The Fredricks

The Fredricks

Monday, March 3, 2014

College has got nothing on us

What is family? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, "family" is defined as:
"a group of individuals living under one roof and usually one head."
*Note: there were other definitions but none of which satisfied my personal definition of family.
Excuse me. I object. This definition implies that my family is not  my mother, father and brother whom live in Houston; instead, my family consists of the 60 girls with whom I live in a sorority house. False.
Now, I know I live in a beautiful sorority house where I have a wonderful house mother, house "dads" and sorority sisters. But, respectively, these people didn't birth me, teach me how to throw a baseball, or bug me just in order to get under my skin. Nothing will change whom I call my real family. Enter Brent, Michelle and Reed. My family. A little over a year and a half ago, I packed up my room, cleared my closet, and begun my first journey without them - college.
The typical post-graduation picture with the family. From left to right: Brent, Mia, Michelle, Reed.
Source: Mia Fredricks
As the oldest child, none of us knew what to expect. There were countless nights where my mom and I teased each other about how we would be fine without each other's physical presence; these nights would end in many tears and planning how often we would call each other. My dad and I didn't talk much about it because I knew we'd both be miserable if we did. I mean, daddy's little girl was leaving him AND I was leaving him alone with my hyper brother and stressed mother (oy vey). My brother definitely didn't act too upset about it. He was going to have all of the attention he had always desired with me gone.
I spent the summer before I left for college in a different way than most of my friends. Rather than hanging out with all of the friends I'd be leaving, I spent time at home, strengthening my relationship with my family. There were nights of fun and laughter; instances of pure anger and frustration; times of fear of moving away. More than anything, my summer was filled with a lot happy memories, ones that would make leaving even harder.
Fourth of July was spent on the golf course as a family. I became designated golf-cart driver by hole 13.
Source: Mia Fredricks
Fast forward to move-in day. Typical family dynamic had come out. My poor roommate and her family probably thought we were crazy. My mom was bouncing from one task to another, constantly adding things to the to-buy list. My dad was already tired of doing all of the manual work and was counting the hours until he could sit down. Oh, and my brother and I were surprise.
With all of the craze, we forgot to stop worrying and enjoy our last few hours together. In a few hours, we'd no longer be living together. In a few hours, according to Merriam-Webster, we'd be a split family. So when it came time for me to say goodbye, reality hit us hard.
I hugged Reed first as my eyes began to water. "Don't make their lives too hard," I said as we tried to stay chill. Cue the tears. My dad had put his sunglasses on, to hide the fact he too was crying. We hugged and I began to fall apart. "I love you and I'll always be daddy's little girl." Mom was last and by then there was no hiding my fear of their departure. "It's going to be okay, honey. We're always with you," she said.
Saying goodbye was definitely the hardest part, but I realized things wouldn't be too bad when I got a call from my mom an hour after they left. "Just calling to check in!" she exclaimed. From then I knew that even though we weren't in the same home anymore, nevertheless, the same city, we were still a strong family and we'd be alright.
According to me, family is a "group of individuals who love each other, unconditionally, and are always close at matter the physical distance between them." My journey had just begun but my family was going to be with me every step of the way, still cheering me on, bugging me to death, and caring for me no matter what. Besides, college had nothing on us - we're too strong to be broken.
The whole family at my sorority's parents' weekend a few months into my first semester at college (still smiling).
Source: Mia Fredricks

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