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Anna Schultz / Her Campus

The Generations of Inspiration

When I was growing up, there were  a lot of women in my life who I found inspiring. I had teachers who were remarkable and tolerated my perfectionism. I had family friends who showed me what it was like to care for someone who is not their own. But most importantly, I had the women in my family: my grandmother, auntie and mother. Little did I know, these three women would shape who I became later in life.

The One to Start it All: My Grandmother 

My grandmother is from Chicago and she will tell you what pizza and wet beef should taste like . That woman can cook like no one’s business. Speaking of business, my grandmother and grandfather owned their own printing business. They had it for over twenty years before individual printing took the world by storm. My grandmother took classes on new technologies so she could get hired by companies who needed someone to fill their positions. She is one of the hardest, most determined women I know; if she wanted that job, she would find a way. If there was a will there was a way. My grandmother was part of the American Legion and worked in the kitchen cooking meals with her team. She would tell me about the cooking chaos during our conversations, and it amazed me that she was able to do it all. Her cooking was not left in Chicago when she retired to Florida with my grandfather, nor were her leadership skills. My grandmother became president of the Civic Board that planned fun events for those in the retirement community she lived in. Her group put on potlucks, summer parties, Thanksgiving dinners and Christmas gatherings like it was second nature. She has recently “retired from being retired” as she calls it and decided to dedicate more time to her church. In her free time, she enjoys playing cards and reading, and every time we get together, we play cards and have so much fun. 

Here Comes the Fun: My Auntie 

My auntie is the youngest of two sisters, but no one would know that if you put the two of them next to each other. My auntie is one of the strongest women I know. She beat breast cancer recently and that takes some serious strength to overcome. She went to college and got a university degree, which is something that my parents didn’t do. She was also at the top of her field before her battle with cancer, but she has always been on the top of my world. The only aunt I have in this family is the most precious. My auntie has been going to school to be a spiritual life coach and I am more than happy to be her  test subject. She believes that the cycle can stop with me, and the more time we spend together, the more I can see that she is right. She has taught me so much about being an empath, having emotional stability, knowing my worth and has guided my through the hard times. She was a force to be reckoned with when my father became ill and spent time in the hospital. Having been in the hospital herself for cancer treatment, she was able to share her wisdom about how to be a good patient. She taught me that as well. I’m not the biggest fan of doctors, but she taught me that no news is good news and the same results are good results because nothing is getting worse. My aunt has a wicked sense of humor. Her jokes are always on time and her music taste is broad (and both usually include dancing of some sort). There is never a dull moment with my auntie because there is always a smile on her face. 

The Birth Giver: My Mother 

She’s the oldest of two sisters and the one who created me. It is really hard to write about my mother because she is my world. When I was growing up, my mom would take me to my soccer games, run the basketball booster club, do the lap sign when I was a long-distance swimmer, and cheer me on when I played first base in softball. My mom was my biggest cheerleader when I played sports. In high school, I got my academic letter, a varsity letter in all three seasons of sports, and the Owl Pride award, the highest honor for a senior. If she didn’t push me to be my best, I wouldn’t have graduated in the top thirty percent of my class. When I graduated from high school and started college, my mom was my biggest supporter when it came to my academics. While in community college,she pushed me to become part of Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society; I didn’t know how much Phi Theta Kappa was going to change me for the better until later on. If she hadn’t pushed me to join Phi Theta Kappa, I would not have had the success I had at school. I gained all of these leadership skills because my mom saw the potential in me from the beginning. She has always pushed me hard to be the best I can be. I know we knock heads all the time, we don’t always agree, and we have differences of opinion, but I also know that if I needsomething, my mom will always be there. Her love is unconditional and I’m grateful for all that she gives. 

What all three of these women have in common is that they  are stubborn, have strong opinions, a great work ethic, and they tell great jokes and stories. I learn so much from all of them. I have learned that as much as I try to run from it, I am my mother’s daughter. I am more like her than I would like to admit, but I am also like my auntie and grandmother. These women shaped me into the woman I am today. Their influence, stories, and life lessons have taught me a lot about life. All of these women are so open, understanding and accepting. Through the good, the bad, and the ugly, they are my everything. I hope that the woman I become is a fraction as great as they are. I hope one day to be as inspiring to others as they were for me.

She is a student at Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications. She is majoring in Public Relations and minoring in Digital Audiences. So, you can find her researching the latest trends, following a good hot topics story or jamming out to the latest pop song on Spotify so she knows what's hot and what's not. Her style could be considered androgynous but classy at the same time. Some of her hobbies include graphic design and behind the scenes video production. In her free time, you can find her reading a good book while cuddling with her cat or taking pictures with her camera while walking around the city.
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