7 Thank Yous For My Best Friends That Shaped Me Well Beyond Our 4 Years Of High School

7 Thank Yous For My Best Friends That Shaped Me Well Beyond Our 4 Years Of High School

You get things no one else ever will.

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Living on my college campus, I am so blessed to have amazing friends in such close proximity. In my sorority house, in the classroom, and even at Starbucks, I can almost always find a friendly face. The memories I make with all of these friends will last a lifetime, and I know that. At the same time, there are parts of my life that they will only be able to hear about and never understand from firsthand experience.

Now, when I come home and see my high school friends, there's something strange about when we talk about our lives with each other. Because we all moved to separate cities upon high school graduation, we have all made new friends in our towns, schools, and workplaces. Our circles have changed, and the common ground we have is two years outdated. At the same time, these friendships mean the world to me, and I want to cherish them forever.

As I take a step back and let myself realize how much other people play a role in shaping my life, I want to thank my high school friends for the way they helped me become who I am. Though there are countless instances I can appreciate, here are a few that come to mind.

1. Thank you for your encouragement.

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In high school, whenever I started to doubt my abilities, you all reminded me of my strengths. When I was dealing with breakups or failures, you were right there to have my back and keep me on my feet. Heck, we held giant fathead baby pictures of each other for our senior nights. Whether it meant sitting on the bleachers for a volleyball or softball game or sitting in the audience for a musical or talent show, we all supported each other.

2. Thank you for your reality checks.

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I think we can all agree that I am the most sensitive one out of our group, a hard quality to have when I am also a perfectionist. When I cared too much about others' opinions when I let a boy treat me like less than I deserved, and when I took on too much in order to prove to myself I had a purpose, you all reminded me I was enough simply by being me.

3. Thank you for your bravery.

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One of you is a state away, balancing playing a collegiate sport with a rigorous academic schedule. One of you is paying for college on your own, working five days a week and taking classes at the same time. Finally, one of you has known what you wanted out of life since we were juniors in high school, and you have never let anyone's opinions sway you to choose a different path. The bravery you each show as individuals inspires me to find balance, work for what I want, and pursue my passions.

4. Thank you for the laughter.

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Whether we were 12 and saran wrapping the toilet, 15 and causing trouble in Algebra II, or 18 and doing cartwheels down the hallway, you all have been a major source of joy in my life. I'll find myself saying our inside jokes, quoting our favorite YouTube videos and Vines, and singing songs we've made up, and no one else will know what I'm talking about. It's these instances that are the most bittersweet--we will never have times exactly like these again, but they will stay part of who I am for the rest of my life.

5. Thank you for the adventure.

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For spring break our senior year, we traveled to a foreign country together. The number of pictures, inside jokes, and new followers on Instagram from that week alone prove that it was an adventure. Even more so, however, you all made each otherwise normal day an adventure. In our small town, we found fun in exploring abandoned schools, driving with the windows down and music up, drinking vanilla cokes, and eating one too many crab rangoons.

I remember sitting in the McDonald's parking lot waiting for the police after a drive-thru trip turned car collision, blasting Big Sean in the high school parking lot at midnight, and eating Taco Bell in the baseball dugout after-hours. I remember freaking out about the older boy who texted us, staying up all night to try to pry our way into a fake Snapchat account, and one of you peeing on a hotel carpet (and one of you in the sink).

The exotic trip was one of the best weeks of my life, but the way you all brought adventure into each day will also be something I am forever grateful for.

6. Thank you for the memories.

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Whenever I talk any story from high school, I always mention you. I'm sure my friends here all know who you are, and the ones who have met you can tell exactly who I am talking about when I tell a story. We bowled, we ice skated, we got makeovers, we had photo shoots, we watched way too many scary movies, we went to one-too-many cringeworthy dances, and we challenged authority (#TheGrindNeverStops #FreeHerHotCocoa #ThreeStrikes #PendejasAmericanas).

7. Thank you for never giving up on me.

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Even though we don't talk every day anymore, my heart smiles when I see videos of your nephews, cousins, and dogs. I love to see how happy you are with the men in your life, and I am also so happy to see how you thrive on your own at the same time. I know that if I need it as I did so badly toward the end of my first semester of college, you will only be a phone call away. I know that even from miles away, you are rooting for me. I'm rooting for you, too.

I know you all got so annoyed with me senior year for singing, "Make new friends and keep the old; some are silver and the others gold." Still, I want you to know that this advice has stuck with me, and I want to thank you for being among the gold.

I love you.

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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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To The Senior Who Thinks They WON'T Miss High School, You're So Wrong

It's hard to imagine you will miss a place like high school, but believe me, you will.

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I am writing this letter because, yes, this was me.

I could not wait to get out of high school. I hated the monotony of all my classes. I hated teachers who assigned busy work just to try to make it through the 50-minute class period. I hated being told when I could eat when I could leave and what I could wear.

I couldn't wait to graduate and get to college. The thought of creating a schedule for myself and getting to choose the classes I take seemed too good to be true. I continued to see people become sad at the end of high school and I couldn't help but think, "How could I ever miss high school?"

The truth is, you don't. I don't miss all the torturous monotony of high school, but it is naive of me to say that I don't miss some things.

To the tough guy like me who thinks you will graduate and never look back, here's what you will miss.

You will miss your friends.

Chances are more than 50 percent of your friends will not be going to the same college as you. Even the ones that do go to the same school will most likely have different majors than you, and let's face it— they might as well be a world away. You'll begin to appreciate your high school friends more and more. After all, those are the friends who knew and loved you through your awkward phase.

You will miss your teachers.

Until I got to college, I never realized how meaningful the relationships I had built with my high school teachers were. In college, you lose the environment where all of your teachers knew your name. While you might not miss certain high school teachers, you will miss the ones with which you built important personal relationships.

You will miss your family.

The family is involved in your high school career way more than you expect. Parent nights, grandparents' day, extracurricular activities. Your family, immediate and extended, are involved in your high school career in so many ways. When you get to college, you realize that it's all upon you. You won't have a parent signing all of your failed math tests. You won't always have a parent at your extracurricular activities.

You won't miss high school. You will miss the amazing people around you that helped you make it through your four torturous years of high school. So, if you're a graduating senior or even underclassmen, take a moment to appreciate the people in your life right now, because I guarantee you will miss them.

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