My Greatest Fear Is Disappointing My Parents

My Greatest Fear Is Disappointing My Parents

I worry that I will not live up to the expectations of my parents.


I don't know what kind of parents you had, but all I know is that I have some of the most amazing parents on this earth. They have overcome so many obstacles in their lives, and for them to be where they are now is amazing. They've worked so hard so that I don't have to fight through the same challenges they did. I often feel as though maybe they think because it's easier for me, I will be better, but honestly, sometimes I find myself feeling suffocated by this pressure.

I for sure am having a completely different college experience than they are. My dad didn't have enough money to finish college after he decided that Music Composition was probably not the wisest career move, and went straight into the workforce. My mother got her teaching degree as a single mother when I was the age of two. She somehow managed to graduate with a 4.0. So here I am, working really hard to pursue a Marketing degree, with what seems like a dinky 3.6 GPA. I'm also extremely involved on campus, being a part of many clubs, jobs, internships, and I'm the treasurer of my sorority. I feel as though my accomplishments pale in comparison to the amazing college academics my mom seems to have on top of the busy lifestyle she had while raising me.

Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

When I try to express how unworthy and dumb I feel about being less than perfect, I don't know if my parents quite understand. My dad just seems to be happy that I'm working through college, while I can't help feeling like my mom expects so much more of me, and I'm not quite meeting her standards. Each transition of life, from elementary to middle school, from middle school to high school, and from high school to college, I feel as though I become less and less confident in my abilities. As a result, I can't help feeling like I disappoint my parents a little bit more each time I go through these transitions.

I understand that most of this is my own fault and my own anxieties getting in my way, but I really can't help it. One of my biggest fears is disappointing my family, and the oldest/only child in me can't seem to let that go. It doesn't really help that I still live at home, and I really don't have much escape. I'm not home often, because I'm working at things at school, or at a networking event, or even just trying to have fun with my friends. I feel guilty for not being with my family, but I also feel like this is my time to be independent and make my own mistakes. It's really hard for me to let go of the fact that I'm not going to please everyone.

Photo by Niklas Hamann on Unsplash

I don't know how other people feel about this transition, or if they are struggling like I am, but I do no know that change brings more change and not everything goes the way we want them to. I hope one day both my parents and I come to that understanding. I have to realize that my situation is much different from theirs, and it's impossible to live up to an expectation from a different experience or journey. A marketing degree is not a teaching degree, a job in college is different than a job outside of college, and we all have different demons to battle along the way. I just hope I can make it out while still making my parents proud of me.

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A Thank You Letter To My Parents On Graduation Day

The two people who made sure I survived the last four years

To my parents on my graduation day -- Thank You!

When I started this final semester I had so much on my plate, graduate school applications, graduation plans, work, and classes. I struggled and scrambled and worried and through it all you both were behind me, pushing and supporting me. You all have done so much for me, not just in the last four years but, for my entire life. Neither of you had much when you started life together, as you've told me many times you ate hamburger helper without the hamburger. You spent money on formula for me instead of food for you all. I don't remember much about that time in my life but, I do remember the hard work, effort, strength, love, and drive I saw in the two of you.


You went through deployments, field training, retirement, and school; all while still making mom smile, helping me with my homework and continuously checking in on Grandma and Grumpa. You were deployed for some big stuff, you missed out on softball games, band competitions, and my first prom.

I know how much you wanted to be there and I always knew you were there with me when I was reaching these milestones. When you retired you came to every marching band performance, helped me move into my dorm, and came to school to see me just because.

In the last few months, as my undergraduate career comes to an end, I have been faced with some important decisions and issues that I have struggled to accept. You listened to me complain, gave me encouragement and advice, and most importantly loved me every step of the way. You helped me understand that God has a plan for me and in due time it would play out and I would end up somewhere I never imagined all for the better. You told me over and over again how you won't even begin to say that you understand what I'm going through but, what mattered most was you always supported me.

Thank you for giving me that constant support, encouragement, advice, wisdom and most importantly love. You may have missed some big moments in my life but, on this day, you are here calling my name from the stands and that makes up for all the competitions and proms you ever missed. Thank you for always loving me Daddy, I love you.


I could write a million pages full of thank you's to you but, I'll try to condense it down to a paragraph or two. My whole life my list of friends has changed; it's shrunk, it's grown, it's morphed more times than a chameleon. Though one thing has never changed; you have always been at the top of that list. You are my best friend, my confidante, but first my momma. You have been there for me through everything that has ever happened in my life.

In the last four years, you have become the one person that I can't go even a day without talking to. I call you every day sometimes twice a day, we text, we Snapchat, every chance I get to talk to you I take. Even if I don't have much to talk about it's just nice to hear your voice. When I started college I came home every week and saw you all the time, when I moved into my first apartment and over the last three years I know I haven't come home as often but, every time I see you I never want to leave. I know that there are Daddy's girls but I, am a Momma's girl. When I was sick, scared, or freaking out because of some ridiculous drama in my life you were always there to talk me down and bring me back to reality.

In the last year, I have faced some extremely tough moments. Whether they were personal moments or educational moments. Every time that I had someone piss me off, upset me, talk down to me, or disappoint me I came to you and you were never annoyed with my questions or constant complaining.

You have pushed me, yelled at me, supported me, and loved me every day since I was born but, I feel like even more since I started college. I'm not totally sure where I am going in the next year or what path I am going to walk down and even though I feel like I've disappointed you because of this, you've told me how proud you are of me and how you thank God every day for having a daughter like me.

Every time you said that to me, it helped push me to do better, try harder, and not be so hard on myself. You are my biggest inspiration momma and what you have done in the last few years with your education has given me the role model I needed. I hope one day I can be as successful as you have been and be as amazing of a person as you are. I love you more Momma.

You have both told me how proud you are of me but, as I walk across the stage I want you all to know how much I love you and how thankful I am that God gave me parents like you two. You never let me feel down about myself, you would let me fall, pick me back up, love on me, dust me off and send me back out into the world. You protected me from the bad, taught me about the good, and have given me every opportunity to succeed in life.

I know that you all are proud of me but, I hope one day I will feel as proud of myself as you do of me. Thank you both for the amazing life you've given me but, more importantly, thank you for everything you've done for me in the last four years. So, as I walk across the stage give each other a high five because you got me here and no one else can say that.

"You is Kind, You is Smart, You is Important." - Aibileen Clark

Cover Image Credit: Emma Tutor

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Your Relationship With Your Parents Changes Over Time, Here's Why

Four ways in which your relationship with your parents change from age eighteen to twenty-two.


Over spring break I had time to think about all the different ways in which my relationship with my parents has changed throughout college. We've definitely had our ups and downs, but as graduation grows closer, I take time to note how far we have come. From freshman to senior year of college I have undergone a drastic change in how I appreciate my parents.

At eighteen, I wanted to get as far away from my parents as possible. I was going to college in order to be independent, study, and hopefully make a career for myself. Nothing could stop me and no one could give me advice. I was stubborn and hungry to explore the new life that awaited me. I didn't realize how hard it would be being on my own for the first time ever. I had never even been to camp let alone moved to a different state not knowing a single soul. I was happy for the new opportunities but quickly realized how much I had been sheltered. Initially, I resented my parents for my little life experience going into college but as the years have passed I realized I can't be so immature to put my lack of knowledge on them. As an adult I now make things work and advocate for myself. Your struggles as an individual humble you so you can come back together better and stronger than before.

Here are some ways in which the relationship between you and your parents change:

1. You don't live together 24/7, so you appreciate time spent with them.

When you're not sharing a space with your parents and they are not there to nag at you about chores, you finally get to know them as people. As an adult yourself you begin to relate to them in ways that weren't possible in childhood.

2. You realize what is worth fighting over and what is not.

You have learned how to live on your own and set boundaries. As an adult, you come back home knowing what can be improved upon within the relationship and what are things you can let go.

3. You have experience with adulthood now and can understand how really great they are.

Adult struggles are real and now as someone older and wiser, you have experienced a great many. You then begin to realize how your parents took on all these responsibilities plus the responsibility of raising/providing for you. You don't know how they did it, but suddenly you're mad at sixteen-year-old you who fought them on everything.

4. They are your biggest support system in wanting you to achieve your dreams.

There is no one quite as invested in your dreams like your parents. When you have no one to turn to and nothing to give you that extra boost of motivation, parents are there. They may not be perfect but they love you more than anyone so call your parents.

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