Oh, I remember it like it was yesterday. Five years ago, it was the beginning of summer semester orientation (Yes, I know I'm old). Here I was, a bright-eyed bushy-tailed high school grad about to begin her first semester of college. Decked out in my school gear, I was ready to dominate freshman year.
Looking back, I didn't know what I was in for--late-night studying, junk food binging, and always digging around for laundry change. Man, those were the good ol' days.
As much as I cherish those memories, they would not be great memories without the best friends I made during my four years at UCF. Little did I know, I would meet these friends before school even started.
During orientation, my mom was super psyched to tour the campus and she dragged me along to every freshman mixer (Mom, I didn't thank you then, but I'm thanking you now). I vaguely remember a few people from my orientation group, but it was at the Summer Splashdown where I met the guy who would become one of my best friends throughout college.
And how did I know this? You know that feeling when you meet someone you just click with? That's exactly how I felt. As soon as he smiled at me, I knew we were going to be great friends. Five years later, I still remember his goofy smile and quirky personality.
During our four years at UCF, we were the best of friends. He was my cheerleader, my dining hall buddy, and a friendly face I always looked forward to seeing on campus. He taught me how to ride a longboard, helped me face my fears rock-climbing, and even took me to get my belly button pierced (sorry, mom and dad).
By the end of the summer semester, I developed the biggest crush on him. I remember when he kissed me and I walked out of his dorm with flushed cheeks. I'm pretty sure his roommates were totally judging us, but I had no shame. I'd do it all over again.
I remember the time he moved off-campus and invited me to a housewarming party. I showed up wearing no makeup, looking like a hot mess, and he shouted to everyone, "My best friend is so hot!" Those are the type of friends you keep around forever.
Once we jumped into our majors, we began to see each other less. He was still that friendly face on campus, it just started to feel less familiar. Unfortunately, this story doesn't have a happy ending. He was an out-of-state student; he moved back home once we graduated. I was crushed.
During those four years, I never told tell him how I felt about him. Who knows, maybe we would have ended up together. But I can't change the past. So instead, I want to thank him for being such a great friend.
Soon-to-be graduates, don't make the same mistake I did. Tell him how you feel, or else you might never get the chance.