Sample E-mail to Parents
Dear Mom and Dad,
I ventured off to England my junior year of college because I wanted to prove to myself that I could survive without parental support. While away, I learned to cook for myself, to grocery shop on a budget, to get around foreign countries on my own and to solve everyday problems without calling you for advice.
Yes, this was a great growing opportunity for me, and I discovered an inner self-confidence I never knew I had. But, while off on my own, I realized humans cannot live solely as independent individuals; we need support and guidance. To survive on my own without you, I learned to lean on others instead. I relied on friends more than any other time in my life. For example, when I got bit by a dog in England, there was nothing you two could do for me so far away. Instead, two of my friends accompanied me to the hospital and then took me out to dinner after the ordeal to make me feel better.
Besides friends, I found myself trusting perfect strangers for guidance, too. I no longer followed your “stranger danger” advice. I often had to stop random people on the street to ask for directions. If I hadn’t done that, I’d probably still be looking for my destinations. These experiences, then, taught me to trust myself, to trust the goodness of others and to cherish my friendships. I discovered life always seems to have a way of working out no matter where I am or whom I am with.
Of course, though, I wouldn’t have had the courage or the faith to embark on this journey if it hadn’t been for you both. After all, you financially supplemented the adventure and checked-in on me regularly via Skype. I appreciate that dad flew overseas to get me settled abroad. What a memorable week we had together, exploring England, figuring out the public transportation systems and chatting with random Brits in pubs and restaurants! You both have provided me with all the love, support, skills and resources needed to survive as an independent adult.
As a result, our relationship has changed from that of daughter and parents to that of friendship. In allowing me to explore on my own, I have come back with valuable lessons to share with you—as mom and I learned on our trip to France and England this past summer. The tricks I picked up living in England certainly helped us get around another country and overcome any obstacle we encountered. After all, it was the little tricks that ensured we made a connecting train and our flight home with only minutes to spare.
In becoming more independent, I’ve grown to appreciate family support even more. Adventures are never as much fun without loved ones to share them with. Yes, I learned I could make it on my own, but that’s because you’ve been there for me my entire life, preparing me for that moment of independence. I shutter to think whether or not I could be a responsible adult who can trust herself and others, if I never had known your love. I often think not, and therefore I am eternally grateful for all you have ever done for me and my future success.
Your daughter, your friend