An Open Letter to University Parents
Working at Target as a cashier I get the privilege to see families in different situations every single day, ranging from new parents with babes in strollers, to pre-teens excited about new wardrobes, and teenagers spending their own money before their parents buy that weeks groceries and High School seniors with their parents already picking out a few items for their first dorm room to older couples buying gifts for their grand-children, and everything in-between.
Today I had the chance to meet an accepted student to the class of 2018 in my line, and that paired with the freshmen I mentored in High School graduating and heading off to their own adventures has made me think back over the past few years, especially the transition from being a senior in High School to being a first-year and Clark U. Today I was specifically brought to thinking of my parents and what they did for me on this journey.
And so, this particular post goes out to my parents, and the parents of all current, future, or past University students.
So here it goes…
As I’ve grown up and you’ve grown with me on this crazy journey, I know I never appreciated you as much as I should have. Working and going to University, living on my own, it has shown me just how much you did for me. You stuck by me for the whole eighteen years it took me to become what society considers an ‘adult’ and shepherded me into this grand new adventure of living on my own.
You were there for me when I was unable to wipe my own tears or take care of myself. You made sure my life was cushioned and did your best to hide the horrors of budgeting and money worries from me. You bandaged my wounds and shuttled me from school and practise.
You were there for me when I was applying to Universities, nervous that none of them would accept me or offer me enough financial aid. You were jumping with excitement alongside me when I got my first acceptance letter and as the others began to trickle in and I had to make the difficult decision of where to spend the next four years of my life, you were there.
When I decided to go to Clark University, you packed up with me and moved with me across the country. You let me use your extra bags on South West so that all of my things could come with me to Clark. All in all, I realised eight bags was ridiculous, but you never said anything – you just helped me lug everything to University and then helped me unpack and organise everything into my first ever dorm room.
After a few Target trips my room was ready to go and after a few teary good-byes you packed into the rental car and left me to my first week in University and new friends. You spent hundreds upon hundreds getting me here, even when you didn’t have to. And then when the Hurricane struck, you came running back from your vacation in Vermont with bottled water because you were concerned about me.
I will admit that when I said good-bye to you that time, it hurt more. I think that being a long-distance student, we were all convinced I was going to spend my breaks at or around Clark. But when I missed you both more than I ever could have imagined, you worked hard to make sure I could come home for breaks to see you.
And it didn’t stop there. Over the past 3 years here at University, despite the fact that I work to pay for my own clothes and food and bills, you have always been there whenever I needed you.
Because you care. Because even though I’m an adult, you’re still my parents. And though you had told me you would always be my parents and you would always love me – I never quite understood how true that would be.
So thank you. From one silly sentimental University student, thank you to all parents that every year get to watch your children run off onto bigger adventures. Thank you for helping us learn to walk and then pushing us to run.
It’s been a great journey.
All my love.
To my dear incoming class of 2018, if you don’t already know it… your family loves you more than you could know and you will find that you, too, love your family more than you could ever know. It’s amazing what that first year of separation does.
So I ask you before I leave you to comment here or send me a tweet (@JessaLGreen or #ClarkDiaries) telling me the ONE thing you most appreciate about those who have helped you along your journey so far.