As I am about to start my second semester of freshman year, I am very thankful for all that my parents have done for me. They were my rock as I navigated through the ups and downs of the first semester. Without their help, I definitely would not be able as successful. Being over 2000 miles away from them is so hard.

My parents are first-generation immigrants from China. They worked tirelessly to get where they are today. They never gave up no matter how difficult times were. All they wanted was to allow my sister and me to have experiences they never had while growing up. They did everything in their power to ensure that our lives were not as hard as theirs and always put us first. They have made countless of sacrifices.

They taught me everything they knew and provided us with every opportunity to expand our knowledge by signing us up for dozens of extracurricular activities. During all of these, they were my unwavering support system. Even when I was ready to accept defeat and did not believe that I could do it, they motivated and continued to believe in me.

My parents were very involved in every aspect of my life. While I was growing up, they were very overprotective and strict at times. Occasionally, they could be a bit too overbearing but it was only because they wanted what was best for me. Sometimes, I would disagree with them but in the end, I discovered that they are always right. If I had listened to them the first time, I would have saved so much time and effort.

Each inspires me in different ways. My mom is very strong, determined and genuinely kind. On the other hand, my dad is very independent, brave, and caring. From my mom, I learned how to take care of myself and others. From my dad, I learned how to be resilient and face obstacles with grace and confidence.

My values are because of them.

They instilled in me my work ethic and perseverance. They taught me to always put myself first and never give up. During my childhood, I was definitely not spoiled. Everything I wanted, I had to work for.

In addition, they taught me how important it was to connect to my roots. Almost every summer, they brought my sister and me back to China. During our one-month stay, we visited our relatives and explored the country. I had the chance to improve my Chinese and learn more about my culture. Even though they immigrated to America over twenty years ago, my parents are very proud of their heritage. At home, they speak Chinese to us to try to maintain a connection to the Chinese culture. We also celebrate all the traditional Chinese holidays such as Chinese New Year.

They have successfully combined both American and Chinese traditions and holidays to allow us to have the best of both worlds.

Most importantly, I want to thank them for providing me with such a fun and memorable childhood. It was filled with so much joy and laughter. I will be forever grateful for everything they have done for me and my sister. Mom and Dad, thank you!