A Thank You Letter To My Cousins

A Thank You Letter To My Cousins


To My cousins, My best friends, My sisters,

This letter is hard to write, only because with so many things to say, I don’t know where to start. Having a good relationship with your cousins is something to cherish and work towards. Putting in the effort to spend time together is important, and completely worth it. Growing up with two brothers has been a challenge, but because of you, I still felt like I had sisters. You make me want to be a better person, and set a good example. The memories that I have made with you will last a lifetime, and I will never be able to thank you enough. Not seeing you much during my first year of college was so hard, but it made me appreciate our relationships so much more.

Thank you for making me laugh until my stomach hurts, even when I’m in the worst mood. Our constant inside jokes will live on forever, and I know that we will never get tired of repeating them. Staying up all night with you is one of the best memories, because everything is more fun at 2 AM. Being exhausted the next morning is worth it because of all the new jokes we made and couldn’t stop laughing about. Thank you for the movie marathons, the post-it games, and tons of dance parties. Having girl talks is my favorite thing about hanging out with you guys. I love getting a glimpse into your life, and being able to give you advice when you need it. Thank you for always sharing things and opening up to me, while allowing me to do the same.

Thank you for always being exciting. One thing that I never question is the fact that we are going to have fun when we are together. No matter what else is going on, we make the best of it and create our own fun. The constant joy I feel when I am with you guys makes me smile from ear to ear. The bond that we all have is so special, and it's not something that most people can say they have with their cousins. Thank you for being your complete selves with me, and letting me be mine. There are no judgements between any of us, and that’s really special.

My first year of college was stressful, but hanging out with you guys this summer has helped me remember that life is fun, and we should take advantage of it. I love hearing stories about the drama with your friends, or with the boys in your life, because it brings me back to the more simple times in mine. In middle school, there was nothing more to worry about than the daily drama in your friend group, and looking back, it was nice not having to worry about so much. Thank you for reminding me that being carefree is a blessing, and that I should always strive to have fun.

Each and every one of you makes me a better person. I have learned so much from all of you, and every time I hear about your life or your stories, I am inspired. You are the most genuine young women I have ever met. Although we aren’t super close in age, you guys are so mature, and capable of so much. Thank you for always reminding me that I am capable of great things, and that we will always have each other. I hope that our relationships only continue to get better, because I love you all so much.

I cannot wait to see where each of you goes in life. You are all extremely smart, beautiful, fun and ambitious. Don’t let the little things get you down, and never give up on your dreams. Life is short, and I hope that you will all take advantage of it, while continuing to have fun. Each and every one of you has impacted me in a different way, and for that I am so grateful. Thank you for teaching me more than I’d ever be able to learn on my own. Thank you for picking me up when I’m down. Thank you for always pushing me to be a better person. Thank you for being my best friends and sisters. You are all amazing in so many different ways, and have big things ahead of you.

I love you, forever.



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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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