We all know family is important. That's a lesson ingrained in your head from the second you're born. You learn that your family are the most important people in your life, the people you can depend on without fail. But you don't really realize how important your family is until you move away and board the struggle bus straight to your college years.
When you start college, you realize that your mom and dad knew a lot more than you gave them credit for. You realize that they just wanted the best for you, and wanted to make sure you were ready for anything the world threw your way. You start to really miss them a lot when you're struggling financially or are just too stressed to function. When you're sick and feel like death is imminent, you start to wish your parents were there to take care of you so you don't have to somehow deal with it yourself.
College is also really good at making you miss your siblings, you know, the people you thought you couldn't stand earlier? You miss the camaraderie that was ever-present, even if you were fighting half the time you spent with them. And when you're struggling to make friends and don't think you'll make any at all, you miss the people you had in your life who were forced to be your friends, or at least like you a little bit. You realize just how lucky you were to be able to see them and hang out with them all the time, something that no longer happens as often in college.
You start to miss your cousins and aunts and uncles, the people you may not have seen everyday at home but still got to see a little bit and realize just how important they are to you. When you're busy with college, you don't have as many opportunities to see your extended family, and you start to think about just how little you're seeing them. The importance of family members, no matter how distantly related, is really shown to you as you go through college.
With realizing how important family really is, I feel like maybe we forget the family that isn't related to us by blood. The family you form as you move through life is just as important as that which you were born into. College is just as good at making you realize their importance, as well.
The friends you made in high school and saw everyday probably didn't follow you to your dream school, and you didn't expect them to. You knew you all had different dreams, and you wanted all your friends to make their dreams a reality. It just didn't hit you that you wouldn't see them as often as you hoped when you started college. You may see them on spare weekends that you make it home and you may text incessantly, but you can't see them everyday. The realization that your friends helped shape you just as much as your blood relatives did hits you hard, and you finally appreciate how important your friends really are to you.
Then there are family friends, people who have been friends with your entire family for a little while and are as good as siblings to you. They take care of you when you need it, and they would be there in a second if you called them and told them you needed help. If you're lucky like I am, you get to live with people like this, people who make sure you've got your life together. But college really makes you realize their importance, as well, even if they are around you all the time. These people are the ones that give you just enough of a taste of home that you don't get too terribly homesick.
College is good at making you realize a lot of things, like how to be yourself or how hard functioning as an almost adult really is. However, college is best at making you realize just how important your family truly is, and that you should never take your family for granted, whether they are related by blood or not.