My college friends are more than friends, they're my family.

My College Friends Have Become My Second Family And I Wouldn't Trade Them For The World

There are no other people I would rather waste 75% of my days with.

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Ever since I was little, I've always been told that the friends you make in college are the ones you keep forever. From the friends my mom stays in contact with to my older friends who still talk to their college friends on a daily basis, I've grown up seeing the importance of college friends. However, I never really thought much about exactly how important they would be to me. It wasn't until about three weeks ago when I realized my friends would be leaving for the next three months that I began to understand that the people I have spent the past couple months with have become the biggest part of my life.

In college, the people you surround yourself with become your second family. Growing up with siblings, it can be hard to live on your own and have nobody to constantly bug you. However, that's what friends are for. The relationships I have formed with my friends closely resemble those that I have with my siblings. I am not afraid to express myself and say what I want around my friends. I know I can always count on them to be honest with me when I need advice and guide me in the right direction.

I didn't even realize how much time I spent with my friends until they went back home. As a result of living so close to each other, basic daily activities have become known as group outings. From studying to grabbing a bite to eat, most of the things I find myself doing are done with my friends alongside me. I honestly can't tell you the last time I went grocery shopping or ran to target and didn't have someone tag along with me.

Going home for summer has thrown off everybody's routine. As happy as I am to be on summer vacation, how are we supposed to go from spending at least 10 hours a day together to not seeing each other for 3 months? It's absolutely ridiculous if you ask me. Luckily, we have group facetime and special events to reunite to help us keep each other in check.

Don't get me wrong, I love my friends from home with my whole heart. The experiences I have made with them have shaped me into the person I am today. I love spending time with them and take any opportunity available to do so. However, friendships are not the same. Re-explaining the past 9 months of my life to every single person gets a little bit tiring. Not being able to tell a story without being asked who is who can get frustrating. Aside from that, I can only tell my funny stories so many times before they gin to lose their charm. There have been too many had to be there moments that only my college friends could understand.

To all the friends I have made in college so far, thank you. Thank you for becoming my second family and for pushing me to become the best version of myself. Thank you for always giving me a reason to laugh and things to be excited for. It's amazing that I made it so long without my college friends in my life. Although we may have not all known each other for that long, it seems like we've been friends forever and I can't imagine my life without them.

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To My Best Friend Who Taught Me What True Friendship Is, I Can't Thank You Enough

"To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding."
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Dear Best Friend,

You have been a part of my life for quite some time now. You have seen my good, bad, and ugly sides and have stuck by my side through it all. I don't know if I could ever find the words to truly thank you for everything your friendship has given me, but I am definitely going to try.

Our lives have taken some twist and turn these past few years, but we have stayed strong through it all.

Thank you for judging me just the right amount.

Throughout our friendship, I have made some very questionable decisions. A lot of people would say "thanks for never judging me," but I feel like everyone needs a best friend who's going to tell them how it is, to tell them when they are about to make a bad decision or how to avoid something worse from happening. You have always told me how it is (even when I don't always want to hear it), but I know that I can come to you whenever I need someone to set me straight.

You're always down to do nothing with me.

I think that you are the one person that I can call up to hang out and do absolutely nothing with and have a good time. From the nights sitting in and playing card games to ordering Chinese food and watching an entire Netflix series while I dance around with the cat: I know that we could do anything, and nothing together and it would be fun.

But also, you're always down to get lit with me.

I swear one day we will be two old moms at a bar drinking vodka crans and laughing about the stupid shit our husbands and children do. You're always down to go out and have a good time. Even if everyone else we're with is miserable, we find a way to laugh at ourselves.

You are one of the few constant things in my life.

I've lost a lot of friends in my life, but you have stayed by my side through everything. I can't remember the last time we actually fought about anything, but even when we do we can't stay mad at each other for more than a day. I know we will be in each other's lives until we literally keel over.

I want you yo know that you're the strongest person I know.

You've dealt with things that not many people go through ever in their life. You have always been so mature, and you handle everything with grace. You inspire me every day with your goals and successes and I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments.

Above all else, you deserve the world.

It's so easy to get caught up in your own mind and think that you deserve the things that happen to you, but please know that the only thing you deserve is happiness. Please settle for nothing short of that. It may take a bit to find your happiness, but I will be there every step of the way. You're a remarkable human being, and I want nothing but the best for you.

To the person who will hold your heart someday, please do not break it. To the person who may wrong you, you will regret it forever. To the person who will love you endlessly, love her with kindness and understanding.

You, my best friend, future bridesmaid, godmother of my children, the person to bail me out of jail, the one who lets me cry on their couch for twelve hours,

I love you.

I will cherish our friendship forever. Thank you for being you.

Love always,

Your best friend.

Cover Image Credit: Adriana Ranieri

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You Will Never Truly Understand What Someone Else Is Going Through

Telling someone you understand may not be the best thing to say.

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There is no combination of two words that I despise more than, "I understand". People say this all the time, and don't even think anything of it. I am definitely guilty of saying "I understand" before, but it never dawned on me how much I couldn't stand to hear it until about two weeks ago. The two words seem so simple and seem like something that would be completely fine to say, but to some people they mean way more than you might think.

Hearing someone say, "I understand" after telling them anything can be very frustrating. You want to scream but you can't because they probably did not mean any harm by saying it. Instead, you're left with the internal turmoil because the words make your stomach churn but you haven't addressed it. These words are so simple but can mean so much to a person.

I do not believe in saying "I understand" after hearing anything unless it is a fact or direction. No matter what, I don't think that anyone will ever understand how a person feels or what they are saying because most of the time those two people did not have the same experiences.

When someone is angry about something, chances are you have been angry like that before too, but you probably did not experience the exact same thing. Even if two people did experience the same thing, you will never truly "understand" how a person is feeling because everyone experiences things in a different way. Everyone has different emotions toward different things or stronger emotions than others.

Sometimes it can be hard to think of anything to say other than something along the lines of "I know, I understand." I know I have done this before without ever thinking about it. Now that my perspective has changed, some things I would rather hear instead of "I understand", would be "I'm sorry", or even just a simple "that sucks". These words seem simple and some may view them as coming off like they don't care.

After realizing that I could never truly understand what a person was experiencing or feeling, it felt like saying "I understand" showed more of a careless attitude. I believe you can understand what someone is saying, but you can never truly understand how they feel unless they tell you straight up.

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