Don’t take your family for granted

Bradley Schnitzer

I’ve noticed that many people talk negatively about their families a lot. Whether in person or on social media sites, there’s a lot of “OMG, my mom is so annoying” or “Why is my brother so stupid?” It seems that many just don’t realize how blessed they are to have a happy family.

I’ll be the first to admit that I can get annoyed and frustrated with my family members too. Everybody always talks about how they hate coming home from school for holiday breaks just to be bombarded with questions about how school is going or if they have a boyfriend/girlfriend yet. I used to just shrug those questions off or talk back to them with an annoyed tone in my voice. However, it’s starting to hit me that I’m growing older and I’m starting to long for those questions so I can have someone I can share details about my life with. Even though I have many friends at GVSU, there is simply no one who will unconditionally listen to you blab on and on about your life like parents do.

When your parents get divorced while you’re away at school, it doesn’t make that longing for family any easier. My parents got divorced at the very beginning of summer vacation at the end of my freshman year of college. That made staying at home for the summer difficult. I now understand how it feels when people have to choose which parent they want to spend Christmas with. When you grow up with one united family and then have to deal with something like a divorce right after you go out into the world on your own, it makes life hard. Every time I go home for breaks during the year, it doesn’t feel like home at all. I still love my family despite flaws within it, but I’m always itching to get back to GVSU where my family away from home is.

What I am trying to say here is that a lot of people tend to take their family for granted. This is not their fault; if they haven’t had to live with a divorce or death/hospitalization of a close relative, they don’t know the experience. If this is you, I’m not saying you’re a bad person. You just have to realize that it is a blessing to have one happy, healthy family.

Even if you don’t like your parents, at least respect them. They didn’t just spend time and money to raise you; they poured their lives into helping you grow to become the best person possible. Same goes with your siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. They are related to you by blood, and they tend to be the first and most stable support system you have in this world.

So, when you come home for the first time in months and your family won’t give you breathing space for more than five seconds, just know that they’re doing it because they love you.