I’m thankful, above most else, for my parents. Recently—perhaps due to my newfound work as a college admissions counselor— I’ve been realizing how a portion of this gratitude is for my parents’ belief in higher education and their unwavering encouragement as I’ve pursued my own. My mom was the first person in her family to go to college; she took herself to visit schools and paid her own way at a state university. My dad, on the other hand, grew up with the expectation that he would attend a private college without worrying about the cost. Despite the differing paths they took to get their college degrees, they both came away understanding the value of a college education and even went on to pursue master’s degrees. They worked hard and saved carefully, knowing that one of their most important goals was to be able to provide their own children with the same opportunities. My dad once said that as a parent, he did not want to be the barrier standing in the way of his children’s futures—he dreamed big for us all. Did my sisters and I still need to apply for financial aid? Yes, college can be expensive! Yet what we appreciated even more than the significant financial contribution our parents made was their limitless belief in our potential and their unmistakable pride in our accomplishments.
Thanks, Mom and Dad.