As I sat in my dorm room with no distractions, I read the words written for me by the person in my life that is my hero. His guidance to me as a young man has stayed with me for over three decades and I can only hope that this letter provides you some guidance as my Dad’s letter did for me.
Let me start by sharing with you how much I love you. There are no words to describe how deep a Father’s love is for his daughters. The day God blessed me with you will always be the best day of my life.
I also want to take a moment to apologize for not always being the perfect Dad. My personal and professional frustrations often have taken a toll on me. As a maturing woman, I think it’s important for you to understand that men often associate their purpose in life with their financial and career accomplishments. I hope you will forgive me for not always being present, positive, or engaged. Through the trials and tribulations, I can assure you that family has always been the most important thing for me. It has been a privilege watching you grow into the wonderful woman you have become..
I am so grateful that you have had your mom as a role model. I hope you will begin to understand what a rock star your mom is and the amazing foundation she laid out for you to be a strong, independent, confident woman. Through her unwavering support of each member of this family, she has taught you what being completely unselfish looks like and what true love feels like.
High School is full of drama and you did your very best to navigate it. I am happy that you made some new friends and equally sad for you that you lost some old ones. You are about to embark on one of the most exciting chapters of your life so leave the past in the past. The bonds you may have developed with people from your childhood often fade, but the new relationships you form over the next 4-8 years will have the most impact on your future. Always remember to never let anyone or anything define you!!!!
Your educational opportunity, meeting new people with different views, and experiences are all part of this new chapter. As you’re walking through campus on a beautiful day in Tallahassee, just stop, soak it in, take a moment to appreciate your beautiful life and just smile.
You are officially off to college, so please take what I have taught you and make good decisions. Respect yourself, take care of your body, live by the moral code that is the foundation of the person you are. Meet new people and avoid being judgmental. Most of the students you will meet are trying to figure shit out just like you. Trust no one and keep your guard up at all times for nobody is there to protect you. This world can be a scary place and I don’t want you to be a victim.
Please keep in touch with your sister on a regular basis. You have been her role model, her idol, and she has a deep love for you. Find it in your heart to continue a relationship with her. A bond with a sister who loves you can be the greatest blessing of all and if you are lucky, she will emerge as your best friend in the years to come.
Most likely, you will lose one, if not more than one, of your Grandparents over the next 4 years. Understand that nothing brings them more joy than getting a direct call from you. Avoid Snap Crap for 5 minutes and just call them to check in. I promise you that you will cherish your last conversations with them.
I am personally overwhelmed by the thought of not seeing you every day. You have been more than a daughter to me, for you have been my closest friend and companion. I may need to text you often as I adjust to this new chapter of my life.
Find balance at college, but remember why you are there. Keep your eye on the goal at all times so that you can prioritize what’s most important. Your grades must come first and fun second. These 4 years will fly by and I can assure you that you won’t remember all of the parties you attended, but your academic results will significantly determine your next chapter.
I love you very much and I am so proud of you.
Love your biggest fan,