Nobody wants a critic in life, but sooner or later, we realize we need one... or a whole group of them. It is human nature to take criticism as completely negative; although, it exists as way to be informed of things we must improve.
If we have a professor, coach, boss or friend telling us what to do and who to do it with, we are usually not happy with this. This is why our family members make the best kind of critics in our lives; it is harder to hate someone with whom you share the same DNA.
Although your older brother has been teasing you about anything and everything since before you can remember, his criticism will become more useful as he matures, if that happens.
Not only does our family know what is best for us, they also know us better than we know ourselves. While their criticism may be the cause of every annoyance or argument, in the grand scheme of things, their suggestions will benefit us most and help positively shape our futures.
Family on education
Your parents are going to push you, and they'll probably compare you to your older siblings along the way, but they are doing it for your benefit.
Take their pushiness as motivation, and take their comparison as a way to look up to your siblings as role models and eventually exceed your parents' expectations.
This will start as early as the days of recreational sports, and probably never end as long as mom and dad are around. Accepting your parents' intended words of wisdom gets you one step closer to being your best self; let them know that it is because of them.
As for college, when your parents criticize your procrastination of applications, take their word and do it all as soon as possible. It is better to complete them early and have time to change your mind later in the process.
If your family suggests a school closer to home, it is not because they want to visit show up unannounced every weekend and pester you and your new college friends. This is probably because, deep down, you are a home body and won't admit it.
Whether you realize it or not, it is much easier to book a two-hour train home for the weekend than a flight that's going to cost as much as your room and board.
If your family is gung-ho about RV trips cross-country to attend parents weekend and football tailgates, then they know you'll be fine as far away from home as you please.
Be honest with yourself in addition to listening to them, or else, come May, your plans of leaving for the best years of your life could end up being a little delayed.
Family on social life
Although no one wants to admit it, your family members become your best friends. Growing up, everyone has a friend or neighbor of whom his or her family is not completely fond.
You have had years to give this friend second and maybe even third chances, yet his or her opinion remains the same. Whether it be the rudeness or love for rebellion, it is not something any parent would condone.
In this situation, confide in the familial critics within your generation -- your siblings and cousins.
These are those who share similar interests and upbringings, so trust their insights. If your circle of friends does not mesh well with your family, chances are this isn't a friendship that was meant to last.
You want these people in your life forever, not as unwanted guests at your wedding.
Family on love (or relationships)
Being part of a family can make a significant other feel like he or she is dating you and every person to whom you are related. Your family wants you to be with someone that lifts you higher and makes you better.
They want you to be with someone who supports you and pushes you to be your best self. They want you to find someone who can bond with the family during visits or on holidays.
If you cannot leave this person alone with your family, then he or she is not for you.
Your family will know if this person is for you the second you bring him or her home for a holiday or weekend visit, and will let it be known by smothering this person with love, affection and obvious signs of acceptance.
Family on style
If you haven't experienced an urge to rebel, then it has yet to come. Everyone has a desire to get a funky haircut, try out highlights, get a matching tattoo with a BFF or to poke an extra hole or two in his or her ear.
While your college roommates will give you the upmost support, we often forget to think about how our family will view these decisions. Although you are not going to agree with your family on everything, appearance is something that says much about yourself and them.
This is the way you carry yourself and also reflects how you feel about yourself.
lf a decision will lead to endless hours of you explaining to your elderly grandparents why your jeans have so many holes in them, what the ink on your bicep means or why you felt it necessary to have a ring in your nose, chances are it was not the move.
Your family will almost always accept you for you, so on the rare occasion they do not, I would take their word for it.
Family on success
Your family will define success differently than anyone else you come across in your life. When bantering about job and internship opportunities over dinner, your family wants to see your eyes light up with excitement, not your voice overtaken by boredom and stress.
While money is something our generation is always chasing, it is our family that will remind us that dreams are what we should be chasing.
It is easy to think they won't be accepting of an idea to take a year off and travel or to work for a new non-profit organization, but chances are they will listen and love what you have to say.
Family on you
Our families want to see us experience all of these things. They want us to be happy and involved in college, not miserable and struggling. They want us to be surrounded by amazing people, people who will be our groomsmen and maids of honor in our weddings, not problem causers.
They want us to experience love with the right person at the right time and to shape the right future with him or her. They want us to be confident in who we are, and share our natural beauty and features with the world.
They want us to be successful and happy. They want us to be ourselves.
So, next time you are unsure of a decision regarding any of these topics, run it by your family members and take their words to heart; they are your biggest fans.