Choosing the right university while moving away from home came with many challenges. These include choosing the proper location and environment that made me feel safe and welcomed as well as the availability of the programs and the type of degree I was wishing to receive. However, these decisions were made a little easier when my I had my family standing by my side every step of the way. Looking back now, I would have never imagined that I would be where I am today, playing for the Gee-Gee’s women’s hockey team while completing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
Now, to my mom and dad, you allowed me to visit every school in which I showed interest that then led me to enrol myself at the prestigious University of Ottawa. Thank you for encouraging me to apply for the program of my choice, although you knew it wouldn’t be easy. Throughout all of my elementary and secondary school years, you always reminded me to work hard for the things that I wanted because the great things in life wouldn’t come easy but that it would someday all be worth it. These words of wisdom encouraged me to give my greatest effort towards my education allowing me in the future to get accepted and to succeed in this competitive nursing program. Although it isn’t always convenient, you never fail to make yourself available to call me simply to hear about my day or to give me some motivation when I just can’t seem to find any. I can always count on your good luck text prior to every exam and a call afterwards to let me know that you are proud of me regardless of the outcome. This journey that I am on will take some time, but I know that under every circumstance I will have you there to lean on.
I can still remember you helping me put on my equipment in the basement for those early morning practices and tying my skates before every game until I had the strength to do it on my own. I fell in love with every aspect of the game at a young age and you helped me keep that love alive by shooting hundreds of pucks with me during those sunny summer days and building me my very own outdoor rink in the backyard. You saw the potential in me that I didn’t even know I had and I can’t thank you enough for that. It is the reason why I am presently playing in the RSEQ, a women’s hockey league of high performance that is constantly improving. Not only was your support overwhelming in the beginning stages of my hockey career, still you continue to be my greatest supporters regardless of the distance between us. In your mind, my hockey games trump all and you refuse to miss a game even if it means cancelling your prior commitments. I can always count on you to pick me up when I’m feeling down after a tough loss and to congratulate me after a big win. Dad, I know that the coach in you must go crazy when you notice my mistakes on the ice and can’t correct them in the moment. However, although I don’t always express my appreciation towards your honest opinion and constructive criticism, it pushes me to improve my game each and every day and for that I am thankful.
As I struggle to find the words to express my gratitude, I hope you see how much you’ve done for me over the years and how appreciative I am for it. I don’t thank you nearly as much as I should and so I hope when you read this you realize that not a single thing you’ve done has gone unnoticed. You encourage me to chase after my dreams in life and it has led me to the beautiful city of Ottawa where I am building character and discovering my independence.