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Moms support, guide, influence who we are

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Moms support, guide, influence who we are

Natalie and her mom, Dorota smile and pose for a photo.

Natalie and her mom, Dorota smile and pose for a photo.

Natalie Stanowski

Natalie and her mom, Dorota smile and pose for a photo.

Natalie Stanowski

Natalie Stanowski

Natalie and her mom, Dorota smile and pose for a photo.

By Natalie Stanowski, Assistant Special Sections Editor

As the name implies, Moms Weekend is all about celebrating the moms and mother figures in our lives. It is an event the whole campus celebrates. However, the act of taking time to appreciate mothers can be more personally significant than the formal events on campus might imply.

While I’m sure most of us can easily come up with dozens of ways our moms have made a positive impact on our lives, it’s rare to put pen to paper and try to make sense of how our relationships with our mothers have made us who we are today.

Most of my childhood consists of memories of the apartment where my single mom and I lived. The few short years of my life before her divorce are a muddy haze, and the bulk of what I remember is all in that little red brick apartment. Getting off the bus to see my mom waving at me from our balcony and drinking hot cocoa together as we watched Sunday morning cartoons, these are the happy little moments that have stayed with me over the years.

But it is rarely those warm fuzzy memories that play the biggest part in shaping us. As a first generation immigrant, my mother has always valued the importance of education in my and my siblings’  abilities to choose a good future for ourselves. I remember elementary school as a never-ending trip to and from the library. My mom would help me pick out a short stack of books at my reading level, and force me to sit and read them, even when what I really wanted was to play on my Nintendo. She would always check my assignment notebook, making sure I had completed all my homework before goofing off. From this, I learned to value my education and always put my studies first.

Even now, my mom is working hard to keep supporting me through college. Instead of taking the easy way out and just letting me take out loans for all of my expenses, she has worked even harder to alleviate some of the financial burden my degree has entailed. Seeing her juggle two jobs without complaining has in turn motivated me to work harder and make every credit count. It makes me appreciate the dedication my mom has shown to helping me receive the college education she never had.

Back when I was in high school, I remember her pushing me to get a part-time job  as soon as I turned 16. While it wasn’t fun to give up my weekends and summers, the experience ended up teaching me many lessons. Including how to manage my money and how to get along with my coworkers. The independence I gained from working became even more valuable as I began to navigate my college experience. If I had not been pushed out of my comfort zone by my mom, I would have floundered my freshman year while trying to adjust.

Looking back on all the memories and experiences I have shared with my mom, it makes it even clearer just how big of a positive impact she has had on my life. So, while you are spending quality time with your mom this weekend, do not forget to to think back on all the times she has been there for you along the way. Make sure to express your gratitude to her. Thank you for everything, Mama.

Natalie is a sophomore in LAS.

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