I believe in the unwavering support of a family. No matter what may be going on in the hectic lives of my family we have all grown to clearly understand that certain family time can never be compromised. Going to the movies annually after both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, gathering every Sunday during football season to watch the Philadelphia Eagles games (which can mostly be attributed to superstition), and getting together for brunch New Years Day (regardless of how late we all stayed up the night before), are traditions that some people would view as going above and beyond the call of family duty. But I certainly would have it no other way and I feel that without spending those precious moments together we could not have built the relationship and trust that we share today.
My eleven cousins and I know we have my mother and her four sisters to thank for the strong family roots that have been planted in all of us. My parents continue to instill a sense of family pride in me that I like to think of as unparalleled in today’s society. As my cousins and I grow older and each of us start our own families, I know some of the closeness we have had since childhood will be put on the back burner at times, but I strongly believe that we will continue many of the traditions that our parents began and no doubt start a few of our own. I have come to appreciate that having such a close knit family throughout my early years has enabled me to live my life, thus far, fearless of failure.
When I made the decision after my sophomore year of high school to take four advanced placement courses the following year, my family was more than encouraging. I, on the other hand, could not have been more scared. The upper classmen could not stress enough that, “junior year is the hardest year of high school,” and my greatest worry was that I had gotten myself in over my head. Luckily, I made it through that year, maybe not with the highest grade point average but with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment, knowing I had actually learned more than I had ever imagined I would.
My family has taught me that without being held to high standards, many people will fall short, and when you put forth your best effort you will be rewarded, even if it is not the reward you had envisioned. I have learned that failure should never enter our minds, because if it does then we are already defeated; but if we do happen to fail, the most valued lesson I have discovered is that I will always have the support and acceptance of my family, and for that I will forever be grateful.
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