Coming from a place where I have amazing friends at home, I didn’t think it could get any better for me at school. Through my freshman and part of my sophomore year, I was right. I had better friends at home than I did at school. Towards the end of my sophomore year, however, I was lucky enough to meet a group of girls at school who changed my life for good.

The best part of this whole situation definitely came from some of my best friends at school sharing the same hometown as me. We all go to school in Eugene, but we all know the Bay Area as home. It’s honestly so nice to have people who understand when I’m talking about hanging out at my friend’s place on 15th and Ferry, but also know the taste of a sweet and creamy Philz coffee. It’s so refreshing to have some home at school, and some school at home.

Another huge perk is definitely the feeling that I can take a break from the craziness of the Bay Area from being with my friends at school. Most of my life exists in Eugene at this point, and sometimes, coming can feel pretty overwhelming. These two places are really opposite, and my school-self can’t always keep up with the pace of the Bay anymore. By having people who know this feeling and can relate to me, I feel much better about being home altogether.

It’s also really important to me to be able to talk about school to people who really get it. As amazing as my home friends are, my life at school still continues when I’m at home, and it helps to be able to talk it out with people who know of the situations already. Obviously at this age, there’s always some new drama going on. Whether it be friends, boys, or grades, it’s always a little easier to talk to my friends from school who understand how much I hated going to my 4 P.M. class in Knight Library this past term.

I feel so lucky to have found these incredible friends both at home and at school. A strong support system is always needed to make it through the rough moments college can sometimes bring to you, and I know I definitely have that. At this point, I now understand how truly amazing it is to have some overlap between Eugene and the Bay, and I feel grateful to have some familiar faces in both places.