Dear Mom and Dad,
As I settle back in for yet another semester as a college student, I am reminded of a few things. Most of these pertain to actual college, but that's not all. I'm once again reminded of how fortunate I was growing up to have been given the life I was. In particular, how that life prepared me to enter college and start being ready as a young adult.
Growing up, you both instilled into me the lessons that you felt were important for my success once I reached college age. While I might not have appreciated it at the time, I can look back now at much of what you've taught me and realize,
"Wow. They were right."
And you honestly were right. Whether I agreed with you or not on a particular matter is irrelevant. The most important thing is that I learned from life lessons and experiences.
For example, I've stressed multiple times, on Odyssey and in daily life, how important communicating is to me. My parents always taught me to look me in the eye, treat them respectfully, and be considerate towards them, no matter what the circumstance might be. Many teenagers now are obsessed with social media and their cell phones, and as a result, can't always hold a conversation with an adult.
I'll be the first to admit, I'm addicted to my cell phone, Instagram, and Snapchat as much as the next person. However, I know when the time is appropriate to put my phone down and engage in face to face conversation. In college, there are more important things going on than what your favorite celebrity just tweeted. I didn't get my first cell phone until I was 13, and my first smartphone wasn't until 16. And guess what? I turned out fine. I remember begging my parents for an upgraded phone week after week for years, but having the latest phone isn't what's important. Technology won't help you talk to your advisor when discussing the next semester classes, so put the phone down once you've booked the appointment. Talk to adults in person, professionally and respectfully.
Which brings us to my final point. My parents always taught me that a little respect goes a long way. Even when you're frustrated, there's really no benefit to being snippy or short with someone, especially if they're trying to help you. There were plenty of kids that I went to high school with that were disrespectful towards teachers and school staff, and it annoyed me. I understand there might be a teacher that you don't get along with, but more often than not, they're doing their absolute best to give you an education. I'm sure that many of these same students were less than considerate towards service staff when they were outside of school. The reason why? They saw their parents acting that way, or they weren't disciplined when they behaved poorly. I was disciplined as a kid, and I am a better person for it.
So thank you, Mom and Dad. The lessons I learned growing up have served me well as I've grown into the person I am now. I'm not perfect, but I can certainly say that through your guidance, I have been set on a path that will help me become a more responsible and respectful adult.