In high school, in addition to my ever-growing hobby list, I was an avid social climber. Never really satisfied with the people I was with, I was always searching to fit in with another crowd. I was not lost, I knew exactly what I craved. I wanted to grow up too fast and experience things that a sixteen-year-old had no need to be involved with. It was common for me to change friend groups every year. But after three years, it was exhausting to have to teach people who I was. I was never quite comfortable with my friends, always trying to make sure I was saying the right things and overcompensating on being who I thought I should be. But towards the end of high school, my senior year, I was done with my shallowness. I was becoming a deeper person and the relationships I had around me were not filling me up.
My mom, the only person in the world who is ALWAYS right, taught me the phrase, "To have a friend, you have to be a friend." She knew I was a friend hopper and knew that I was chasing something that I did not even possess myself. Because I was not always the nicest to the people who cared about me, I drove a lot of friendships away. During my senior year, I became a person that I would want to have been friends with. I remember for a creative writing class, I wrote a reflection piece on senior year. It started like this, "I am the most alone I will ever be, but the happiest I have ever been." I stopped forcing myself to be this people-pleasing, crowd-following, group-thinking version of me. And I was so incredibly content. I still played soccer six days a week, participated in clubs, went to all senior year dances and events, and hung out with my friend group. But the difference was that I stopped holding the perfect picture of what I thought everyone else wanted me to be in front of my face and I let myself just be.
I came to college and immediately found people who had elements of forevers and bits of always. Freshman year, I met people who had lived the same high school experience as me and understood my past on a different level. Ever since I came to college, two and a half years ago, my friend group has stayed consistent. It helps to have two hundred women to call sisters, but friendships were not signed with that bid card. I have grown more as an individual with a stable environment of nourishment and happiness that emits from my people around me. All it takes is for at least one other person to really understand you and the world is going to be alright. Now I get the privilege of coming home to my three closest best friends every day. The nightly slumber parties in two wooden bunk beds in our sorority house, the happy vibes after a morning workout, the afternoon coffee runs to keep ourselves fully hydrated, and everything in between has been so worth the wait and the pain of the unknown.
When I look back on this, I realize that I kinda waited my whole life for this chemistry. To be understood fully, accepted wholly, and loved fiercely. From the nights we went out, to the nights we stayed in; From the stories we will not forget, to the ones we will not ever bring up again (hehe), I have found myself in this friendship and I am thankful every day to be no more than ten feet apart from my soulmates.