“My family is my strength and my weakness”

Being a college freshman away from home can be exciting. So exciting, that it’s easy to get caught up in all the fun and stress. One minute you’re in class, next you’re at a volunteering event, then it’s office hours, then the weekend, where you have time to sit back and chill…there’s always something that prevents you from penciling in a phone call with your parents.

I know the thought process, “I’ve lived with them for eighteen years, why can’t they just leave me alone for a couple of months?” That’s exactly it though. You’ve lived with them for eighteen years, it’s hard for them to let go. I’m not saying call them every day, because that’s what I was required to do when I first moved out, and that was a little annoying.

Calling them once a week won’t hurt. Catch them up on what happened the past seven days, what your plans are for the next seven, how are grandma and grandpa back home, all that good stuff. Sundays are usually good days for family catch-up, seeing as it feels like the most calm day of the week.

I know you’re thankful to be out of the house and be free to live your own life – that’s exactly how I feel. But as surprising as it is, our parents play quite a big role in our lives, whether we’re eight, eighteen, or twenty-eight. Take my parents for example.

Right now, I’m on Spring Break, meaning I’m back home until next week. The first day I got back, I was overjoyed to be able to eat home-cooked meals, sleep in my own bed, sing whenever I felt like singing, and annoy the heck out of my brother. The day after, I realized that one day is probably the maximum amount of time that I can handle being home.

Both my mom and dad care about my schoolwork a lot – actually, maybe a little too much. They don’t really care about any music-related information I try to share with them. There are times where they truly do, but they would be a lot happier if I cut it out of my life to focus on schoolwork.

The other day, I tried showing them some music I’ve been arranging. My mom straight up said that it was stupid. My dad acknowledged it, then went on to ask about school. That’s kind of how each encounter with them goes about anything unrelated to school.

The point is, I get frustrated and disappointed every time this happens, even though I expect it. I get angry enough to want to go back to school forever and never have to see them again. After sulking in my room for a couple of hours, my head clears up and I find myself thinking no, that is not what I want to happen.

I’ve recently come to realize that no matter what my parents say or do, there is always a reason for it. They believe that it will benefit me, which is why they do what they do. My parents came from a culture where school was valued over everything. Kids in the Middle East didn’t really have hobbies or any responsibilities other than school.

I try to remember how much they gave up so their children could have great lives. I know they will love me no matter what, and I think that’s what a lot of kids forget.

As much as your parents get frustrated at you, unsupportive, annoying – they have a reason for it. You have to push back the negatives of the situation and take a look at the positives.

If there’s a big problem, take the time to talk to them about it, see if you can meet them halfway. It’s better than anger and frustration building up until one day it bursts and you end up never speaking to your parents again.

The picture above is of the mountains in Elko, Nevada, where my cousins live. When we visit, it’s one of the rare times when my family is free of school and work. It’s one of the only places where I feel like everyone is stress-free. And I love it.

The quote that I used for the title is by Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, an Indian actress. Not going to lie, I found it on BrainyQuote.com, but I knew I wanted that quote the moment I read it.Sometimes we feel like our family only drags us down and holds us back. But it’s the complete opposite.

I wouldn’t be the same person I am now if I didn’t have my overly-bossy older sister to make me stronger, my little brother to teach me patience, and my parents to help me see the positive in everything. Once you start to see how they are your strength, they start to become your weakness, people that you need in your life.

There’s one big factor that sets family apart from other people. And that is that they always push us forward and are always willing to help, no matter how many mistakes we’ve made. That should be able to overshadow most of the frustration and anger.

It should count for something, even a penciled in phone call from their child.

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