Thank You Mom and Dad, From Your College Student

Thank You Mom and Dad, From Your College Student

I have the best parents ever, hands down.
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I try to tell my parents thank you every day for all that they do. But recently, I’ve realized that this is not enough. What I’m trying to say, is that ever since I started my college career, I don't think I’ve fully grasped the sacrifices my parents have made for me all these years. I hope that one day, I will be able to do all that my parents have for my children.

So mom and dad, this one’s for you.

Thank you for making me study and do my homework all these years when I certainly did not want to. Thank you for pushing me to take harder classes than I maybe could handle, and for believing that I could keep up with them. Thank you for helping me look at colleges and pick the right one. I had no idea how many parents just let their kids figure this out on their own. But you both were different. You took me on a tour of every school I was interested in, and even opened my eyes to schools I had never thought of. You encouraged me to apply, and even if I didn’t believe in myself, you both believed in me. You helped me with endless hours of applications, mostly when I had no idea what I was doing.

Thank you for working hard at your jobs throughout the years to help me have the money to go college. Thank you for planning for me so many years in advance, just so I wouldn’t struggle coming out. You never will know how much that meant to me. Thank you for sticking up for me when people question my major. You helped me find a path I felt comfortable on, even when I thought college may not be for me. People constantly ask me why I am doing what I’m doing, but you both know why. You both know my dreams, hopes, and fears and help me to accomplish and overcome them. I know that I will never fail, because I have you both cheering me on. And even if I do, you will help pick me up, dust me off, and keep on trying.

On move-in day my freshman year of college, I looked around at other families just throwing their kids into the mix. But you both didn’t. You made sure I had everything I needed to succeed, and you never stopped worrying about me when you went home without me in tow. You went to Wal-mart a million times during orientation buying me everything I could possibly need for my dorm. People may have thought we were crazy that weekend, but I felt so grateful to have you as my parents. Thank you for crying with me when things went wrong, and for laughing and smiling with me when they went right.

Thank you for letting me know you care about everything I do. Sometimes you may think you’re annoying me, but you never are. It means the whole world to me that you care. I don’t think I will ever be able to repay you for that, but I will constantly try my best.

Thank you mom and dad, for your love and support. You both are an inspiration and a blessing to me, and I hope that I am half the parent you are some day. I honestly could not do college without you.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Remark

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Losing A Grandparent Changed My Life

Live for them, and give them a legacy to be proud of.
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Death isn’t what the average 20-something thinks about every day. You don’t think it will happen to you, or the people around you. You know that it exists because you see heart-wrenching reports on the news daily of another life lost to ignorance or hate.

Yes, losing a grandparent definitely changes your life. For some of us, it's a drastic change. To others: they knew it was coming. Still, some weren't even close to their grandparents because they lived too far away from each other to build a relationship in person.

I can't even fathom that considering both of my grandparents lived a city away from me or across town. They are your second set of parents and the love you've had for your entire life. They are the lessons learned and the ones holding your hand through it all.

When my grandfather died (affectionately known to me as Papa), my life changed. I watched him take his last breath in the hospital alone. I called my mother to tell her that her father died. In that moment: my emotionally sheltered life was torn apart. In that moment: I had to grow up. The person I had leaned on my entire life was gone.

I literally reconsidered everything I had done in my life in a matter of hours. I thought about college, finally graduating and walking across that stage: cords swinging and my tassel hanging there. That was his biggest dream for me, we were only a year away from it when he left this earth.

When a grandparent passes they take a part of you: big or small. When you were younger you planned out life with them. You shared your dreams with them, your insecurities, your childish ways and most of all you shared your love.

They, in turn, taught you lessons about life, helped you realize those dreams, and never let you go without being told you were loved every single time they saw you. They are the suppliers of happiness, security, and laughs. Friends come and go, but your family stays with you forever.

The bottom line is: most everyone knows what it's like to lose a grandparent. We all cope differently, and leaning on others is the best way to keep yourself up. Facing the reality of death is the only way we can accept it and move on. Moving on doesn't mean forgetting, it means understanding. We were lucky enough to have these amazing people to guide us through our younger years, teaching us these vital lessons.

I can't tell you how many times a day I wish I had my papa back. Learning to cope without them is the hardest part, even years later. Grandparents prepare you for life's greatest gains. Little did they know they would be their grandchildren's biggest loss. Live for them, and give them a legacy to be proud of.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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My Parents Didn't Hand Me Everything And I Am A Better Person For That

I learned that getting to work for the things you want and giving them to yourself is a far better feeling than receiving them from anybody else.

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I'll never forget the day I found out that if I wanted gas money, I was going to have to get a job and work for it myself. I was freshly sixteen and so mad at my parents. How was I supposed to juggle high school and a job? How was I supposed to keep a social life? How the heck was it fair that everyone else's parents were paying for their gas but I had to work for mine? I had so many questions, but I wanted to drive more than anything, so I grudgingly applied for my first job.

I'm now twenty-one years old, working part-time to afford my college education, and I am so thankful that my parents didn't hand me everything I wanted when I was growing up.

I'm thankful because I learned young what it was like to be proud of yourself. I learned that getting to work for the things you want and giving them to yourself is a far better feeling than receiving them from anybody else. I learned that people respect you when you're young and you're working, which, in turn, makes you respect yourself even more. I'm thankful because I get to wake up look at all of the things I've earned on my own and feel proud because I did that myself.

I'm thankful because I learned to appreciate every little thing that someone does for me. Small random acts of kindness from friends and family mean so much more when you aren't handed those things every day. Family offering to help with the cost of gas for the week, friends who buy you lunch, and random gifts mean so much more when you don't get them all the time.

I'm thankful because I learned to show up and work. I learned independence. I learned that sometimes, you're just going to have to show up to class tired because you worked late. I learned that sometimes, you're going to have to go without. I learned that sometimes, people won't understand, but that's OK because you'll also meet people that do understand. I learned that there will always be people with more than you, but that doesn't make their life any more full than yours.

My parents have spoiled me in ways that money can't buy. They've loved me enough to let me see a little bit of struggle but have always been there to pick me up if I ever needed it. They've stressed work ethic and accountability, which is something I've found that my generation lacks. They've shown me that you don't need to rely on people to do things for you because you can always do it yourself.

I'm thankful because my parents have always given me everything I needed, but not everything I wanted.

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