148 thoughts on “Family

  1. Hello, my name is Jessica Antwi.I was born in America but was brought to Ghana at the age of one.I was there until I was seven and my dad brought me here again so I could go to school here. “in Ghana education was a lot of money”, my dad would say. There are more opportunities here in America and education for the most part is free (preschool to high school). When we first came here it was a struggle for my parents. My dad and mom were working at the same time so finding someone to take care of is was hard ( me my little sisters and brother). We would be at my parents random friend’s house, our aunts and uncles, and church members to be babysitter. The saying ” it takes a village to raise a child” was really a reality for us. My uncles, aunts ,my parents friend’s, and church members would help us with our homework, they would feed us and would give us anything we needed to feel at home. They would come get us from school when one of us were sick and my parents were at work. They took us into there home without question. They all had a great impact on our lives in there own ways. They each played a parent role teaching us lessons on, talking to us about life, and helping us with problems we were having at school or anywhere. We got close with through out the years. They all hold a special pry in my heart. I truly love them for all they’ve done for us and my parents. God bless them.

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    • I feel like out of the essays I have read, I related to this piece on a whole new level. I too, am from a different country. I am from Haiti, and I was brought to America at the age of two. My parents didn’t know anyone, and on top of that, they could not speak the language. They sometimes tell stories to my siblings and I on how they struggled. Today, you could look at them and ask them why they would go through all this struggle. Their first answer would be something about love and the second reason would also be about love. The next few reasons would probably be the same also. Because of my loving parents, I have nothing but love for my family. They will always come first, after God of course. They made the impossible, possible. And they made sacrifices which I will never be able to thank them enough. Thank you for sharing Jessica! Your parents would be proud to read this piece!

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  2. My Mother and Father taught me that family is the most important thing. I learned that lesson at an early age. I grew up as an only child which had many positives and negatives. Obviously it’s pretty nice to having the house to yourself and getting all the attention but on the other hand my parents were very strict.
    All my relatives lived far away so it was hard to keep in contact with them. Once a year we would all meet up for Christmas at my Grandmother’s house and celebrate. It always made my sad to know that I would have to wait a whole other year to see them. I remember being at school and having my friends talk about seeing their relatives weekly. I would always get jealous that I didn’t have that bond with my relatives.
    When you’re an only child your friends become your family. They are the people who you look up too and trust. I am so much closer to my friends than my relatives. Another thing I learned is that being an only child forces you to have a close bond with your parents. I know that my parents will do anything to take care of me and help me throughout life. I remember that I had rough period of High School where I lost my motivation for academics and athletics for a week. I had a personal issue that I had to attend to and my friends picked me up and set me on the right path again.
    When I was younger I would always pester my parents about siblings. I would see all my friends playing with their siblings and having a good time. This would always make me sad and gloomy. One day my parents came to me and told me that I had many siblings. I was confused because I knew I didn’t. Then they reminded me the friends and family share a very thin line. After hearing this I cheered up and realized they were right. I learned many lessons about friends and family but there is one I learned in particular. The most valuable lesson i’ve ever been taught is that loyally makes you family no matter if you’re blood related or not, and I will always carry that lesson wherever I go.

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    • I completely agree with you on this. Even though I am not an only child, I have formed a sibling-like bond with my best friends. I love them as if they are my siblings, I know that they will be there for me when I need them, and they know that I will be there for them. I believe that my family consists of the people I share tight bonds with, not just my blood relatives.

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    • Living also as an only child, I relate to this. I always wanted younger siblings, but I never got any. Because of this, I have a very strong bond with both of my parents. I also learned that making close, trustworthy friends helped a lot with not feeling so alone.

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  3. I believe that there are two parts to a family: there are friends, and there are the people you are born into. Each and every day, you go to places and meet new people, discover new cultures, and you become acquainted with new friends. Each day, you talk to these friends, and each day, you go on adventures with these friends. However, each day does not involve the same friends. One day, you are hanging out with John, the next day, you are out at the basketball courts with Alex, Ethan, and Chris. When, at the end of the day, you arrive home after your adventure, you encounter your real family; you encounter the family that feeds you, pays for your education, and goes to church with you on every Sunday morning. This is the family that raised you; this is the family that will always be there.
    I believe that you are born into a family because of God. It is my responsibility to care for my family, to talk to my family, and to share emotions with my family. I will always be with friends when I am at work, or when I am at school, but it is my challenge to find time and love to be with my family. When I was being confirmed into the Catholic faith, my friends and I all went on a Church-organized retreat. During this retreat, we all received hand-written letters from our parents. My relationship with my father is great: it is like the relationship Tommy Callahan has with his father in the film ‘Tommy Boy’. we crack jokes together, we always act tough with each other, and we even arm-wrestle each other. When I opened that letter, I expected a joke – but in actuality, when I finished reading that letter, my eyes became drowned with tears. My father, the tough, funny man I saw every day, wrote to me, apologizing, telling me he was sorry for working too much and not finding enough time for me. At that moment, I realized that the “real-family” aspect of Family, was the most important; I realized, at that moment, that it was a cry from him, telling me that my family wanted to spend more time with me; I realized, at that moment, that it was my responsibility to work for my family, to care for my family, and to laugh with my family. Friends are with you to develop your character, and to help you discover new places, but your family is there to make sure that you are safe, that you have food on these adventures, and to keep you with the same personality they witnessed when you were a child. With this, as I enter my first year of college, I believe that it is my family who is responsible for carrying me to the engagement of the next stage of my life; with this, I believe that my family, however different I could have been, would still be by my side, and would still be the same family.

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  4. I believe in a world where family is so much more than the shared blood between your parents and siblings. It took me a while to realize it, but as I entered high school and started to break out of my shell, I began to create my own definition of the word. As a kid growing up, family was a hard thing for me to comprehend. I had my mom, my dad, and an abundance of aunts, uncles, and cousins. It’s easy to have someone to turn to when your dad has three siblings himself and your mother is from a massive Puerto Rican family, but nobody was my age. I was a lone sailboat floating between my new born cousins who didn’t need to know who they were yet and the adults that had already figured out their lives. It wasn’t until I entered high school that I found a second family of my own, one that surrounded me with kids my own age who also shared the same passions as me. The past four years of my life have been spent with the Dartmouth High marching band, a group that is recognized across the country for our accomplishments, but that is only a result of the close bond and love we all share. In this group, I found a new home where I could confide in others, grow as a performer, and vent about all the misfortunes that high school brings. With college quickly approaching, I’m grateful to have finally navigated the complicated definition of what “family” means. We all have blood family who raise us and guide us from our first steps to our first apartment, but I have also found a family in the activity that I love. Without the warmth and love that I get from both of those worlds, I don’t know who I would be, and that’s why I believe that family runs so much deeper than our family trees.

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    • I completely agree. As you get older and meet new people you begin to create a family of your own. Your friends become your family. Its a family that will never stop growing. Everyone says your can’t pick your family but you can pick your friends, but to me thats the same thing as picking your family. A family that may not be blood, but runs just as deep as your blood family does.

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    • I completely agree with you. That whole “Blood is thicker then water” is complete crap because there are plenty of people who aren’t my blood family that I trust and love just as much as my blood. Family is not always blood.

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    • I absolutely agree with you. Growing up in the family situation I experienced, I learned that the people you experience the most love and kindness from may not always be your blood family. I have felt what it is like to be fully welcomed into a friend’s household as though you were their son. Despite my saying this, I do not think blood relation means nothing. The bond I share with my brother and sister is one that will always go beyond anything else.

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    • I completely agree with your statement “I believe in a world where family is so much more than the shared blood between your parents and siblings”. I see family as not only your blood related family but the relationships you form over years and your friends soon becoming another family.

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    • This is so true. The friends I made in high school are just like family to me. Their friendship has been invaluable in making me into a more tolerant and compassionate person. The memories that I have shared with them will always be deeply cherished.

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  5. I believe that family is one of the most important things in a human’s life. However, family is not restricted to your relatives. I was born and raised in Kansas, but two years ago I moved to Massachusetts with my dad. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, because almost all of my family is still back in Kansas. I grew up hanging around my three main cousins. Their names were Tyler, Deven, and Corbin. We always thought that we would be best friends forever, but everything changed the year before I moved away. My aunt and uncle started using hard drugs and drinking quite often, then after a few arrests they lost their seven children. Among these kids Tyler and Deven were the only people that were able to comprehend what was going on. My oldest cousin Tyler ended up joining his parents on a journey to get the kids back in an unsafe environment, and just like that I lost a big part of my family. The court case is still going strong three years later; in fact they have court today. Now, that I live out here I’ve learned to have a certain appreciation for family in the form of friends. There are many people in my life now that I can count on for anything, and I know they will always be important to me. Family comes in various ways. I personally think that anyone can be family if you open up to each other, and it is crucial to cherish everyone like that in your life, because you never know when they might go.

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    • I agree when you say that “family is not restricted to your relatives.” As someone who cares deeply about my family, I also have a lot of people who are very close to me who I consider family too. People you grow up with and that are with you since the beginning are also family. I have many close friends that I consider my brothers and there is no blood relation at all.

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    • I agree, you don’t have to be family by just blood. If someone cares about you like a family member would, that really is family right there. You don’t have to be related to somebody to go the extra mile for them.

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  6. At times, a difficult adjustment becomes a turning point in ones life, leading you in the right direction. When I envision the person that I am today, and all of the qualites that I encompass, I realize that I owe it all to one special person in my life. For as long as I can remember, my sister Emily and I spent each day together; both as children and as teenagers. As the typical older sister, Emily learned to take charge and became independent. As we grew older, I became accustomed to the constant guidance that Emily provided. In 7th grade, I watched Emily struggle to leave her childhood friends for a new, private high school. She adjusted with such ease, and exemplified a positive attitude for me to follow when it came time. As I followed in Emilys footsteps, I was lucky enough to make two years worth of high school memories with her. It was not until my junior year summer that having a best-friend-sister was bittersweet. We packed the car and moved Emily into her new home. When I returned home, it didn’t feel the same. I never truly realized the significance Emily had in my everyday life until I was forced to become more independent. Although Emily’s absence was painful at times, I am thankful for the role model that she is, for I was able to overcome the obstacle using her positivity and independence. Today, I can confidently say that I am grateful for the adjustment that I was forced to make, for it helped both of us grow; as individuals and as best friends.

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    • I completely agree that big adjustments in our lives can be difficult and hard to process. I think we all have that one person that we get attached to and end up having to separate from somewhere along the line. What truly matters is that everything is just as great when you reunite. I admire the close relationship you have with your sister and I’m happy you could adjust to a life with her away at college!!

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    • Hi Annie, I can completely relate to this, as my sister is three years older than me. When we were younger we used to fight a lot, mostly because I was always antagonizing her. When I finally reached high school my relationship with my sister changed completely and I realized that she was perhaps the greatest role model that I have in my life. Not only did she help me through my first year of high school, but she showed me the characteristics that a true friend should have and that was when I realized that I had been living with my best friend for 15 years of my life. When my family and I dropped her off in front of her college dorm in Boston my heart was broken. My house felt empty without her in it and I felt horrible because I knew that she was so nervous to start a new chapter of her life living on her own. In the end I felt a lot better knowing that we were only a phone call away and to this day I have called her every night as I don’t know what I would do without my built-in best friend. I am glad to see that you and your sister have such a close bond and your story was very moving to me as well.

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    • I also have always had a strong relationship with my older sister. When she first left for college it was difficut to adjust, but it also helped both of us grow and even though we do not live close anymore, we will always be best friends.

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  7. I believe family is important. The thought of care from your brothers, sisters, parents, cousins, and in-laws is all you need to wake up ready for the next day. The thought of your family always having your back is just enough to keep you standing. From the best times to the worst times, family will never change. This aspiration came forth when the people that has been a part of my life since birth picked me up when I have fallen. In my darkest days, family was the only one to shud a light. The phrase “Blood is thicker than water” is proven through loyalty and trust. My friends also fit that criteria.
    My friends are my family. My friends are my blood. In the worst situations, I could always count on my blood to stand by my side. There was once a time in the summer of 2015, when my phone was lost. It was 11 o’clock at night and I was on hunt. I repeatedly tried to call my phone with the help of a nearby friend but there was no answer. I was exhausted; ready to drop flat on my bed on the way home but surprisingly I received a call back. I was frustrated and insisted for my phone back. Listening to the surroundings of the call, there seem to be group so my first instinct was to call my brother. After breaking the news, we decided to meet up around an exquisite park around my neighborhood. Ten minutes passed by rapidly as I continuously wait for my brother to arrive. I began to feel impatient, I began to give up on the search my phone. I took a quick turn to my right and saw about 20 of my closest friends from around the neighborhood coming towards me in groups alongside my brother. I shortly after retrieved my phone after making the final phone call and meeting up with the anonymous snatcher . From that point on, I realized that although my relatives are my family, my friends are my family too. My friends are my blood.

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    • I completely agree. Having your family beside you is the most important thing especially when going through hard times. When you are down they are there to pick you up and make you feel better. Family will always be there for us whenever we need them

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    • Of course family is important. It’s your blood. Friends will come and go but your family will for sure always be there. I liked how you started with I beleive family is important. I can tell you probably share a close and special bond with them after reading this

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  8. I believe family has a very important impact on your life in multiple ways. I always have someone to fall back on. But there’s different types of families I have. My parents, siblings, grandparents, cousins and more are the close family that have been there from the start. But family i think is more than just your blood family. I believe someone who has had an impact on your life should be considered family. Someone who has taught you how to do something or someone who been there for you. Whether it be a friend there for you or a coach teaching you leadership, courage or a teacher showing you how to grow up. My cousin in my family had a tragic accident that put him in the hospital for months. It was tough in my family for a little bit but there was so many people there to help with anything I needed and i think that’s pretty important in life. Another family of mine is a different family. My junior year my football team was a family. We all had each other’s backs every time we went out there. Every kid on the team was friends and we never gave up on ourselves. So there can be many types of family’s you come across and life and they are all going to be people that have had a impact in your life some way. Family is a big part of life so always be there and always help the ones who care.

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    • As an athlete I completely agree with the part about how a team can be a family. During a season there are high points and low points and just like a real family, you have to get through it with your team and no matter what you always have each others back. Even if you aren’t the closest with your team mates off the field, they always have your back on the field.

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  9. The importance of family was something that was taught to me at a young age. In regards to this I believe that family comes first. However, putting family first is not always easy to do. Half of my family lives in Poland while the other half lives here in the United States. I believe in keeping good contact and a 4000 mile gap can make it a bit of a challenge. Nonetheless I visit my family in Poland about every other year and I talk to my grandmother over the phone regularly. But keeping in touch is not enough to demonstrate my belief, when I say family comes first I believe that a family helps each other when needed. From a young age I could observe this as my grandfather helped my father paint my room when I was about three years old, and from photos I can see that I tried to help as well. More recently, just this summer I went to Poland to spend time with my grandmother and help her by getting groceries and doing things around the house. Here in the United States, I have helped my grandparents take care of work around their home such as raking leaves. My grandfather helps me when I need to work on my car, he has the understanding and I have the mobility, my father is also there when it comes to cars and we have had three generations working on one car on several occasions. In fact on the day that I wrote this I went to my grandfather’s house to do some work on a car and I helped out with a bit of yard work in the process. When it comes to working together as I just described my family sometimes argues, being quiet I sit on the sidelines and watch this unfold. That observation however, has taught me that blood is thicker than water as we continue to help each other when needed. Overall, I believe that family comes first and as I just said, that blood is thicker than water.

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  10. I believe that a strong bond with your family will help you get through anything in life. Your family will always be there for you regardless of the situation, they are the ones who won’t judge you or make you feel ashamed of the things that you’ve done. They’ll support in any and every way that is possible because at the end of the day they only want whats best for you. My family isn’t one who comes from a lot of money but they’ve always made sure to give me everything that I’ve ever needed and I’m beyond grateful for them.
    Whenever things get tough I know that I can depend on them and they can always depend on me. Of course not every family is perfect and each will go through its own ups and downs. Some of the downs will be bigger than others but what matters is that as a family you stick together and remain strong. The love that is shared amongst a family is incomparable to any other. I am who I am today because of my family, they have taught me a lot of the things that I know and they continue to help me grow each and every day. They are my back bone and a lot of what I do, I do it for them. I want to be able to make my family proud and I will do everything that I can to make this possible.

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    • I agree with everything you said me and my family couldn’t be any closer than we are now it’s good to hear that other people come from good family’s as well.

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  11. Family is a difficult topic the past few years for me to come to terms with. Since I was young my parents have been divorced and the sense of a family being a cohesive unit has gone out the window. Much has changed since then, for new marriages have caused my family to grow and lose others. No matter what has happened I have come to terms with the fact that I am grateful for who I have beside me and what has happened is for a reason. I wouldn’t want it any other way. My family has branched and brought those into my life who make it just a little brighter and for that I would lay my life on the line for them. To me family isn’t about blood. It is about those who care for you, but at the same time push you past your limits. Family shapes your surroundings to influence your growth in every way possible. They are here to lift you up when you are down, and when you are soaring they guide you even farther. Family teaches you to give and take, and allows you to feel what its like to be needy and generous. Its limitless. No boundaries besides the ones you set define what family means. To me I have family everywhere. My friends are some of the most important people in my life, and I treat them as if they are my own flesh and blood. Those ties will be there for a lifetime and nothing would ever persuade my to give it up. I believe that family is who you make it out to be not what people try to dictate with pen and paper.

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  12. Being born in a Christian family, means that you’re automatically christian. Every Sunday wake up at five in the morning, brush my teeth, wash my face, put on a “pretty baby pink dress” with my white stockings and white socks with the white inch and half shoe. Everyone gets in a van that fits 15 people, drive for an hour picking up everyone else. By 7:35 A.M. we’ll be at church.Each morning for Sunday school we’ll separated into three, the adults, the girls, and the boys. We stayed in these groups until lunch, then we’ll come together for service, and after that it’ll be dinner, and at the end we’ll dance to gospel music. A few years later, I asked my Sunday school teacher “why do we separate into these groups?” And she looked at me and said “girls are moved away from boys, so that we won’t taint them.” Then we went back to class. The next day I went to school and asked my teacher Ms.Brown what did taint mean, and the way she described it, it was like making something dirty. As I thought to myself, I was confused, I never thought I was dirty, because I took a shower every night. So what did my Sunday school teacher mean? But at that time as a kid I was in the wrong if I spoke against the church, so I kept it to myself.
    When I got to my teenage years, I was able to move to adults Sunday school, and at that same time in school I was learning about religion, and how there was more than just my religion. In school my humanities teacher Ms.Tang asked what different religions are there. Everyone started naming different types, while I stood there confused, I thought that there was only one religion, Christianity. My ignorance toward the other religions made me feel stupid, like I didn’t belong. That Sunday I went to church, said good morning to everyone and took my seat. The pastor got up and started to tell a story, and ended the story with “who can question God?” And so I took my chance and did that exactly. “Is God, who you really believe in? Is he truly what you say?” So she got up and went in front of me and said “Only children of Satan would ask questions like that?” I stayed quiet until I got home. I asked my mom “mommy why are we Christian?” and she answered with “I dont know.” That night told my mother what happened, and she told me “ Tay Christians are sexis, and one minded. If you test their words they’ll see you as evil, and I understand how you feel, because I went through the same thing. I’m not going to tell you to go back, but know in our family they’ll think the same as the church.” From that day on I never went back.
    I learned that in life, a person has no say of their religion. Religion is just like race, sex, and family, you was born with it. And to defy your birthright it’s like cutting yourself off from your family, once you test what you’ve been born with your a disgrace; an unwanted child. Being in a religious family I learned two things, if you don’t follow what your family tells you, you’ll be punished; but also the few that disobeys the family’s rules is the strongest ones of the family. Without the support from my mother, I’d be too frightened to test the belief of God and heritage. My mother gave me the power to speak.

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  13. For most, if not all, of my life, my dad wasn’t a supportive figure in my life. I was raised by my mom, grandparents, and other family members. Not having my father’s support and affection was difficult. All of my friends had parents who were together so even though they were supportive of me, they never really knew what it was like to actually experience that. Since I was raised by many other family members, other than my parents, I am very close to my extended family. A lot of people don’t have a huge family like I do. I am very fortunate to have so many extended family members who support and care for me so much. A lot of people, unfortunately, don’t even have a chance to unfortunately know their family due to distance or death. My maternal grandparents also played a huge role in my life. Having such a huge family filled with love and support, you sometimes take it for granted. You get so accustomed to having someone to pick you up when you’re down and need a helping hand. Going into college will definitely change how I view family and how much we take them for granted. As an on-campus student, I won’t have the luxury to have a home-cooked meal or having my laundry done for me. Taking care of myself when I have never been on my own will be a big change. But, even when you’re an adult and on your own, your family will always be by your side, but never take them for granted especially when life is so short.

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  14. Family to me is the most important thing in my life before anything else. Not only the family I am connected to by blood but also the friends I have made throughout my life that love me unconditionally because that’s what family does. Without these people, I wouldn’t be the person I am today. Growing up I got most of my morals in life from them being a part of a very large and close-knit family, not only on my mom’s side of the family but my dad’s too. I believe these people in my life are the most important because who else is going to stand by my side when I make mistakes or help me make tough decisions when I am at a crossroad in my life that I just can’t get through alone. I have lived my entire life relying on my family to help me get through tough times and although some people believe that in order to grow in life you need to get through hard times alone I believe that family doesn’t stop you from growing but leads you in the right direction to make sure you grow the right way. Throughout high school, I was never the best student and I didn’t get good grades but without my family, I never would have changed the way I was for myself if they weren’t there to push me and encourage me to be a better student. I truly believe that I am a better person because of my family and without them, I wouldn’t have turned into the person I am today.

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    • I agree with everything you mentioned. I’m right there with you with not being the best student. My family was there to pick me up and help me get through it.

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  15. I believe family is not limited to the people you are blood related to. Some people may not speak to their relatives. Some people may not even have living relatives. In my eyes the friends you encounter through out life are also your family. Your family is the ones you go to when you have special news and you can’t wait to tell. Your family is the ones you count on when you need help or don’t want to be alone. I believe anyone that is there for you through thick and thin is your family. In some cases those people do happen to be your blood related relatives. In other cases these people are those who you come across throughout life, and I don’t believe that limits them from being your family.

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    • This is so true family is anyone that loves you unconditionally and anyone you think of when someone asks what or who you can’t live without and all the people that come to mind you know is your true family.

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  16. From the day I was born I was taught that family is extremely important. Family can be either people who are actual family, and people who you can trust with your life. My family is an extremely close one and I couldn’t be who I am today without them. Throughout all the struggles and battles we have faced, none of us gave up on eachother and stood there next to eachother.
    With all the struggles I have faced, that’s when I learned that friends can be considered family as well. When these people are there for you even when you are in the wrong and stand by your decision, prove to us that they are also family.
    When my grandparents passed away, times became tough. My family thought that since they passed that they didn’t need to communicate with eachother as much. What they didn’t realize was that this was the time where we needed eachother the most. We needed those friends and “real- family” as much as we could. We were crumpling ourselves and needed that reassurance that we were not alone.
    Family should be something that all of us are lucky to have, and should never take them for granted. You never know when it will be your last time with them. Some people who haven’t loss someone close to them will never realize this until it is too late. We should never forget our “I love you’s” even when we are in moments where we don’t want to say it. Family is something which is something people should realize they are lucky to have more often.

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  17. “It’s not how big the house is, it’s how happy the home is.”

    I have lived in the same small two bedroom, one bathroom apartment since I was three years old. To many looking into the situation from the outside it would seem that the space wasn’t adequate for all my family’s needs, but it reality it was more than enough. Not only did the four people living under the roof never complain, but my house was also the meeting place for my entire family. Cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and more all squeezed together under that roof for quality time. Things from Christmas dinner and birthday parties to Easter Sunday and casual get togethers were held in the close quarters that I called home. Despite the size, it was a place filled with constant smiles and laughs and where many memorable moments were made.

    Through this I have learned a valuable lesson that I apply to my daily life. I learned that it is the little things that matter in life. Although my family did not have ample space to lounge about and privacy was basically unknown, we all knew how to make it work so that everyone had an enjoyable time. No one complained about bumping into one another, nor did we argue when the last spot on the couch was taken. Instead we learned to accept the space and, rather than focusing on the negatives surrounding it, enjoy the fact that we could all we granted the opportunity to spend that very moment together. Regardless of what we did or did not have, the time spent in my small home under my roof has and always will be remembered as some of the best times of my life.

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  18. Family is imperfect. A person cannot choose their family, but that’s what makes a family so real. As a person of this generation, where technology has become so advanced there is an unspoken respect for its power and capabilities. Technology has come so far to now be implemented into education and nourish the minds of our youth. Many of the views that are put into our minds comes through the source of media. Views that come in the form of politics, social, and economical views — but it is often times the highlights of a person. The media fails to introduce hardships, struggle, perseverance, determination, and the fight within a person. Too much media is—for lack of a better word — bad. Family is the raw and uncut version of “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” When my brother and I were younger we would always fight to pick out a Christmas tree. I don’t know why, the tree I wanted to get was perfect. But to my brother he had the perfect tree as well. The reality was, when you turned my tree around there was a big hole in the back and my brothers tree didn’t even have a point for the star. We had failed to see the bigger picture. Neither of the trees were perfect, both had flaws and imperfections. In fact it didn’t really matter because my parents always picked out the tree anyway. I realized there would never be a perfect tree. Unless, it was fake. A real tree would never be prefect just like family. Family will see you at your highest peeks, but they’re also going to be right there when you are at your lowest Because family is perfectly imperfect.

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  19. Hello my name is Tyler Donovan and I have been taught growing up by my family and by some of the experiences I will share with you today, that family should and always will be the most important thing in my life. I live by the motto “family first.” Growing up, I never really thought about this. I always had thought that my friends, sports, and even academics were more important until one of the saddest days of my life. My grandfather had past away and my entire family was filled with sorrow and grief. As I sat in my bed, crying with my parents, I realized that the bond you share with your family is something truly unbreakable. Ever since that day, I haven’t second guessed the fact that my family comes first and they always will. Seeing your parents and siblings broke down and sobbing is one of the hardest things to cope with. The love that I have for my family is tremendous. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. I also believe that family isn’t just limited to your blood relatives, your family can be your closest friends. I have learned this through playing on sports teams. I considered everyone on my sports teams my brothers. Hockey and baseball were more than just sports to me, they were a lifestyle. I have memories and friends that will last forever. Sharing championships and years oh hard work, blood, sweat, and tears together creates a special connection between you and your teammates. I hadn’t believed that my friends and teammates could become as close as family until this year. My senior year, I had broken my hand and wasn’t able to practice or play the first three games of the season. This crushed me, but it showed me that all of my teammates that gave support and helped me get through this very difficult time, that I had been apart of a family. Family is the most crucial aspect of your life, savior.

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  20. My entire life I have always been extremely close to my family, both my mom’s side and dad’s side. Out of the many things I value, family is by far the most important. Family is actually the main reason I will be attending UMass Dartmouth in the fall. A year ago, my plan was to go to New York City for school. However, after truly thinking about it- I could never be that far from my family. I feel very fortunate to have the family that I do. My mom and dad met when they were 16 and my older brother was born just a few months after my mom’s 17th birthday. Despite the struggles of teenage pregnancy, I can thankfully say that my parents got married when they were 20 and are still happily married to this day. This is something that I am extremely grateful for because most of my friends can’t say that their parents are still together. Over the past year or so I began to grow apart from my family and spend a lot more time with my friends. I have learned that family goes far beyond blood, because I value those people just as much and love them just as strongly. However, as move in day approaches I look back on this past year and a part of me regrets not spending as much time with my family. I wish that when I wasn’t with my friends I would have come out of my room every once in a while. In a few short weeks, I won’t see them every day. I wish I had noticed this sooner because at the end of the day, my family is who I have no matter what. No matter what mistakes I make or how I act, my family is who still loves me unconditionally.

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  21. When I was only seven years old I went through a life-changing experience that sadly, many children have to go through. My father and mother separated but, by choice he left his kids’ lives for good. While I was too young to completely understand why, within time I learned there was nothing that could’ve been said or done to change what had happened, it was all his decision. My main question was always how could someone just up and leave their kids’ lives with no care in the world? Leaving his children wondering why they weren’t good enough and what they could’ve done to make him stay. Starting my youthhood with an important figure walking out, made me appreciate the people who were there since the beginning that filled that missing hole and made me realize that I don’t need anyone in my life that doesn’t want to be there. It made me value my mother for doing what she had to do all on her own and doing an amazing job at it, going the extra mile for me and my siblings, and for always putting our happiness before her own. I also value my grandparents who helped my mom in any way needed. Lastly my siblings, I was the youngest of three with two older brothers. They’ve always supported me and guided me in the right direction. My brothers taught me everything my father wasn’t around to and more. Most importantly they all taught me the meaning of unconditional love.

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  22. When I think about family I automatically think of my parents and my siblings. Being a child with immigrant parents things tend to be much more difficult for me. My parents aren’t familiar with the American culture so adapting to it has been a complicated task. Growing up things weren’t handed to me especially since I’m not the only child. I had to work for everything that I wanted, but no matter how hard I would want to work my parents would always remind me that education is what matters the most. No matter how hard things would get my parents would always try to cover up their emotions and make sure that their kids were doing great and for that everything that I do is for them. The way that my family and I carry ourselves you would’ve never thought that we have went through the things that we have. My parents have taught me to never live in the moment, but always think ahead and always push myself to the fullest. When it all comes down to it family is all that I have. They know all my flaws and never make me feel like I’m nothing. When I feel like giving up they are there to keep me going. My family has so much faith in me and no matter how had things will get. I promise that I will repay them for everything that they’ve done for me to become the person that I am today.

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  23. A family to many may just be the idea of having a mother, father, siblings, aunts, uncles, et cetera. I believe that the term “family” also involves those friendships we have created as time has elapsed by us. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to three remarkable humans that have helped shaped me into the person I am today. To be able to say you ended high school with the same people you started it with is truly something to be proud of. My “sisters” and I watched as one another bloomed into the young ladies we are today and never left each other’s side even after all the changes. Through the hardships that we have all faced either together or individually, we have conquered them and found peace within one another. I believe that everyone should have that family away from home that will always be there with support, love, and fill them with acceptance. I will always be thankful to have three other households where I can be myself and embraced with joy just by walking into them. Mariah, Molly, and Emma, thank you for sticking by my side through the eccentric rollercoaster ride also known as high school. We are all only a phone call away and distance has nothing on us. I believe our “family” will last a lifetime and cannot wait to experience what the future holds for all of us together.

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  24. Who are the people that you look to for help or support the most? People that are always there for you and never turn you away no matter what the circumstances are. The people that help to guide you and shape your life into the direction you want to go. For me, the answer is family. I never understood how my family could impact my life decisions in such a strong way. They look to support me no matter what my decisions are, or whatever actions I take. Family is ultimately the best support system that anyone can have. This is just one aspect of life that I believe in.
    Another however is friendship. Friends might be the people you hang around with everyday or the people you see maybe a couple times a week. But I believe that the people that are my friends, are the people who I chose to consider to be a part of my family as well. Friends can offer just as much support as your actual family even though they might not be your initial family. They are the people who can impact your life just as much as family can.
    It was both the guidance of friends and family that has brought me to where I am today. Without them I wouldn’t be who I am, and we might not always see eye-to-eye but they are my reasons to strive to be all I can be. They along with a little bit of will-power, are the key to my success. So in conclusion, I believe in family, because without them I wouldn’t be able to achieve my goals and make the most of my life.

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    • I agree with everything you said. your family and friends are your best support team. They are always there whenever you need anything. Its very important to keep your family and friends close!

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  25. I believe family is one of the most important aspects of an individual’s life. I believe that the support and love you receive, and give, in your family is extremely beneficial to one’s life. An individual’s family is going to be the first love they are ever shown and family plays a huge role into who that individual becomes. For most people, family is the one thing that they have to rely on. Friends are great but the bond between family members will always be something different than the bond within friendships. The events and tribulations a family face together are something only the members within the family will understand together. An individual can explain to a friend a personal family problem but it is much different than actually going through an issue with one’s family members. For me personally, my older sister and I are very close due to the fact that our older brother has had cancer twice and we have had to take care of our younger brother during both of those times. We both felt the same sadness and stress and we relied on each other for support and love. That type of situation can be explained to a friend, but they will never truly understand the impact or difficulty from that situation. Everyone goes through different hardships in life and most obstacles are hard to conquer alone. I believe having your family members by your side is one of the best ways to overcome misfortune and therefore is one of the most important aspects in life.

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  26. Family? Sometimes I wonder if the concept of family still exist in this day and age. The internet defines Family as “A group of people, usually of the same blood, who genuinely love trust, care about, and look out for each other. Not to be mistaken with relatives sharing the same household who hate each other. REAL family is a bondage that cannot be broken by any means.” I mostly agree with this definition, except that I do not believe that in order to call someone family that they have to be blood related. Many of my friends (who are of no blood relations) I consider them as family. They have stuck by my side when I was going through tough times, they’ve never given up on me and most importantly I’ve never had to question their loyalty. As I have gotten older I learned that even the people you call family can sometimes stab you in the back. It’s not everyone you meet that is meant to stay in you life. You will meet people who are their to teach you a lesson. I remember when my bestfriend of 8 years came to an end. It was very hard for me because she was the person that I told everything to but due to certain situations things had to end. I would talk to my mom about it and she would always tell me that I should never be sad, or angry about it that some people aren’t meant to be in your life for a lifetime. If it wasn’t for my the caring and loving family that I have I probably wouldn’t be here, They constantly push me to be a better me everyday. When I would stress over school they always know the right things to do, and I greatly appreciate them. Appreciate the people you call family because life’s too short and everyday isn’t guaranteed.

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  27. Everyone has a different perspective when it comes to family. If you ask me, a family is the most important thing in my life. I have my mother and my father that I know I can always count on no matter the situation. Brazilian families tend to be very close to each other and are always hugging and kissing everyone. That’s part of my culture that I carry with me. I am a very affectionate person, that’s how I, personally, display my love, even though sometimes I can seem too rough.

    My mom is my best friend, I do everything with her and I tell her everything, she’s my rock, my person. I know she’ll stick by my side through everything no matter how bad her and I argue. That also goes for my father. I also tell my father everything, even though I know he uninterested with most of our conversations, we still have a very strong bond. I am both my parents’ only child, and the recently sent me off to college. Even though it is for the best, and I will make them proud in the future, it is very hard. I won’t be able to lean on them every day nor cuddle with my dog. At UMD I will need to make my second family, people I can reach out to and lean on when necessary. thankfully there are a handful of people I knew from back home that I know I can reach out to for anything.

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  28. Everyone has certain qualities, beliefs, and morals. These traits are indispensable when it comes to building an individual’s character, and for the most part, these attributes are brought upon by people who have had influential power over another. In my case, much of who I am today has been through the efforts my mother made to ensure a bright future for me. I strongly believe that family is crucial in creating the foundation of an individual’s strength and character.
    I am and come from a family of immigrants. Growing up, I saw my mother struggle to single handedly raise me, and work long shifts as a waitress to make ends meet all while trying to assimilate into American daily life; However, despite the circumstances, my mom always persevered. There was always a meal on the table, a warm bed to sleep in, and clothes on my back because of her hard work.
    My mother, in addition to this, always emphasized the importance of an education. If I ever struggled with homework, my mom was always there to help. If I couldn’t grasp a concept taught at school, every effort was made by my mother to bring me to a tutor. One of my favorite memories I have of my mom, was whenever my teacher passed around book catalogs for children in elementary school, my mother always encouraged that I pick a few for her to buy in spite of the financial struggles she was facing. At times, my mom would even read the books to me and then later translate them into Portuguese whenever I couldn’t decipher what a word or sentence meant. No expense was spared when it came to my education, and, because of my mom, I am able to seek and create opportunities from everything that was taught so far in my academic career.
    Through all the sacrifices made and hardships faced, it is because of my mom that I have learned important lessons of patience, selflessness, diligence, and endurance. There are no words that can eloquently express even a fraction of the feelings of gratitude I have for all of the things my mother has done for me. The only thing I can do in return for her is to reflect on everything my mom has taught me and use them to help define who I am as a person as I continue to grow and mature. Family, whether related by blood or those who transcend normal familial bonds, has the power to shape and influence us in ways unimaginable, but, more importantly, their guidance teaches us how to love and how to live.

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  29. Your family is something you can really hate sometimes, but deep down, even if you cannot feel it, you know you love them unconditionally. I had not realized the love I had for each and every person in my family even in the worst relationships until my sophomore year in high school.
    Over the course of my elementary, middle, and high school careers my family had deteriorated a lot. My parents separated and my older brother, *****, and my twin sister, *****, and I were just constantly fighting. My brother is five years older than I am and my relationship with him was very unemotional. When we fought you could never show that you were defeated. We were awful to each other and I had thought that I really hated him.
    In early Sophomore year of high school, my brother had a mental breakdown, and was admitted to a mental hospital for a couple weeks. This had happened to him before, but I was I was never there to see it because I was away at a camp. This time was different though because I was there. The first time I went to visit him it was a little awkward because I was supposed to support him when for as long as I could remember we were always at odds with each other. When I entered the room, I locked eyes with him. He started to cry. Seeing him cry was the most heartbreaking thing. This was the first time I had ever seen him cry, and at this exact moment, I realized how much I truly love him and how he needed support.
    No matter how mad your are at you family, you need to understand how much you love them and how much they love you unconditionally. I know that whenever I need help no matter what my family with always be there.

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  30. Reblogged this on Cfurtado6 and commented:
    Once upon time back in my country I use to play sport but there wasn’t enough opportunity to prove my self that I can be someone one day . When I use to be kid I loved to play soccer with my friend that I became addicted to playing soccer. My mom always told me if I came to America I would loved here and their sports that they have for me. If there was one person that always believe in me were my parents. Most of the time I just want to give up on everything but there was my parents always finding away for me to never back down and always keeep my head up. My parents told me in America I can do and be anything I want if I believe in myself and work hard for what I want.
    When my parents travel to America and left me with my grandmother I was sad but they went to better country to find jobs and do something with their life. Most of the time kept playing soccer with my team. My position was sweeper I would let the other team score goal against us. However one day my dad call me told me that I was going to America where all the chances I was waiting for came. When I came I struggle a lot because of the language and didn’t know anybody so I set My goal was to learn the language, know people around and be a soccer player like I always dream of. My dad told me for me to always do something that I’m passion about doing it. In a couple week in school I made friends and I came To play for team called Bysa and I made a lot friends too. I became part of that community. I start to play the beautiful game of soccer and became more addicted to it and Started to love it even more.
    To conclude I have always believe in myself like nobody would ever think I could I came to America and achieve some of my goals that I set but I’m still chasing for big things. My parents were my greatest motivation when I need someone to motivate me. However when I do big things I will always bring my parents with me. Soccer is just not game it’s my life.

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  31. Reblogged this on Jfernandes12 and commented:
    Hello my name is Jose Fernandes,
    Family is a bond, a durable relationship that holds a bond with each other. Everything shapes when man and ladies end up plainly one and from that point a family is conceived. There are many esteems that one needs to figure out how to get the family holding in the correct way. Holding does not occur without any forethought. It frames with consistently, consistently that you go through with your friends and family. The comprehension, the acknowledgment, the having a place and the security all encased together is the way a family bond is framed.

    A nearby family bond resembles a protected harbor, where we feel secure and where we assume that we have somebody generally there to whom we could swing to when we require them the most. This holding fabricates a trust and expectation that, regardless, we have individuals to be with us in our hardest circumstances. It is through a family that we take in the estimations of adoration, put stock in, trust, conviction, societies, ethics, conventions and each and every issue that worries to us. A solid establishment for any individual originates from being with a steady family.

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  32. I believe that family is created throughout your life, you’re not born into it. Family is all about the one’s you love and care for. You get to choose who those people are. Back home on Cape Cod I have a family of brothers. People that I know will always have my back no matter what. That’s what family is all about. I believe that’s how most people are now days. If I was ever in a terrible situation I always had the brothers to call. I wouldn’t call my actual family. You’re actual family isn’t always around, that’s why I believe family is chosen by person. I come from a middle class family. They didn’t really respect my world views and I just couldn’t really connect with them on the same level as the one’s I choose to call my family. Family is all about the one’s you share the greatest moments of your life with. I do believe that the stereotypical definition of family is important. I do love all my blood, you’re born to love them. Blood is who you are when you grow up, you act like your family as you grow, but eventually you become your own person. That’s when the definition of family changes, you realize who is going to have your back. It always amazes me the people you meet in this world. It’s crazy, just a lot of people that could possible be family one day. Family comes and goes, but the best part of family is you always know you’ll see them again. The people you want to see is family.

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  33. I would like to thank my mother and father for assisting me throughout my high school year for believing in me and encouraging me to try my hardest to attain the highest grades to my possibilities. To my mother for providing me with the encouragement to continue on and make sure that I complete every assignment and project. For making sure that I never strayed from my path and continued on my academic road. She has continually supported me in my numerous years as she hopes to see me shine and succeed. I would like to also thank my father for always checking in on me throughout high school. His wise words are always in my mind and causes me to always think about where I want to head in life and what I want to chose for my career.
    I would like to also thank my friends that I have made throughout my numerous years of high school. They have always supported me with their kindness and helped me when I was in a rough spot in my life. I thank my friends for always providing useful advice and always helping me catch up on work whenever I can not make it to school.

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  34. Everyone always says that family comes first and no one gets left behind with the solid fact that they will always be there for you, it took a long time for me to come to the realization of this statement and the flaws that came along with it. Throughout my whole life I have a great family that would help me in every situation that I have to overcome or persevere through, I have always been accustomed to this lifestyle and just thought that this was the way that all families worked but I was sadly mistaken. Over the years that I have grown to realize the fact that not all family is “good family material”. This last summer really put that into perspective for me in full blast, everything was going good in my family we are a high end middle class family with no problems and gathered every time someone had a birthday or on a widely celebrated holiday, to say the least we were extremely close family. This all changed over the summer of me transferring from high school to college for it already being a hard time to start off with I lost one of my favorite and most appreciated aunts to a divorce between her and her husband. I’ve never experienced a family member leaving the family, I have heard of it happening to other people but I would never a day in my life think that I could happen to me but it did. When I saw her at the bank a few weeks after this horrible event she acted like she never met me before like any other stranger in the world just walked by without any consent, this is when I realized that the real family comes first and anyone that is outside of that will be left behind.

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  35. There are many aspects in life that feel and are very important. Some of these for me are schooling, athletics, friends, and money. However, out of all of these important parts of life, none of them compare to the importance of family. The difference between family, and the rest, is that family is forever. Schooling and athletics end, friends come and go, and money is all over the place. But family is always there, and at the end of the day they are your support and they want the best for you. My mother passed away when I was four years old, so I grew up with my father and little brother and my father always did whatever he had to do to support us. It wasn’t just him either, my grandparents, aunts, and uncles always took care of us if we needed it and I am the person I am today because of all of them. My family taught me that family is always first and you don’t ever let anybody mess with your family no matter who they are. You always have to have their backs. Even if you’re in a fight with a family member or the circumstances aren’t the best, it doesn’t matter. I hope to pass these same morals along to my kids someday and it is something that is very important to me. Family has the biggest impact on your life and they shape who you are and I’m glad that it was a positive impact for me.

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  36. People all over the world have different beliefs and different things that value more. For me I believe in family. Family is the one thing that everyone will have in their life at some point. I consider family to be more than just the people that I am directly related to. I consider family to be the people I love and trust the most in this world and know that these same people love and trust me all the same. Family has the power to make one feel loved and at home no matter where they are. Family is the one thing that can never be broken. I know because I have a very close family. Although some members are farther apart than others the unbreakable bond remains. We all have family no matter where we are or what our current life situation is. I believe family is one of the best things in my life. Knowing that you are loved no matter what and knowing you are cared for throughout your whole life. I come from a Middle class family where you learn to love what you have and not crave what you don’t have. Being raised in such an environment makes you really appreciate the people around you and the family that you have. For those of you reading this I hope you are able to understand how much family impacts all of our lives in an unforgettable way.

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  37. I believe that your family doesn’t define who you are. Just because your parent did one thing or your sibling did doesn’t mean that you have to be the exact same way. You are your own person. Why do I believe this? Not only have I seen many teens and young adults pressured into following in their parents footsteps, but I’ve also seen and been a victim of people assuming you’re going to behave in the same manor as your relatives. For me, people assumed I was going to be a high school drop out or a druggie or an alcoholic because many of my relatives are. I used to hate the fact that people made that assumption about me. It was like my straights A’s and my personality didn’t prove I was the exact opposite of my family members. Overtime though I realized that their opinions didn’t matter because I knew that my family doesn’t make me who I am. I am not a high school drop out. In fact, I graduated 25th in my class and with honors. I am not a druggie or an alcoholic in the slightest. I am the polar opposite of most of my family and that’s one hundred percent okay because I am me and they are them. I chose who I am and what I want to be and do in my life. That’s why I strongly believe that your family doesn’t make up who you are. They will always be your family but they should never hold you back from who you want to be. Believe in who you are a follow your own path and that is the true road to success. That is my belief.

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  38. When we are born, most of the time, we are brought up with a group of people that we call family. We grow with our family, we fight with our family, we play with our family, and we love our family. In my own life I believe in family.Growing up I was very shy, and went to a small school and had few friends, but i always had my family. I always felt comfortable around my family and I feel like I can be myself around them. I never felt like I have be someone I’m not when I’m with them.

    Im very fortunate to be in the family that I’m in because not all people are on good terms with their family, which is sad considering family can play an important role in life. Family is a great support system, and can serve as a great guide. My sisters and parents were great forms of support through many transitions in my life. The big difference between friends and family is that, if a family member lies or steals from you its harder for them to avoid you, whereas a friend could easily lie or steal and easily keep their distance. When it comes to family you are always going to run in to them, and your never going to fully lose connection with them.

    I take pride in my family and will always be on their side. I will always try to help them out when I can, give advice, and protect them if i can, and I know they’ll do the same for me. I believe that I can live life happily knowing my family is by my side.

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  39. My parents first came to this country as immigrants from Kenya. Growing up with them I always heard stories of the hardships they endured during their first years living here. One of the stories my mom always told me was about her first winter in the US. If you don’t already know, Kenya is in East Africa close to the equator. Not knowing what to expect, my mother never bought any gear to prepare for the winter. She didn’t realize until it got cold out that she would need a jacket. Also, she waited until it snowed before she bought boots. Having experienced winter in New England, you know this didn’t workout well for my mother.

    Another story I always hear is one featuring my dad. However, I never heard this story from him but rather family members when my dad isn’t around. Starving after a long day of work my Dad went to a nearby fast food restaurant to get some food. In a hurry my Dad thought it would be more convenient to use the drive-through. The only problem with this was that my Dad didn’t own a car at the time. Now I want you to picture a middle aged black male walking through a drive-through in the middle of the night; that was my Dad. After taking my Dad’s order the cashier asked if it would be for here or to go. Upon hearing this for the first time my Dad didn’t have a clue what the cashier was talking about, which made the situation even more awkward, as he took his order and left the restaurant.

    We all have family members that have a heavy impact on who we are. This is why I challenge all of you to let those people know how much you appreciate them. In my case this would be my parents who with their sacrifices I am able to be standing here today.

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  40. The traditional roles of closure a family provides have been absent for the most part of my up bringing. American television shows tend to submit the same cliche precedent for how a family member is suppose to involved within ones world. Something that at a young age subconsciously conditioned me to realize that the entitlement of that representation of a connected family I seek would not materialize. Being the youngest child of four siblings with an age gap of fifteen years and up apart gave me a lot of down time to develop as a person by myself at home. I relied on relations in school for personal growths up to my teenage years, and by that point I learned to allocate the significance of my friends into what purpose they have on my character. The faction of people I was around were all reflection of each facet of my personality. I had a particular people be around to encourage and inspire me, to count on always having a lit time, to share mentally stimulating introspective ideas, and many other sides of myself. I’ve received much more closure through my friends over the years than from my family, and I don’t particularly think it’s a bad thing. The only downfall of this setup is that I’ve created a lack of transparency between the me and my family and that results in me fabricating a facade to avoid making my problem theirs or give them something to worry about. While on the other side I’m in a position where I cherish comradery and find that I’m more able to depend on the likes of people who aren’t relatives based off the quality of the relation I create than mosts.

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  41. Sometimes I’ll be sitting around the house watching TV or on my computer and my parents or siblings will walk in the room and ask me “What’s wrong?”. I usually reply by saying “Nothing, why?” And I don’t think anything of it at the time because nothing was wrong. But they always respond to me by saying “Just wondering” and again I don’t usually think anything of it because at the time it just seemed like an irrelevant question. But, there are those times where something is actually wrong and they ask me the same question that seemed so irrelevant before and I realize how amazing it is that I have two loving parents and 3 amazing siblings that if they see me with a certain look on my face they’re “Just wondering” if I’m feeling alright. Most people will say that they’re supposed to do that because I’m their little brother or son. But, that doesn’t change anything because I know that they “have to”, it’s the fact that I’m lucky enough to have a healthy father, mother, 2 sisters, and brother. Some people may have lost their mother, father, or even both at a very young age, so they never had their them when they needed them the most. Maybe they’re an only child so they never had a brother or sister to play tag with when they were little. These are the types of things that make me realize how lucky I am to have who I have so close to me. I am forever grateful for everything they do for me and will always put family first.

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