I've always been lucky to have a strong relationship with my parents, where I know I can go to either one of them at the end of the day and tell them about everything I've been up to at college. Whenever I find free time in my day, I always try to call them and update them on my life because it feels good to hear their voices and catch each other up on what's happening here and what I've been missing at home.

But while I do try my best to talk to my parents and keep them in the loop, there still are a few things that I want them to know and understand, especially before I come back home for the summer for a few months.

First of all, I want them to know how tired I'm going to be when I step through the front door.

While I'll be thrilled to see everyone, such as my brother, my dog, and all of my hometown friends, I'm also going to be feeling completely exhausted, since I'll be coming straight out of finals week and a long four-hour drive back home. So Mom and Dad, if I'm acting lethargic or deciding to stay under my covers for a few days in a row, don't think it's because I'm trying to avoid you when really I'm just trying to catch up on all the sleep that I've missed.

The next thing I want my parents to know is that I'm going to be feeling a bit sad as well.

Leaving behind all the aspects of college, such as freedom and independence, is already hard enough, but leaving behind all of the people that make college such a special place will be the worst part of it. Going three months without seeing my friends will feel like an eternity and will hurt more than you can imagine because I'm transitioning from being able to walk down the hall or taking the elevator to visit them in their rooms, to being separated by a few hours in different states. I'm sure that over the summer I might make a few plans to try and visit them, but it'll be different and a lot more difficult, since we'll all probably have conflicting summer schedules. So Mom and Dad, if it seems like I'm down or "out of it," don't think that I'm not excited to see you, because I definitely am and have missed you both immensely. But at the same time, I'll be losing some very important people for a while, and that's not going to be easy to endure.

Another thing I want my parents to know is how far I've come and how hard I've worked this year.

I know that they usually are aware of this and always remind me of how proud they are, but they'll never be able to see all of the restless nights spent in the library studying for tests, or me juggling multiple tasks around campus throughout the day. They won't fully be aware of the fact that I've been trying to manage not only academics but a healthy social life, and that while all of this is not easy, I'm still pushing through this from day to day. And while they might be able to get an idea of what this lifestyle is like, they still aren't able to be here with me throughout the entire journey, observing every task, project, or test I'm working on.

When I leave campus on my last day, I'll leave knowing that I did everything that I could to produce my strongest work, even if one or two of my final grades aren't an A+. So, Mom and Dad, I want you to know that no matter what grades I do get at the end of this year, I want you to realize how much time and effort I've been putting into my work and my studies, and I hope you'll understand that I truly did the best I could.

But most importantly, I want my parents to know how extremely thankful I am for supporting me in the school of my dreams ever since my first day of freshman year.

This school has changed me for the better and has allowed me to grow as a student, a thinker, a writer, a leader, a young adult, and so much more. I've been able to take classes that I'm passionate about and pursue career and networking opportunities that will help guide me for possible future job experiences. I've had the opportunity to meet some of the best people who I'm lucky to call my people, and who are able to be here for me and support me when you guys are a few hundred miles away and unable to do so. So, Mom and Dad, I want to thank you both for providing me with this amazing experience and for always supporting me throughout every step that I've taken. I can confidently say that if it weren't for your endless support and love, I would be a different person in a different situation.

I still have a few more weeks until I can officially say that I'm a junior in college and that I'm on summer break, but Mom and Dad, I can't wait to see you, and I hope that you know all of these things before I walk through the front door and embark on an amazing summer at home.