I swear, my mom is Superwoman. She has done absolutely everything to pave the best possible path for my sister and me, and I cannot thank her enough for being such an amazing caretaker and role model. Her sacrifices, her kindness, and her grace are unmatched by anyone I know. Below are just a handful of the many lessons she’s taught me:

Clean up as you go along. I’ve mainly heard this in reference to cooking, but I feel like it can apply to all aspects of life: a mess at the end is a pain to deal with. Don’t let things build up. Take care of problems as soon as they appear.

Have your own hobbies. Do what makes you happy, whether it’s popular or not! Have something in your life that truly brings you joy.

Don’t rush things. I love being the youngest one in a class or the first to finish a task, but my mom has taught me that college is one thing you shouldn’t expedite if you don’t have to. Slow down. Experience life; don’t breeze through it. Take your time.

Danger lurks everywhere. Be prepared for the worst. You never know what could happen!

Be able to laugh at yourself. Sometimes we do ridiculous things, or ridiculous things happen to us. Take it in stride! The first (and thankfully, only) time my mom let me cut her hair, I messed up big time. People called it the “shark bite” because I’d taken such an ungraceful chunk out of the back. It was awful; we could all agree on that. But merely a day later, she was laughing about it. Thank god.

Compartmentalize. Although it’s difficult, one aspect of your life should not severely impact the others, especially if it’s negative. Focus on the present situation. Just because something went wrong in one instance doesn’t mean it will in another.

Have compassion. You can be a boss without being ruthless. Care about others, and have their best interests in mind. Empathize. Stand up for what you believe is right.

Thanks, Mommy.