To My Close Knit Family As We Grow

To My Close Knit Family As We Grow

And why I am so grateful to have them.
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I grew up in an incredibly close family. I have a mom and dad, and a younger brother and sister. My sister just graduated high school and will be attending college two hours away in the fall. My brother will be a sophomore in high school this year and just turned 16. I still cannot believe that either of them are as old as they are. My dad has been working at the same company for as long as I can remember. He works so hard to provide for all of us and is one of my biggest role models. My mom is a nurse. She has worked on and off, but her main job is to stay at home and raise my siblings and me. I am blessed that she spent her valuable time with us and that she always made sure she was there when we needed her.

And last but not least, I will be a junior in college this year. I am moving onto campus for the fall semester and will be studying abroad in the spring in Rome.

Although I am excited to see what is to come in my future, and in my family’s future, I am sad. I am sad that my family is transitioning into this new and unknown phase. I know that this happens to all families eventually, but it is happening so fast. I am going to miss my dad, mom, brother and sister this fall. I am going to miss waking up and eating my bowl of Cheerios at our kitchen bar. I am going to miss playing Monopoly until 1 a.m. with my family. I am going to miss my dog and watching movies on the couch with my mom. I am going to miss having my sister across the hall from me and singing duets in the kitchen with my brother.

Lately, my mom has been saying that she is going to need a hobby when my sister and I are gone this fall. She has spent the last 20 years at home with us, and I will never be able to find the words to thank her for everything she’s done.

When we go to dinner, at least one of us isn’t there. We are all on different wavelengths now and are going our separate ways.

Although time and growing up is causing this, I know that we will always be close. I know that no matter what happens, I can count on my family for anything and everything.

And to my family, I want to say thank you. Thank you for being my constant shoulders to cry on and my main source of support. Thank you for listening to me complain about people who were mean to me at school and about boys. Thank you for dealing with my non-stop singing and my crazy dreams. I love you all so much and will never understand why I was chosen to be a part of your family.

When I started my freshman year of college, my family dropped me off in my dorm room. We all looked at each other and began to sob. We all hugged for about 10 minutes before it was time for them to leave. My roommate probably thought we were crazy, but that was probably one the best moments of my life. It solidified to me that I have the best family a girl could ask for.

Cover Image Credit: Drew Delap

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.
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Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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What It Is Really Like Having Sisters Close To Your Age

While having siblings close to your age is pretty amazing, there can be a lot of issues that can come with it.

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I come from a family of 5 people and 1 dog. I have 2 sisters, Grace and Caroline. We are all pretty close in age, Caroline being the youngest and 3 years younger than me.

My sisters and I share a bond like no one else, no one can replicate it. When you have siblings close to your age you have built-in best friends, and since they are around your age you have the same interest, or at least, enough so that you can do things that other siblings cannot. Examples of this would be seeing R-Rated movies and going to the mall without too much complaining, along with being able to shop in the same stores or even share clothes. Grace and I sometimes even split the cost of a shirt we both like.

We even overlap friend groups! Which is not much of a problem for us, Grace and I are both in music programs which overlap enough for us to have the same friends, which is great for when one of us has a sleepover, the other can join in on the fun. Caroline, however, even though she is seen as the sporty one of the 3 of us, she still has a lot of friends who have similar interests as Grace or I, giving us a lot of the same friends. It's nice not to be considered the "cool older sister", I am just like the rest of them.

While we do fight a lot, we make up really quickly, because most issues we have are stupid sibling fights: who gets the T.V., what to have for dinner, what movie to see. But it is always fun because there are 3 of us, which means majority rules, something we tend to go by most of the time depending on the situation.

Having 3 teenagers in the house can be a handful for our parents though, when you have three teenage girls going through puberty at relatively the same time, it can be grueling, especially when you are all on your period at the same time.. (yes, that has happened before) (and yes, it sucks). While I am on the topic, let's say a prayer and a thank you to my dad for dealing with 5 girls (including the dog, obviously) because he does a pretty damn good job at dealing with all of us.

When we were younger, we always had a play date even when one was canceled. We all made up songs and dances and would perform them for our parents. We even had a band called The Halsey Sisters (AKA the female version of The Jonas Brothers) where we had a hit song called "We Got The Heart and Soul". It was a hell of a time. Let's just say the music video for that song is, interesting to say the least.

At the end of the day, I wouldn't switch my sisters for anything in the world, they are my rocks, and I wouldn't want it any other way, Grace, Caroline, keep doing what you're doing, because you're pretty damn awesome.

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