Being the only girl in your friend group is nothing short of a blessing. I hung out with girls all throughout high school, until I went to study abroad and things changed. Being a STEM student, I wasn't surprised to find that our class mainly comprised of male students (around 90 percent).
On the bright side, I was surrounded by intelligent, creative and down-to-earth guys who I could easily get along with.
We formed a group three years ago, and we've been inseparable ever since. I feel incredibly lucky to have met them. Here are five definitive things I've learned over the years.
1. The experience is like no other.
You're always crazy overwhelmed, but in a good way. Though there may be many of them, if one of them is feeling blue, you'll notice right away.
Sometimes, you have a habit of going mom-mode on them: Did you get enough sleep last night? Did you finish your assignment? You don't mean to nag, but you're asking because you care — and they love you for it.
You know them well enough to know if they're having a crappy day without them actually having to say it. When one of them is going through something heavy, you make it your top priority to comfort them any chance you get.
Bottom-line: you feel naturally inclined to nurture and protect them at all costs. Of course, with all of this comes a set of unspoken rules that need to be followed and certain boundaries that need to be respected (i.e. no dating or hooking up with a group member).
2. Everything is more vibrant with them.
Yes, everything! Guys are naturally talkative when they're together, and they could talk about anything for hours. They're your favorite entertainment and your hardest goodbyes. They also love poking fun at everything — including eachother. And who doesn't love a little humor now and again?
With fewer insecurities and more sarcasm, guys turn any ordinary hangout into a laughter party. Their mannerisms are so addictive that you inadvertently adopt them and, soon enough, become one of them.
My gang was always very loud and playful, but when you needed silence, they respected that.
3. You bring invaluable things to the table.
As a girl, you hold high value in the group, and they respect you for it.
One of my favorite things is when they ask me for advice on a girl they like, or when I voluntarily give it to them and their faces just light up. It really makes my day. They take your advice very seriously and sometimes even go as far as to report back to you on how things turned out.
They could ask their sisters or look it up, but no… they chose YOU (and that makes you feel pretty awesome). You also give them lessons on female psychology every now and then.
4. Your group is so much more enlightening than girl gangs.
You're two opposite sexes constantly exchanging ideas and opinions. Each moment is a fascinating learning experience.
They never fail to make you laugh and genuinely follow up with things that are going on in your life. And 99 percent of the time, hangouts with the guys are a spur-of-the-moment thing. You never know where you're going to end up chilling or what you're going to spend hours arguing about.
In other words, there's never a dull moment. You learn a ton about their interests and pet peeves, and you come to learn that, though together they may seem like one person, individually they're all very different.
5. The public assumes things.
There's one thing you need to remember: People will always have an opinion about everything. So, when they see a girl in a small crowd of boys, trust me, they'll have a lot to say — and you might not like all of it.
They might not say it directly to you or your friends, but they'll always have their wild assumptions: You're hooking up with one of them, you're doing it to get attention or you're a tomboy.
And then there are the stares, ugh. It's something you'll have to put up with wherever you go — but when you compare it with the thrill and pure awesomeness of hanging with your boys, it's really nothing.