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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at App State chapter.

Being a step-parent is one of the most selfless things one can do. They make the concise choice to raise you as their own, and that’s what my Dad did. 

I first met my stepdad when I was two years old. I don’t remember this day, but my parents tell the story often. My stepdad was a family friend and over at our house when I got home from church- a weekly event with my grandparents. I was, and still am a momma’s girl. The only man I would let get close to me was my dear grandfather, until I met my stepdad. I walked into the house, saw him in the rocking chair, climbed up on his lap, and fell asleep in his arms. Mom says, “that’s when I knew he was the one for me, my future husband.”

My mom and stepdad got married shortly after and they blessed me with two siblings making us one family. When my younger siblings started talking and saying daddy, I decided it was time for me to call him Dad as well. After all, he did everything for me a dad would and certainly loved me as his own flesh and blood.

I will be forever grateful that I got to be raised by him. While I was growing up, I hated that he was strict; but now I am thankful. When I got to college, I realized so many people had yet to be taught basic life skills. Skills I was taught by him and had been practicing since I was pretty young, and I’m grateful for that. 

I graduated high school in 2021 during the height of the pandemic and chose to do a drive-through graduation over traditional graduation so I could have my whole family there. My favorite memory of my Dad is from that day. Right after I walked the stage and got my diploma, I went to hug all my family. When I went to him, he pulled me in for a hug and said, “I’m proud of you, Kiddo.” Those few words meant so much to me and still do. I still tear up thinking about that moment. 

I love my stepdad. I love the life, love, and support he gave me through the years, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Ellie Jensen

App State '24

Hello! I'm El Jensen. I am a senior at Appalachian State University majoring in Communication Studies with a minor in Global Studies. I am serving as Co-Campus Coordinator for App State's Her Campus chapter this semester. I love listening to podcasts, reading, and traveling. When I'm not in school or working, I love hanging out with my friends and family. My career goals include working for the United Nations or working a job in crisis communication.