College is a time for learning. From our first day on campus to our last, we are learning an exorbitant amount. Some of this knowledge is learned in a classroom, but the large majority of the lessons that we learn in college happen outside of it. We start by learning the basics: where buildings are, which dining hall is the best, how to get involved on campus. This is followed by deeper and tougher lessons about ourselves and about life.
For me, the most important lesson that I have learned since beginning college is the value of family. In comparison to today’s standards, I have a big family: three brothers and one sister. As we are very close in age, we spent quite a bit of time together growing up, both in school and at home. They were always the first ones that I saw in the morning and the last ones that I would say goodnight to.
Being away from my family was (and still is) a strange feeling. It was odd to get up in the morning without seeing any of them and going about my day by myself. It was definitely an adjustment to transition from being around them all the time to only seeing them on the occasional weekend. But, this experience has taught me a great deal about the value of family.
First, it taught no matter how far away I am, they will always be there for me. At school, I call my mom every day just to chat. Yes, I know this might seem excessive to some, but it is something very comforting for me. Plus, I give major props to my mom for being able to listen to me every night. Even last semester, when I was studying abroad in Spain, my family was always there to video chat or respond to my emails at crazy times. Of course, this also goes both ways. I spent many a night in Spain revising my one of my brother’s essays and helping another brother with his Spanish homework. Coming to college has taught me that no matter where I am, what the problem is, or what I need, my family will be there to make sure that I make it through.
College has also shown me that one of the truly great things about family is that nothing ever changes (in a good way). And, that is something that I have come to cherish. Although my family is spread around the East Coast, whenever we are all able to get together, it is as if we were never separated. It is a beautiful thing to come home to and things immediately just fall back into the same rhythm of laughter and sarcasm. It is comforting to know that not only will my family always be there for me, but also our relationships will always be the same.
Although I miss my family while I am at school (and hope that they miss me), I know that I can always head back to the lovely town of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, where they will be waiting wit
h open arms, and chicken parm on the table.