Friday, September 4, 2015

College | Growing up

When I was younger, I dreaded September; the end of summer comes to a close marking the beginning of another school year and hearing the NFL jingle on every TV, radio station, or mobile device - It literally made me sick, and I couldn't escape it. Growing up in Wisconsin my entire family were cheese heads. Literally, from eating cheese to wearing cheese. For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about and/or think I'm crazy, the Green Bay Packers are our home football team. If that still doesn't make sense Wisconsin is the dairy land. I know what you're thinking, "No, California is, that is where happy cows come from",  but I apologize to be the bearer of bad news but you've all been lied to. If any of you have been through Wisconsin you know that the majority of it is farm land; miles upon miles of fields, tractors, and the smell of fresh cow manure.

September never failed to leave a bad taste in my mouth. Now, however, all of that has changed and the month of September is one of my favorite times of the year. Leaves start to change colors, cool weather settles in around you forcing you to bring back the jeans, sweaters, and scarves, even school has surprisingly made it onto the "favorite list". Actually, let's not push it; not yet at least. With a new year of school ahead of me I have had some time to reflect.

I remember when my brother left for college like it was yesterday. His first two years he stayed at home to attend a local two-year College campus that was literally 3 blocks away from our house. So of course there was no need to stay in the dorms when we lived so close. While he stayed busy there, I was making my way through high school. And then, fall of my senior year he left; on to bigger and better things. It broke my heart watching him leave but I was so proud of him. He was and still is my best friend. At that time I got a glimpse of what growing up feels like, but I didn't know what was to come until I myself, flew the coop. 

Growing up you really take advantage of your family's presence. You spend your teenage years almost hating your parents when they set rules into place: What time you need to be home on a school night, what events you can and can't go to, what things you can buy/how much you can spend on a particular item.  As the list grows bigger, so do their questions: Who are you going to be with? Have I met them before? Are these people good influences? What will you be doing? etc. You spend most of your days tucked away behind your bedroom door playing video games and buried in your smart phone. When you weren't hidden behind closed doors you were out with friends often missing dinner and sneaking in after dark.

You tell your parents to "go away" and "leave me alone" or "I'm busy, we'll talk later", but later never comes. In efforts to block out their desperate attempts for conversation you turn away and jam headphones into your ears; when they only wanted to ask how your day was. Their titles are stripped from "superhero" from your childhood days to "lame old people who try to be cool" in your new teenage years. Because heaven forbid, you can't be seen with your parents.

Time seems to escape us all. Soon even those days will be history. We are all in such a hurry to grow up, move away to college, get married, and have kids. But the minute you're all alone and mom & dad aren't there, you'll be wishing you didn't take them for granted. You'll regret not making time for them even if it was a couple minutes to talk about how your day went. You'll desperately wish you could turn back time to open your door and put down the phone, pull out your earbuds and interact with your family. Because when they pull away from your new home, whether it be a dorm room, apartment, or house, nobodies presence will be as fulfilling as mom and dads.

Remember: Just as you are growing older, so are they. Enjoy the little things in life, and take time to appreciate what you have.
This is for you mom and dad, I hope I will make you proud.

1 comment:

  1. Watching you grow from a premie into the young woman you are today has been such joy! You always tried your best and ALWAYS made us proud. We are so blessed to have you as our daughter and your brothers as our sons. We LOVE YOU with all our hearts!