Who to properly thank during the Thanksgiving (and college) season

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It’s very easy to take credit for all of your accolades. Got an A on the hardest exam in all of academic history? You earned it. Excelled on your test scores? You worked for it. Got into college? You deserved it. It’s only natural to be proud of achieving success, and taking responsibility for it, but sometimes, there are just some external factors that were pivotal to your achievements. If there were anything that I am thankful for this season, it would certainly be my parents.

Whenever I wrote a strong paper, or even when I received admission to college, I had a habit of saying “I did it! I accomplished this!” Which, in all honesty, I did—I spent hours studying and cramming for an exam or project, or I worked hard conjuring my life story for the admissions committee, or practicing the violin before my performance. However, I was completely ignorant to the fact that my parents made many sacrifices to allow me to study, or write, or perform.

You see, my parents also had dreams—I’m confident that my dad aspired to graduate from college himself and my mom hoped to sew clothes and decorate the house (her favorite hobby) rather than exhaustively working 100+ hours just to provide a roof over our heads. But it wasn’t just a home; because they worked hard, they allowed me to work hard in my passions. They carried the financial burden, they sacrificed sleep, they suffered so that we wouldn’t suffer, and that—that is beautiful. So I am thankful to them, because without their resilience, who knows if I could have accomplished all that I have.

And it’s not just parents. Sometimes your relatives, friends, peers, co-workers, mentors, teachers, janitors, etc. all make sacrifices—they all work hard—to help make your endeavors easier. So be sure to thank them—thank them when you do get that A because they allowed you to study; thank them when you learn a new skill; thank them when you get into college. My parents never explicitly told me that they were working so hard specifically for college admission or my career, but their intentions were apparent—and it is to them that I am thankful to the most this season.

This blog was previously posted on the I’m First! Scholarship Blog Series and recently migrated here to my personal site.


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