Commuter Life: Ties to Family

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Recently, I had family visit from California, which meant a big get-together of all the cousins, aunts and uncles who I seldom see. The amount of food, conversation and laughter we all shared brightened my mood during a particularly stressful week of midterms. Buried beneath the black screen of my phone, in the form of various notifications and emails, were the typical detailed updates from school and potential future career decisions that I would eventually need to respond to. But this weekend, I put those things on the backburner of my life.

While the concept of life after school typically sends me in to a state of panic, I can always rely on my family to keep me anchored and focused on the present.

Now, with the holidays fast approaching, many of us will be preparing for our own family gatherings. 

Family situations differ from one person to the next, but one thing typically stays the same. There is always someone, related by blood or otherwise, who gives you the support you need to get through the semester.  

Personally, I would not be able to trudge through my courses and extracurriculars without the thought of those people in my life. While many of us have a schedule too full for our own good, a short text congratulating us or just a check in from a distant relative is always a needed pick-me-up.

Our parents, of course, are obligated to tell us how intelligent and special we are, but it’s not the case with our cousins, aunts or uncles. When those connections give us the genuine support or cold truth our immediate family is too afraid to give, it means that much more. They view us the way we are, rather than how they expect us to be. Even my friends don’t tell me what I want to hear all the time, especially when there’s something stuck in my teeth. But I can always count on my extended family to watch my back. 

When I’m about to rip my hair out because of the piling work that seems like far too much to handle, my relatives can always be counted on to reassure me that I’ll get everything done and to take it all day by day. Sometimes all I need is a different perspective to feel better about the craziness of the semester.

Support doesn’t have to come from strictly family or friends. Coworkers and professors want to see your future full of success, and they will do as much as they can to guide you down the right path. But those things are just aesthetic.

 Your extended family has a way of taking care of you in a way no one else can. It’s something I’d forgotten recently. Perhaps you did too.

So the next time there’s an abundance of family parties for the holiday season, remember the genuine connections you may have forgotten about. They are still there to help.

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