This I Believe

Kira - State College, Pennsylvania
Entered on April 21, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30

This I believe

So often a perfect family is viewed as: a white picket fence, stay-at-home mom, and a dog, with a cliché name like Sparky. It is thought that children of “perfect” households grow up “better” or that the lack of adversity in their lives will somehow ensure a better future.

Coming from a single parent household with no siblings, I could not agree less. While it may be true that children of this background have ample opportunity to succeed, children from various backgrounds have the ability to create immense possibilities.

As my undergraduate college career is nearing its end, it is my belief wonderful parenting comes in many different forms. My parents were never married, but my father has always had a presence in my life. Perhaps presence is an understatement – I probably talk to him on average three times a day!

My parents understood that their differentiating beliefs in many areas of life would not create the best scenario for a marriage. However, my mother realized the importance of a father in his daughter’s life; never knowing my father was not an option.

When I was a child, my mother had a job working shifts: 5am- 1pm, 3pm-11pm, and sometimes 9pm-5am. I remember walking home from elementary school, doing my homework, going to after school activities, and making my own dinner without the assistance of an adult. Most parents probably can’t even imagine a child, in elementary school, cooking her own dinner. I remember waking up in the morning to the sound of my alarm, getting myself ready, and walking to school. When there is only one parent, children learn to survive independently much earlier in life.

I was more mature due to my “imperfect” household. Going to college I had a much more realistic view of money matters, unlike my peers. Through my time at college, I have seen friends of mine fail classes and party excessively, as if they were an animal released from its cage into the wild, or a prisoner on his first day out of lockup. I have seen friends be uninvolved members of the student body and not pursue opportunity, probably because many things have been handed to them.

There is no perfect household. The key to being successful in life comes from having strong guidance, whether it is from one parent or a madly in love set of parents. My parents supported and encouraged me all throughout my life. I never burnt down the house cooking dinner, or failed a class because no one was standing over my shoulder watching my every move.

In May, I will complete my bachelor degree from a top ranked Supply Chain department at Penn State University. I have successfully completed an internship in my field and have held several leadership roles on campus. I believe in the power of wonderful parenting, not the stereotypical family image.