The Things My Parents Taught Me, Without Them Even Knowing

The Things My Parents Taught Me, Without Them Even Knowing

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The very first distinct memory I have in life is being upset at preschool because another little girl in my class wouldn’t share my favorite doll with me. Sounds stupid, right? However, it wasn’t to me when I was four. I remember being bitter and purely sad…I felt left out and all I wanted was my mom.

From an extremely young age, we go to our parents as our role models, mentors, friends, and personal hero’s. They’ve been the ones to change all the dirty diapers, apply Band-Aids to “boo-boo’s” that weren’t even existent, make a PB & J five days a week for 11 years straights, and crawl into bed when there’s scary monsters in the closet.

Fast-forward a decade and they’re still right by your side, whether you want them to be or not. Your bratty teenage attitude has them at their breaking point and you could care less; you’re “too cool” to be seen with dad at the grocery store, let alone anywhere. The lunches that mom makes are no longer satisfying enough, and, the relentless reminder that you have to do your homework turns into screaming matches and locked bedroom doors.

Today, I am 20 years old and in my third year of college. Want to know who I miss the most? The woman who carpooled me to cheerleading each week and the man who gave me numerous trips to Disney World…otherwise known as mom and dad.

Looking back I would have made it nowhere in life if I didn’t have these two. They’ve shaped me into the person I am, and strive to be, each day I open my eyes. There is a sad part to this situation and that sad part is that they aren’t around to see it anymore. Mom and dad aren’t around to celebrate with me when I get a good grade, or have dinner waiting on the table when I get home from a practice. It’s beautifully tragic. And the reason I say that is because, yes, it is upsetting they are no longer there every second in my day, but the beautiful part is they don’t need to be.

It’s the smallest things I have my parents to thank for: Knowing grades come before play, to say please and thank you whenever I am at a guests house, to accept all of those around me, regardless of appearance or social group, and to love those that I care about unconditionally. I’ve learned to help others as much as possible, but to put myself first when its necessary. Budgeting my bank account, staying healthy as possible, knowing due dates, having an amazing wardrobe, doing chores, and being organized comes from both of them as well. The most valuable thing I’ve learned from them, though, is not to take life too seriously. My mom and dad are two of the most fun-loving individuals I know, and trust me, being in college you meet plenty of fun-lovers. They’ve taught me its okay to take a day to myself and appreciate the small things. It’s acceptable to mess up on a test, or eat an entire plate of cookies when I’m sad. In my eyes, life is too short to be anything but happy, and I owe infamous Mom and Dad for that motto, along with everything else I have become and will be for the rest of my life. I love you both infinitely.

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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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To The Aunts Who Made Us The Women We Are Today

"My Aunt has ears that really listen, arms that hug and hold, a love that's never ending, and a heart made of gold." - Unknown

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In my life I have my aunts that are truly my parent's sisters or sisters-in-law, then I have my cousins that I refer to as my aunts.

I may be weird for calling my cousins my aunts but they truly deserve that title. The amount of love and support my aunts have given me throughout my entire life is what made me be the women I am today. I could not and would not be who I am without their guidance and love.

They listen to me with open ears and no judgment.

They worry and care for me almost as much as my mother does. I am eternally grateful for God for giving me the wonderful aunts that I have because they bring such good energy to my mother and me.

My aunt that only lives a couple of houses away from me has always been there to help me with anything I ever needed and my mom has been there for my cousins the same way. I cannot thank her enough for giving me my best friend since birth and the girl I call my sister. I can call her later at night when I need something for a school project and we do not have what I need at home.

Aunts are so great because they are so reliable.

My school and sports teams do a lot of fundraisers, so having multiple aunts I can always count on them to order products from me. I also know if I'm ever stuck and need a ride, need somewhere to go, or someone to confide in they are right by my side. Having one God-Mother or role model in your life would be pretty great, but having multiple is more than fantastic.

My aunts are so important to me, I couldn't live with them.

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