To The College Student Lacking A 'Support Team,' You Are Not Alone

To The College Student Lacking A 'Support Team,' You Are Not Alone

Never stop believing in your dreams

We are three weeks into college.

It's Labor Day weekend.

Everyone is going home, getting visits from parents.

All my roommates and friends are heading home for the weekend.

I'm not. A friend invited me to go home with her, so that will be my trip for the weekend.

I moved out of my grandmother's home 8 months ago. We didn't agree on a certain situation, and I chose to leave. I have had to adjust to being an adult very fast. I worked my butt off through the rest of my senior year and worked full time over the summer. But I made it. I made it to my first choice. I'm here and I'm 40 credits ahead of most of my class. I am a special education major with a minor in equine therapeutics and I will continue to work my tail off to where I want to be in my life and career.

My boyfriend, now fiancé, was my biggest supporter, besides God Himself, through all of this. He never failed to push me not to give up, even when all I wanted to do was curl up in defeat. He would remind me how far I've come and what I'm working towards.

It hurts not being able to go home. I feel very isolated at times. My friends talk about how their families cried on move in day, and how much they miss them. They talk about the care packages and all the FaceTime calls. It hurts. And no I'm not complaining. It's just how I feel. I chose this path for myself when I moved out, but that doesn't mean I can't be a little crestfallen.

I look forward to my fiancé's visits. I look forward to seeing him and feeling a huge smile just come across my face knowing that I have him in my life. Knowing that I had him to help me move in, and stay with me until my roommates got there since I was able to move in early. I love knowing that I still have a support team. Not only in him, but all the people who have supported me that weren't family by blood but by heart and love.

For the people who think they have no one to support or help them through a large milestone in their life, look around. Your support doesn't have to be your family. It doesn't have to be a significant other. It can be friends, church members, people you've known forever..and even the people you never would have imagined care for and want to help you.

I know I found my support team. I am starting to build a relationship back with some of my family members, and I pray that I am able to mend some relationships. I have learned the importance of relationships with the people you love. I have learned that forgiveness is something very difficult to obtain, but so worth it. I am ready to embrace my life and anything God sends my way. I am ready to overcome the rest of this school year and everything it may hold. I am ready to embrace myself for who I am.

So thank you.

Thank you to my fiancé, who helped me through everything and stayed even when I pushed him away.

Thank you to the many people who have helped me along the way *cough* Cheryl Cook *cough*. I couldn't love you guys more.

Thank you God for casting Your light on me and helping me through the good and the bad days. Thank You for never leaving my side. Thank You for walking my path with me, no matter how many times I tripped and struggle.

Never stop believing in your dreams and yourself.

Cover Image Credit: My own photo

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.

Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.

Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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This Is What Being Away From Home Taught Me About My Home

... It's ok to make plans with people besides your mom.


My home, for as long as I can remember, has been my safe haven. No matter how many arguments my family and I got into, I always knew my home to be a place where I could feel safe, at peace, grounded, and most importantly, comfortable.

This is why, when I decided to embark on a journey to Israel, 6,000 miles away felt like I was traveling into space. I felt as if I couldn't move forward without my mom by my side, reminding me everything is going to be okay. The relationship that my mom and I have is a special one, and knowing that I was not in close proximity to her created much-unwanted anxiety for us both. Knowing that while she may have only been a phone call away, that she wouldn't be able to come hold me if I needed her to, was something I really struggled with.

While I was away, I had hoped that my excitement for the trip and the adventures that were to come would keep me grounded and sane. Unfortunately, as the days went on, I became more and more homesick. However, I was able to learn some really important lessons in terms of the importance of my home, and sometimes the need to escape it.

The new friendships I made showed me that sometimes it's okay to make plans with people besides your mom (only partially joking).

The new foods I tried showed me that there are so many different types of foods that my chef of a mother hasn't even heard of.

The new experiences showed me just how important it is to step out of my comfort zone, even if doing so means I have to be 6,000 miles away from the comfort of my mom's arms.

There are hundreds of thousands of things that this trip has taught me, but it especially taught me that life exists away from your home as well. While it is natural to want to stay close to the things that bring you comfort, it is also essential that you allow yourself to grow.

I couldn't be luckier to have had such an incredible experience abroad, but I also couldn't be luckier to have been able to come home to a mom that was waiting with open arms and open ears.

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