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.