For Freshmen. By Freshmen.
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Aug 15 2016
by Emily Luong

A Thank You Letter to my Family

By Emily Luong - Aug 15 2016

Dear Mom and Dad,

The time has come: college move-in day, a distant dream that will become a concrete reality in just  two weeks. Despite my reservations about living on my own for the very first time, I believe that deep in my heart, I am ready for this monumental change. In addition to providing me with clothes on my back, food in my stomach, and a roof over my head, you both have brought out the very best in me. As a result of your endless guidance over the past few years, I have transformed into an independent, self-sufficient and mature young adult prepared to take on a new set of challenges that await in college. For that, I couldn’t be more grateful.

Growing up as an introvert in a culture that favors extroverts, I never felt pressured to conform to the societal standard of a gregarious, highly sociable child. You both accepted who I was and constantly reassured me that my introverted tendencies weren’t disadvantages, but unique aspects that make me, me. All my life, you have created a tolerant and compassionate atmosphere that allowed me to proudly embrace not only my differences, but those of others - a characteristic that is necessary in college as I will meet students of all backgrounds. Although you both have understood my introversion, you also gently encouraged me to break out of my comfort zone and apply for an internship at a local newspaper as a staff reporter, a truly rewarding experience that I would have never considered if it weren’t for your desire for my success and your attentiveness to my love of writing.

Moreover, as I became more involved with after-school clubs, sports and college hunting, both of you always took precious time out of your busy days to read every article I published, drive me to early morning swim meets, attend high school orchestra concerts, and chaperone whirlwind college tours across the multiple states. To me, these selfless sacrifices mean so much more than expected duties of parents, but windows of opportunity to freely branch out in order to discover my passions and interests.

Looking back, memories of dramatically threatening to move out of the house in blind fits of rage in my earlier years of teenage rebellion now make me shake my head at how I took you and all of your hard work for granted. As I spend the last weeks of summer vacation with you before I go off to college, I feel at peace about this upcoming transition as a result of all of your support during the ups and downs. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you. 

Lead Image: Andre Hunter via Unsplash

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Emily Luong - Smith College

Emily Luong is a first year student at Smith College (class of 2020) and plans to major in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing. In high school, Emily was the Arts and Entertainment Editor of the school newspaper, an intern staff writer for the local newspaper, and the captain of the swim team. In her free time, Emily enjoys writing short stories, reading fantasy novels, and binge watching TV shows on Netflix. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @emilyjaieluong

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