An Open Letter To My Best Friend

To My Best Friend, What Would I Do Without You?

This is basically just a love letter for my best friend Maria.

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I seem to be a person who is obsessed with the idea of a soulmate, someone who I will instantly connect with and form an extremely powerful bond with. I share these deep thoughts about this idea of "soulmates" with my friend Maria, but the irony of the whole thing is that she pretty much is my soulmate. I have never met someone who compliments me so well and she's truly an angel. Maria is the first person I will text while in a sappy rage of sad feelings (which happens more often than one would think) and she provides the ultimate cure for these crazy emotions. The amount of comfort we have gained in talking with each other is something that is impossible to ignore when evaluating how far we've come as friends. The most important thing to note about our friendship is that we both have different struggles as humans, but we learn so much from each other and help each other to grow from experiences rather than pandering on them.

Maria (pictured right) and I at a friend's gigJacqueline Napier

Maria and I first became really close in our freshman year Biology class at our high school. We sat next to each other and I admired her sense of humor that some people were honestly scared of. We continued being friends throughout high school, having lunch together our senior year, and going to each other's graduation parties. Keeping in touch with her after high school was something that just seemed natural, because (not to be dramatic) Maria makes my life full. Today, Maria and I don't get to see each other as much as we used to when we were in the same building five days a week, but it seems like our friendship has only grown stronger. We text each other pretty much every day and whenever we get in the car together, the conversation erupts. The magic in our friendship is that we never run out of things to talk about, whether we're talking about zodiac sign compatibility or our favorite movies.


Maria and I at our Senior PromJacqueline Napier

Maria is the type of person who radiates happiness, even if she's not feeling the same way. She makes sure that by the end of any social event, everyone is a little bit closer to each other. Her personality shines through at all times and it is crazy how many friends I've made just from her ability to make conversation with almost anyone. I appreciate Maria so much in whatever form she comes in as she's acted as a wing woman, a therapist, and a best friend to me over the course of our relationship. I'm so grateful for her and if you're reading this and you have a friend like Maria, please let them know how much you appreciate them.

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32 Reasons Why I Love My Best Friend

The list stops at 32, but I could go on forever.
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My best friend is my soul mate, and I am so lucky that this crazy world brought us together.

1. She has and always will put up with my ridiculousness.

2. She has seen me cry, and I have seen her cry, and we are both ugly criers.

3. We can sit in silence for 20 minutes, and it’s not weird.

4. But most of the time we cannot shut up.

5. This includes three-hour phone and Skype calls about anything and everything.

6. I know what she’s going to say before she says it.

7. Eye contact is all that is needed to communicate sometimes. This definitely comes in handy when we have an opinion that shouldn’t be verbalized.

8. Even when she laughs at me, I still feel loved.

9. We find the dumbest things funny.

10. We have reoccurring jokes that normal people just find odd.

11. She accepts every part of me including my flaws.

12. She talks me through hard situations without fail.

13. She tells me when I’m being unreasonable, and I don’t get mad.

14. She listens to me whine about the same guy and still hasn’t given up on me.

15. But gets more excited than anyone when a guy treats me right.

16. But you have both agreed that life would be easier if we could just marry each other.

17. What’s mine is hers, and what’s hers is mine.

18. This includes, but is not limited to clothes AND food (and that is a big deal for me).

19. She knows exactly how to cheer me up. Most of the time cupcakes do the trick but if they don't, somehow she make me feel better with insides jokes or just plain silence.

20. She has seen me at my worst and still loves me.

21. She will see movies meant for 8-year-olds with me and we will, no doubt, laugh the loudest.

22. She will watch"The Bachelor" with me and will secretly love it. Don’t worry ... No judgment from this side.

23. She will teach me the art of taking a good picture.

24. She gets me out of my comfort zone and makes me do things that I am iffy about at first.

25. But hanging out in our pajamas and talking all-night isn’t abnormal either.

26. Being apart for a long time is no biggie because when we are reunited it’s like nothing had separated us!

27. We plan on traveling the world together.

28. We plan on being roommates in the future.

29. I love her family and she loves mine.

30. We fight like sisters and then we apologize and get over it.

31. We talk about the craziness we will participate in together when we are 80.

32. I can’t imagine my life without her.

Cover Image Credit: brokenbutfree.org

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Dear Freshman Year Roommate, Thank You For Being Someone I Always Looked Forward To Hanging Out With

From the first moment we met and bonded over our love for bubble tea, I knew our friendship was going to be special.

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When I was applying for college, I was concerned with supplemental essays, SAT scores, scholarship applications and letters of recommendation. I never took a moment to stop and wonder "What happens once I get in?"

Finally, the fateful day arrived where I made my college decision. I bought a sweatshirt from the George Washington University store. My mom decorated my High School locker with our colors. And most importantly, I sighed a breath of relief imagining how refreshing it was going to be to ride out the rest of my senior year without the stress of college deadlines weighing on my shoulders.

Unfortunately, that blissful serenity was cut short when I joined a Facebook group of admitted students, where profiles of smiling teenagers flashed on my screen accompanied with the fateful "I'm looking for a roommate."

A roommate. I obviously knew that I needed a roommate. It was common sense, yet for some reason, I had failed to consider the logistics of finding a roommate until that moment.

See, my mom helped me through my college process, but times were different back then. She described showing up to her college on the first day, not knowing who she had been randomly assigned. There was no Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram to help you communicate with the girls on the other side of the country-- or sometimes even on the other side of the world.

This was a new, unexplored territory where my mother's wealth of knowledge sadly fell short.

Lucky for me, I was accepted into an honors program which restricted the list of girls available to be my roommate to a list of about twenty-five. We created a google document which asked basic questions like "Are you a night owl or earlier riser?"

Even still, I had no idea how to pick someone who I would be compatible to live with for the next year of my life. The stakes felt high, but I was reassured by the fact that I grew up sharing a room with my siblings, learning some important skills about being low-maintenance and tolerant of others' habits.

I read through the list and found someone whose answers sounded similar to mine, figuring we had enough in common to be amicable, if nothing more, throughout the school year. Her name was Riya, and she had a cute Instagram, so I messaged her asking if she wanted to try and room together. She agreed and we put each other down as roommates when applying for housing.

Looking back, that decision was the best one that I made when preparing for GW.

Throughout my freshman year, I have heard horror stories about roommates who fight all the time, steal each other's clothes, refuse to clean or try and micromanage the other's sleep schedule.

All the while, I count my lucky stars that my roommate is not only sane but someone who I genuinely look forward to spending time with. We share ice cream and inside jokes. When the weather was heating up and the university refused to turn on the air conditioning, we even shared our fans.

It comforts me to know that at the end of even the worst days, I can come back to my room and laugh or cry (sometimes both) with her by my side.

I remember once, I was having trouble with another group of friends. I felt alone and isolated. I felt like there was nobody who I could talk to apart from my mom or my best friend from home, who are both supportive and incredible but don't know any of the characters in my life in the same way as someone here at school.

I have a bad habit of struggling to reach out to people when I'm going through something, figuring I am strong enough to handle it on my own.

While that may sometimes be true, thanks to Riya, I didn't have to. I ended up telling her everything. She listened to me rant, understanding how I was hurt, and advising me on the situation.

I felt so much better after our conversation, and the best part was, I didn't have to leave the comfort of my bed for the entire conversation.

Her friendship reminded me of my family, and honestly, she has acted like a sister to me over the past two semesters.

It is so wild reflecting on the year, knowing that next semester we will be going our separate ways, living with respective friends in buildings a couple of blocks away from each other.

However, even when the posters are off the walls and signs reading "Riya" and "Emilie Joe" no longer stick to the outside of our door, I know that the bond we created in room 217 will never leave us.

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