Remember those who nurtured you

This one is for my mom and dad.

When I first entered Waynesburg University four years ago, I had specific goals in the Department of Communication. From maintaining a high GPA to taking on various leadership roles, I accomplished what I set out to do four years ago.

Reflecting on these accomplishments, though, it’s clear to me I can’t take the credit. Instead, I realize it’s the support from my parents that’s made a difference in my education and it started long before I committed to Waynesburg.

Being homeschooled through elementary and high school meant I had a relationship with my parents that most other kids didn’t have. My parents acted as the teachers, tutors, mentors and coaches it takes to properly educate someone. While my peers had an entire school district behind them, I just had my mom and dad.

When your parents are so involved, it’s hard to realize the significance behind the sacrifices they make every day for your education.

It took me four years of hard work at the collegiate level to fully understand what exactly my parents committed to when they made the choice to homeschool me for well over a decade.

The first time I ever sat in a classroom, took notes on a desk and raised my hand to ask a question was four years ago. Everything in college was uncharted territory, but I felt oddly prepared. Though I came from a nontraditional education, I was fully equipped to tackle the challenges that came my way in the past four years. It was then, I fully realized the significance of my parents in my academic career.

So now, as I reflect on my education at Waynesburg, I feel as if I can hardly take credit for what I have achieved in the past four years without mentioning my mother and father. It’s really the people who support you the most that are responsible for your success. For me, those people are my parents.

Regardless if you’re a freshman or an upperclassman, it’s important to remember who got you to Waynesburg University, or any college, in the first place.

It might have been a coach in high school, a mentor or even a parent. Either way, it’s worth recognizing those that helped get you to where you are today.

It’s important to personally acknowledge them, too. Whether it’s a letter or a phone call, remind those people who’ve helped get you to where you are today that they played an important part. I doubt they would get tired of you letting them know that they are appreciated, regardless of how frequent that is.

While my path through academia is finally over, I know the influence and support of my parents will last throughout my life.

I think it was Isaac Newton who once said something about standing on the shoulders of giants.

To me, those giants represent the thousands of hours my parents sacrificed, giving me the foundation to accomplish my dreams.