The Holidays: The Most Difficult Time Of The Year

The Holidays: The Most Difficult Time Of The Year

Spend every year reminding yourself of all the memories that you did have, and remember to be thankful for who you have now.
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Three years ago, I spent my first Thanksgiving away from my brother. My parents had decided to move him to a permanent home, where he would have 24-hour care. That first Thanksgiving was a difficult one.

A tradition my family has is to go around the room and say what we were all thankful for. Usually, everyone would say things like "their family" or "being healthy." I found it hard that day to come up with something that I was really grateful for. I sat there and thought to myself, "well I'm not very thankful that my brother can't be here with us right now." But I knew saying that would kill the mood, so I went along with everyone else's thoughts and said I was thankful for my family. This does not mean that I wasn't, and am still not thankful for my family, but in that moment I thought that life wasn't fair. I kept thinking to myself, why did everyone get to have their entire family there, with no problem?

I did see my brother that day, though. My mom, cousin, and I all went after we ate dinner and spent some time with him. It was a good feeling, able to spend the holiday with him for a bit, but it didn't take away the pain knowing I would be going home, and he wasn't coming with me. That would be the last year I would be spending the holidays with my brother. Since then, the holiday season has been a bit difficult. It is full of so much excitement and cheer, but there's a giant hole in my heart knowing that I won't be spending the holidays with him anymore.

I spend the holiday season thinking about all of the times I did get with my brother, and all the wonderful memories I will never forget. Yet, it is still difficult, and always will be. But for now, I am thankful for the family I do have, and the memories that I will cherish forever. Remember to tell those who you love that you are thankful for them because you never know when you might lose them.

Cover Image Credit: Kara Hickey

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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For The Little Brother Who Grew Up When You Weren't Looking

No matter how grown up we are, you will always be my little brother and I will always be your big sister.

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When we were younger, it was so much easier to see you as my baby brother. I think it is because you were so little and innocent. I will always think of you like the tiny little boy with big brown eyes. I always have felt the need to protect you, but I think that is just part of being a big sister. I would get so mad if I heard anyone being mean to you. Nobody was allowed to be mean to my little brother except me because let's be honest I was probably the meanest person to you, but that is also just part of being a big sister.

If I am being completely honest, my favorite thing about you was the fact that you did EVERYTHING that I told you to do; you were like my little robot. Somewhere along the way, you decided to grow up. You went from being a foot shorter than me to a foot taller and I realized you didn't need me to protect you anymore. In fact, it went from me protecting you to you protecting me. What is the worst part of you growing up? The fact that you don't do ANYTHING I say anymore!

Being able to watch you grow up into your own person has been the most amazing experience. At some point, as we were growing up you went from my little brother to my best friend. When we were little we did everything together because we had to, but now we do it because we want to. It was hard going away to college because I had to go from seeing you every day to seeing you every few weeks. It is even harder now that you're in college because I see you even less now.

Being your big sister has made the best version of myself. I have always strived to be the person that you can be proud to call your big sister. You have always been my biggest supporter, you always listen to all my crazy ideas and tell me if they get too crazy. You aren't afraid to tell me the truth when I really need to hear it. Sometimes it feels like you are the older sibling because I find myself coming to you for advice; you always know what to say and when to say it. Thank you for reminding me of my self worth and reminding me of what I deserve in life. I am forever grateful that God blessed me with a little brother like you. You are my sunshine, I love you to the moon and back.

P.S. I also just wanted to say that you are so lucky to have me as your sister. I may have been a little mean to you, but it gave you character. If you didn't have me to teach you how to treat a girl you would be single for the rest of your life, so you're welcome for that.

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