An Open Letter To My Big

An Open Letter To My Big

College gave me a lifelong best friend that I can respect, look up to, admire and confide in. College gave me you.
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Biggie,

From the minute you popped out of my box and became my big forever, I knew there was something special about being your little.

I went to college and didn't know much about the sorority world, it was foreign to me. For most people, they've grown up anticipating bid day and praying they get into the sorority they've followed for years. Regardless of the fact that I was a freshman, halfway across the country, away from familiarity, I was thrown into a world full of friendships and sisterhood and best of all, I met YOU.

From the day we met, we instantly clicked and made a connection. We barely knew each other but we knew we were already the perfect pair. And that stays true to this day.

From my freshman meltdowns, stressful complications in school and my health and crying my eyes out to the point you couldn't even understand what I was saying, you loved me all the same. You introduced me to people, you made me feel included in school, in sorority and in your life.

The concept of having a little is wonderful, but it is also something you can't avoid. No matter what, you're accepting a new person into your life and friendships. Most of the time it all works out for the best and you and your big have a phenomenal relationship forever. But, there are also the big-little relationships that can end in hurt, exclusion or some other issue.

Last year, you made my experience at TCU one to remember, love and cherish. You never judged me for the mistakes I made during my freshman year, and I'll admit it, there were quite a few mistakes I made. You would just hear me out and gently guide me back on track. You shared your freshman year challenges and choices you made to let me know that everything was going to be ok and that we've all been there.

At the beginning of college, I didn't know who I was or what I wanted in life, and for a little bit, I lost myself. But you were a constant support in my life, you made me want to be better and be who I authentically am, because that's what YOU. You don't make excuses for anything, you make every relationship intentional and you stay grounded in your beliefs and your opinions.

Now, because of you, I found myself again, something I didn't realize I had lost.

You're not only my big, or my best friend, you're a true big sister to me and I appreciate everything you've done for me. You've stuck up for me, you've invested time in our relationship, you've been a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. You've made me laugh and smile more than I can count and you've never left my side.

The best gift I have received in college is you. College gave me a lifelong best friend that I can respect, look up to, admire and confide in. College gave me you.

Cover Image Credit: Alex Wilkins

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8 Things I Have Not Thanked My Best Friend Forever For In, Well, Forever

Thank you for always being the best.
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1. Being there through it all, even if you're not "physically" there

We can't always be together, but you have never completely "left" me behind and have been there with me through thick and thin and I am so grateful.

2. Being my biggest cheerleader

Thank you for not only being there through the bad, but also celebrating my victories with me. I can always look forward to telling you good news because I know you'll be happy right along with me.

3. Answering my "important" phone calls

Whether it's a "he texted me back!!!" phone call, or an "I found a gray hair, please help!!" phone call, you pick up the phone and hype up with me no matter what.

4. Being selfless, and going above & beyond to make sure I know I'm worthy

This explains itself and I am so grateful for that.

5. Brushing my hair when I don't feel like it

Okay, this probably sounds silly... But it's the greatest struggle to brush my hair and I'm glad you do it for me sometimes!

6. For being there through all of my mini-crises

You already know what I'm talking about here...

7. For talking me out of things

If it wasn't for you talking me out of things, I'd probably have quit my job, be dating a horrible guy, got my eyebrow pierced, etc.

8. Making me a part of your family

I'm too lucky to have you all as my second family.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Photo

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Help, I Have A Lot Of Feelings

Finding Purpose in All Those Feelings

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I, 100%, believe you can manifest your own reality. It's disturbing how "feelings" quickly go from scenarios that we create in our heads to a toxic reality.

When I was really sick, I could think of countless reasons to hate myself. It felt like those reasons were piling up and barricading me into my own personal prison of self-disgust. But as I have continued my journey to be stronger than my eating disorder, I am learning that if can convince myself, with the power of my mind, that these feelings are all valid, I can also convince myself that I am actually sufficient, capable, competent, enough, strong and qualified. This power lies in recognizing the difference between feeling and knowing.

Knowledge is constant while feelings vary based on circumstance. I know my best friend loves me even when she doesn't text me back. I may, for a moment, feel like she doesn't care about what I have to say because of the circumstance. But that doesn't change what I know to be true. My best friend loves me.

Being "feelings driven" is a dangerous way to live. It led me to become an empty and shallow version of myself. I was unhealthy and dissatisfied. But I found new life after deciding not to let the way I feel dictate what I knew is true.

If feelings change so often, how can they hold such power over us? Surely they must play some sort of significant role in our lives. Of course they do. Feelings provide us with the opportunity to act. They show us that something might need to change. Typically, we want it to change as soon as possible. If you're feeling bored, you text or call your friends. If you're feeling hungry, you go get food. Feelings give us the opportunity to react. These reactions can affect you positively or negatively. The important thing to remember is that, when you are prompted with a feeling, you always get decide the reaction.

When I was sick, I was very familiar with feeling "gross", "fat", "uncomfortable", and other untrue ways to describe my physical appearance. The reaction that came with that feeling wreaked havoc on me mentally and physically. I could not get through a day of meals without feeling extreme guilt. This guilt was overbearing and it would not go away until I responded with my trigger reaction. Even with these rash and dangerous choices I was making, one thing remained constant. I never felt the way I wanted to. I did not feel beautiful. I did not feel strong. I woke up every single day without any change.

When you are prompted with a feeling that deserves a reaction, make it a beneficial one. I still have many moments when I feel bad about the way I look. Only now, my language about it has changed. I don't take that feeling as an opportunity to hurt myself. Instead, I write about it, call a friend, pray and ask God to help me see myself as He sees me or even just distract myself from the thoughts with some TV.

I cannot count on feelings to fuel my thoughts and take over my mind. Because even though they can bring about the right kind of actions, they have the power to bring you a world of trouble. Acknowledge your feelings. They're there for a reason. Welcome the good feelings, don't be afraid of the negative ones. Just be ready with what you know to combat them. Remind yourself with the truth about who you are constantly, making it your first language. Feelings are temporary and based on circumstance.

Think of the feeling you get when you are so tired after a long and busy day. What comforts you? Knowing the fact that when you get home, you will be able to sleep. You know you will be okay. This same practice of comforting yourself with the truth can and should be done with any negative feeling. Knowing that you will not feel that way forever can protect you from dangerous reaction, whatever it may be. Let it remind you that the temporary state of discomfort, pain, or dissatisfaction, will eventually go away and you will be feeling another way once again.

Feelings are fleeting and changing. They are here one second and gone the next. So to put something so valuable, like your worth or your future, in something so fickle, just sounds foolish. Use feelings for what they are for: to inspire change. What I know is that I AM STRONG even on the days I feel weak, I AM BRAVE even on the days I feel afraid, I AM CAPABLE even on the days I feel unfit for my calling. Any feelings that are not driving me to truth don't stand a chance against what I know.

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