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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at PSU chapter.

With the semester coming to a close, I am especially grateful for the support of my mom and dad throughout this school year and my life. They have taught me so many important lessons, and I’ve chosen four of them to talk about today.


On my first day of kindergarten in 2009, my dad began his six-month deployment to Iraq. He went because it was his duty as a member of the United States Air Force, but also because he wanted to do everything in his power to support our family.

My mom continued working as a teacher while taking care of my brother and I the entire time my dad was gone. My parents both worked so hard and sacrificed so much during this time.

And still, to this day, my parents maintain an admirable and strong work ethic. They have both worked their way up to one of the highest positions that their jobs offer.

They did so by putting in over 45 hour weeks for many years. During their busy weeks at work right now, they still put in this many hours.

My mom and dad have worked hard to succeed so that my brother and I could go to college and have opportunities in our own lives. Everything that they’ve done, they’ve done for us.

Their work ethic, and that alone, is the reason for their successes and my brother and I’s successes.

I admire my parents because they have shown me that a strong work ethic, despite challenges and adversity, is the only way to ensure your success. It’s also one of the ways to help those you love succeed.

never apologize for using your voice.

My mom and dad are the most vocal people I know. But they’re also the kindest. They’ve mastered the art of standing tall and firm while maintaining compassion and composure.

Ever since I was little, my parents encouraged me to speak my mind and feelings while also being kind. I’ve found that some people don’t appreciate this, since they might not see you as a good person for being honest and straight-forward.

My parents, however, taught me that those kinds of people just aren’t my people. As long as I am kind and respectful while doing so, I should never apologize for using my voice.

This has taught me that my thoughts and opinions are valuable, and that I deserve to be heard. It’s also taught me that everyone else deserves to be heard as well. I have so much respect for those like my parents, who recognize that clear is kind.

This principle applies to virtually every aspect of life, whether it be in the workplace or in relationships. My parents have taught me that, in every situation, I should stand tall with a kind heart.


My mom and dad are the kind of people that seem to easily be gracious. When people do not treat them as respectfully or genially as they treat others, my mom and dad don’t protest or complain. They just keep being exactly who they are: happy and benevolent.

As I’ve gotten older, I have realized that being the better person isn’t as easy to them as I once thought. In fact, I don’t think that it’s easy for any of us to maintain our composure when someone treats us unkindly.

But my parents recognize that being the better person in unkind situations is the ultimate form of grace, especially when it’s difficult.

Being the better person is a way for us to ensure that we are the best version of ourselves at all times. No one should have so much control over us that they change our good energy into hate or resentment. At the end of the day, the only person we represent is ourselves.

Because of my parents, I will always try to be the better person.


Pop culture today conditions us to value things such as likes and follower counts, physical appearance and popularity.

Work and school make it easy for us to place high value upon our successes there.

While it’s okay to care about these things to a certain extent, they shouldn’t be at the top of our list.

My parents have always cared about the truly important things. Above all else, they care about our family. They prioritize our health and are always grateful that they have theirs.

They care about other people, and show this by treating everyone as they would like to be treated.

As young people, it’s easy to lose sight of the truly important things. We are surrounded by the stress of fitting in, getting good grades, finding internships and more.

When I find myself losing sight of the truly important things, I think of my parents. They have taught me that there are only a few things in our lives that truly matter so deeply.

I hope that my mom and dad’s lessons have provided you with joy, inspiration and hope.

Mama and Dad, thank you for making me the person I am today. I love you so much!

Hi, I'm Reese! I'm a sophomore at Penn State University. I have always loved writing, and have past experience as a student journalist and editor. Some of my interests are fashion, wellness, Taylor Swift, and the color pink (I'm obsessed). I also own my own clothing brand called Pink Caroline! I am so excited to be a member of the Her Campus community and cannot wait to inspire--and be inspired by--other amazing girls!