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

When I think of my childhood and how I grew up, there are so many good memories that arise. I grew up in a house filled with love and good food, where laughter was truly the best medicine, and an environment where I felt completely at peace with myself. It’s because of this nurturing environment that I created such great relationships with both of my parents. I would easily call both my mom and my dad two of my best friends. I turn to them first for advice, after a bad day, or if I just want to talk for an hour about nothing. It wasn’t without hardships, though.

I definitely feel bad for my parents for the sh** I put them through during my teenage years. Was I the worst out of me and my sisters? Not quite, because my oldest sister was actually a menace when she was in high school in the early 2000s. However, I was probably the brattiest. I am the true baby of the family so getting my way is a hill that I would die on (and still will). 

So this is to you, mom and dad, for the hell I put you through. Why? Because I learned a lot! And I’m still learning. But I think it’s safe to say that there’s a few very important life lessons that I’ve been taught along the way. I’ve thought of a list of some things that my parents have both taught me, and little stories behind each memory. My memories mean so much to me & my family’s advice can be useful to more people than just myself. 

How to Change a Tire

When I wanted to drive solo for a six and a half hour drive, my dad was hesitant to let me go. Like, very hesitant. I begged and begged, because I wanted to go visit my boyfriend. This is where my skills of being the youngest come into play, because I just can’t take no for an answer. Anyways, he agreed to let me go, under the condition that I don’t stop at any shady gas stations to pee, AND if he taught me how to change a tire. Now, I’ve always had the mindset of “Why would I need to know that? I’ll just call my dad” because, when is there going to be a situation where my dad won’t come to my rescue? But, I played the part and learned how to change a tire. I stood in the hot, California sun and listened as my dad gave me very careful instructions (that I might not remember), and I said “Ok dad! Got it!”. I made the drive safely and hopefully I will never have to change a tire! 

Don’t Lie 

This seems obvious, but it’s not. I, like most teenagers, always wanted to go out with my friends. I used the “so and so’s mom is letting them” excuse many times, and I begged and begged every time my mom said no to me. There was one time that I will never forget, where I lied to my mom about who I was with and what I was doing. I will add– I wasn’t doing anything crazy. We were literally just a group of five teenagers sitting in a car in the In and Out parking lot, listening to music and talking. I did lie though. Why did I lie? No idea. I guess I thought my mom would say no if I told the truth, or think I was doing something bad when I wasn’t. Somehow, she found out I was lying and she was so furious at me. She blew up my phone, made me come home and then lectured me for at least an hour. I was embarrassed, annoyed, probably hated my life for a few weeks. She didn’t let me go out with my friends for a while after that. Since then, I have never lied to my mom again (a big lie that is), and that is the cold hard truth. It’s because I don’t lie to my parents that we are really close. 


This is something that my mom taught me when I first started getting into relationships. She would always ask me, “well what are your deal breakers?”. Now, I use lists of deal breakers for everything. Basically, especially in relationships, deal breakers are things that would immediately end a relationship, like cheating, or not wanting kids. These are things that you have to be aware of before going into a relationship, so that you’re not blinded by love when you’re actually in one. It’s important to know your deal breakers on everything. Deal breakers are useful for SO many things… jobs, friendships, partners. It’s one of the most valuable life lessons that my mom has taught me, and I carry it with me in many different aspects.

Always Listen to Your Mom

I used to hate it when my mom was right. I still kind of do. But time and time again, she is always right. Whether that be about my friends, boys I’ve liked, or family members. That woman is never wrong. It must be something about mothers intuition, but she is such a good judge of character. It always used to bug me in high school when she would say “I don’t know… I just don’t like her”, because I would be making new friends and having fun. I would just blow it off and think “Ok, sure mom”, and chalked it up to her just not enjoying that I was expanding my circles. But, then something would happen and she would be right. Even now in college, I could search my text messages and see the amount of times where I’ve told her she was right.

How to Cook

When I was little, probably around 10 or 11, my dad taught me how to make french toast. It was the first thing I can ever remember memorizing how to make. We woke up one morning and he decided that it was the day that I learned how to make it. He taught me the few ingredients that I needed, let me crack the eggs, and told me what color the batter needed to look like to ensure the right egg to milk ratio. He let me sprinkle in the cinnamon, and added a dash of vanilla. This is definitely when I learned to measure vanilla with my heart, and as an adult, I always do. My parents have always been good cooks, and my mom has taught me pretty much everything I know, with the exception of french toast.

How to be a Better Speller 

This one seems obvious, for the reason that I’m an English major and going to be teaching the future generations how to spell. However, I’m a bad speller when it comes to “to/too/two.” I still can’t get it right. And my mom still corrects me. Every single time. In group chats, Facebook comments, or just random day to day texting, she is the first one tell me I’m wrong and add a few laughing emojis to ease the pain a little bit. So a huge thanks to her for putting up with that. 

My parents have taught me so much and I’m forever grateful for the life lessons they have given me. I know how lucky I am to have grown up surrounded by such supportive, genuinely kind people. This one is for my parents! They deserve a big thank you for everything! Happy Mother’s Day to the moms, dads, and everyone who has taken the role of being a parent.

McKenzie Kirsch

Cal State Chico '25

McKenzie (Kenzie) Kirsch is a third-year at Chico State, studying English Education in hopes of being an English teacher. She likes having fun and is also very serious about her studies as well. She is originally from a small town in Northern California called Wheatland, about 30 minutes north of Sacramento, CA. She loves the community of Chico and is very happy to be spending her college years here. Outside of school, she likes to bake, read and write, workout and hike! Chico is the perfect place to explore and meet new people. She is so excited to be a member of Her Campus and continue her writing journey!