric to force a man into fatherhood than it is to force a woman to carry a child she does not want full term.

I truly believe in this system because I'm tired of seeing children raised by inadequate fathers. Because there are so many teen pregnancies nowadays, I feel like I'm able to really catch a glimpse at young people completely unprepared for parenthood. I've seen countless young fathers ignore their children once they're born, and it's heartbreaking to see. The children's mothers constantly bash the fathers on social media where it'll live on forever. These children will grow up with fathers who mess with their heads. Sometimes they'll be around, and sometimes they won't. They'll make empty promises and constantly let their children down.

Therefore, why not avoid this problem altogether and give men their own voice in the abortion discussion? Let men revoke their title, and let them have children when they're ready.

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