An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

JQ

Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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A Thank You To My Boyfriend's Family

Because you are so important to him, you are important to me.
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This one isn't easy to sit down and write because nothing I could say would do all of you justice in the way that I would hope I could. These are just words, but I hope that I am able to always show my thank you to you by treating him like the prince he is.

I can replay the moment of meeting each and every one of you all over and over in my head like it was yesterday. I was so extremely nervous every single time and I was trying to gather all the "right" things to say that would leave a good, first-lasting impression and that at the end of the day, you all would like me.

I think one of the most important basis and hopes in my relationship is that my significant other's family likes who I am. This is so important to me because whatever is important to him is equally important to me and your thoughts of me are crucial to our relationship.

The second I walked in the door, I was overwhelmed—overwhelmed with such a love. I had no idea at that point in time just how much you would all mean to me and how thankful I am for all of you!

Thank you for constantly making me laugh and feel at home.

Whenever I'm coming over for a family gathering or just to hang out, I know right off that I am walking into a world of laughter and good times are right beside that. You are all so entertaining and always have a good story to tell me. I can't name one time where I didn't feel like I was home.

And I appreciate the sweet, embarrassing photos and stories about my boyfriend that you all share with me! Even if it is by a photo, I have a glimpse of what his life has always been like thanks to each and every one of you individually.

Thank you for sharing your special moments in life with me.

You don't ever have to, but you invite me anyway. Whether it's just a family gathering, a birthday, or a holiday, I am thankful to have spent those times celebrating these moments in life alongside such amazing people. It's humbling and heartwarming to be a part of memories so unforgettable that you all share and that you have welcomed me to be a part of. They are days that I will never forget and have a place in my heart forever.

Thank you for always being there for him.

Since we have started dating, I have watched the way that you guys love him. I have watched the individual relationships and moments that you share with him make a difference in who he is. I have seen you all love and support him, no matter what he was doing.

With everything that comes along in life, this has been a simple reminder of an unconditional, loving, sacrificing family that is also the best support system. You are not only impacting him, but me, too.

Thank you for welcoming me in like your own.

Whenever you have to brave up and meet your significant other's family, I can say, for myself, that I didn't know what to expect. As I'm sure, none of you did when meeting me. Today, I catch myself wondering why I even worried in the first place. You all have welcomed me in your own ways and made me feel right at home. It is not always easy to do that with just anyone, but you have all taken the time to get to know me. And now I know that if I ever needed anything, I can call one of you.

Thank you for letting me date him.

I am most thankful for this. Thank you for sharing him with me and giving me a chance to show you all how important he is to me. I never thought that I would luck out and meet someone as special, kind, and wonderful as he is, but I did.

You have supported our relationship, given me a chance to love him, and welcomed me to new adventures in love and family. I have the upmost gratitude for each of you. You are the most wonderful, welcoming, and loving family. I am overjoyed to be able to experience just a glimpse of this life with him and with all of you.

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15 Clubs To Join At Rutgers University To Get Fit, Make A Difference, Or Learn A New Skill

Sometimes it's a good idea to branch outside your comfort zone and explore something new.

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So you're ready to join a club at Rutgers. Well, there are over 700 clubs and organizations to choose from! While everyone knows exactly what club they want to join, sometimes it's a good idea to branch outside your comfort zone and explore something new. Even if you are someone who would love the culinary club, maybe you could try the Outdoors Club in your spare time.

While it may not seem something you're not interested in at first, take a look at these 15 popular clubs to get an idea on what club (or clubs) to join!

1. Rutgers Seeing Eye Puppy Raising Club

Do you love hard working doggies? If you answered yes, consider going to the RSEPRC! No prior experience or knowledge is needed to join this club. If you're looking to do more than simply be a member, they will train and teach you all you need to know in order to be a sitter or raiser! Here you can truly make a difference by helping raise a good puppy into a great seeing eye dog!

2. Swing Dance Club

A combination of both sport and club, swing dancing gives you plenty of chances to meet new people while learning something new. Although there is a very small fee, the Swing Dance Club is all-inclusive, no prior knowledge is needed! It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or a pro, stop by on Monday nights to get your swing on.

3. The Rutgers Creative Writing Club

The RCWC is a new club that offers students, no matter major or skill level, a place to simply be creative in both a serious and not-so-serious way. The RCWC is a place where you can get feedback on any of your work, talk to fellow writers, or simply participate in fun writing prompts and games. They meet every week and sharing your work is optional, but always encouraged.

4. Rutgers Quidditch Team

Are you a Harry Potter fan? Have you ever wanted to play a real game of Quidditch? Well, now you can! This competitive intercollegiate sport accepts all players for all positions, no matter past experience! Bring fantasy to life, release the snitch, and join the Rutgers Quidditch Team!

5. Rutgers University Programming Association

RUPA is programming council that serves the Rutgers community, for students by students. Join to gain great programming experience, develop leadership skills, and create diverse programs that appeal to thousands of fellow students. From concerts to comedy shows, Hot Dog Day to the annual homecoming bed races, help organize dozens of events that you too will love and learn some serious skills to help you in the future.

6. SCREAM Theater

"Students Challenging Realities and Educating Against Myths," Scream Theater is a peer theater group that creates educational skits for audiences, especially incoming students, on issues of interpersonal violence, such as sexual assault and bullying. Join to help educate new students and bring awareness to violence prevention.

7. Rutgers Art and Design

Ever wonder who painted the mural on the windows of the Rutgers Cinema? It's RAD! The RAD club is for all who pursue all forms of art and design. Drawing, painting, graphic design, and beyond. RAD is for everyone and gives non-Mason Gross students a chance to truly be creative. They meet on Fridays and offers several unique events throughout the year for anyone to join.

8. Rutgers STEAM

A combination of STEM and the Arts, STEAM encourages different mindsets and thought processes to prepare students for the real world. Between STEM fields and Humanity, drive innovation through projects, discussions, trips, and events to explore a variety of ideas and truly make a difference for yourself and even the community.

9. Verbal Mayhem

Rutgers University's spoken word poetry collective is a lively community at Rutgers with open mics every week for poets, singers, and all other artists to express themselves and their work. Join this diverse and cultural student organization to strength yourself as well as fellow student and neighboring communities.

10. Outdoors Club

Looking for a great way to get involved in a bunch of different trips and activities? The Outdoors Club is super involved throughout the years, generating activities for every season. With biking, kayaking, and much much more, try something you've never done before and make your weekends more relaxing and worth wild.

11. Craft To Cure

Looking to help a good cause? Join the Craft To Cure Club where personally made gifts can go a long way. Community, compassion, and dedication are just some of the values that are important to this club. Weekly crafted items are donated to several different organizations to create a positive outlook while helping the community.

12. Scarlet Cross Medieval Reenactment

Live in the most interesting parts of history through this Medieval Reenactment group! No matter what your passion, there's something for you to do; Singing, dancing, needlework, costuming, metalworking, and more! Experience what it was like the life in the Medieval period in real life.

13. The Apiculture Society

Bees! They're important! This society hopes to spread awareness on just how important they truly are. Join to help slow the loss of honeybees in our areas, get up close and personal with a few local bee boxes, and learn about their effect in our world while also having fun.

14. Cabaret Theater

Since 1975, students have had the opportunity to learn every aspect of the theater. The Cabaret Theater presents four productions throughout the year, both musicals and plays, as well as several events outside the main production. All students are encouraged to get involved through auditions and applications.

15. The Queer Student Alliance of Rutgers University

The second oldest LQBTQIA+ organizations in the United States, the Queer Student Alliance provides a safe space for all students of all walks of life. Meetings are held weekly with workshops, discussions, game nights, movie screenings, and more! Join this community for a warm welcome and to explore the issues fellow students face

Make sure to check out the involvement fair in September!

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