I Couldn't Survive College Without My College Friends

I Couldn't Survive College Without My College Friends

Yes, this is just one giant appreciation post, but just let me have this one.
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Throughout most of my life, I've been blessed with an amazing group of friends. I've felt lonely at times, but I've never failed to be reminded of the love I have with my friends when I most need it.

Friendship is incredibly important.

Sometimes, there are some things that friends do for you that no one else can do. They're often in the exact same positions as you; they know what you've been through, and they know what you need to hear. They know you, most importantly.

Sometimes, the advice that your friends can offer, no one else can.

Sometimes, the comfort they provide, no one else can.

Sometimes, they say, "Shit, me too, man," and that's enough.

Sometimes, they're just there for you, to hold your hand and tell you to relax. And most of the time, that's really important.

Sunday night, I had just come through a particularly stressful weekend, full of studying and crying and emotional baggage and panic attacks. Clearly, college is difficult. It can be too much at times, and you can feel overwhelmed and lost and scared. (And that's ok, as long as you don't quit.)

So, yes, that weekend was terrible for me. I was at the point of tears when conversation among my friends somehow came around to stress and losing weight because of it. I mentioned that I had lost 15 pounds in a month. Not an exaggeration. I was met with incredulous looks.

"That's not normal, dude."

No, it's most definitely not. It's because of stress, because of not eating, because of walking more than I used to, because of dance practice maybe... I don't know why.

But I do know that one day about a week ago, I looked up in the mirror and I realized that I didn't recognize myself. I really didn't. I didn't know whose face that was, because mine has always been rounder, with less-sunken eyes, with a smile, with less acne, with... And now? I don't look like me at all.

What's happened to me? Am I really just not adjusting to college as well as I could be? That's probably it. Am I not cut out for it? No, that's probably not it. I'm probably just taking longer to figure myself out.

I'd been feeling these conflicting, racing thoughts for so long, and Sunday night, I spilled them to my friends. A few close, trusted friends. (Yes, I've only known them for a month and a half, but they already feel like family to me.)

So, I told them, and they dropped their work to talk to me about this. They helped me realize that I need to stop worrying so much. That no matter what, my mental health comes first. They gave me my much-needed pep talk. They asked me what they could do to help.

They asked me what they could do to help.

When I said it wasn't their responsibility, they responded with, "We love you, and it's not a responsibility. We care about you and want you to be happy. It's not a responsibility, it's what we want to do."

What do you say to that? What an amazing group of people. Friends are so important. These simple words filled my heart with a kind of love that in that moment was greatly, greatly needed. These people have truly become my home away from home and have become my support system.

They're going through the same stresses and they've felt the same pressures, and they know how to help. They know what to do. They put my problems into perspective for me. What would I do without them?

This is why friendship is so important. I will be grateful for that conversation for a very, very long time. Because of them, because of the conversation we had, I've re-prioritized and realized that I need to put my health first, my sleep first, my diet first, my time to unwind first.

Yes, school is difficult, but one or two bad grades will not be the end of me. This is what they've taught me.

They've reminded me to laugh when I needed it, they've supplied ample hugs when I was feeling down. What's most incredible to me, though, is that they've stood by me through all of it. Through my varied ups and downs at college so far, they've been there for me. And wow, that's amazing. Thank you for not abandoning me. I love you guys.

To that end, I preach, always give your friends the value and respect they deserve. Always give them time, always listen and be there to help and support no matter what.

People and friendships will last much longer (and be much more rewarding) than any grade or project ever will. Tell your friends you love them. Always.

Cover Image Credit: Riya Gupta

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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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My Boyfriend Has A Girl Best Friend, And That's More Than OK

I know the boyfriend with a girl best friend stigma is scary, but I promise they aren't all like that.

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Ah yes, you start seeing this guy and he's super incredible. He's everything you could've ever hoped for and more. He's sweet to you and your family, he's loving (bonus, he's also super cute). Nothing could take away this incredible feeling.

Then he tells you his best friend is a girl.

I can't lie, it always rubs me the wrong way too, at first. I've been in a relationship where I was seeing a guy who had a girl best friend. And despite better judgement, I let it slide. Only for him and I to stop dating and he start dating her a month later.

Ouch.

But I can promise you, it isn't always like that. Is it scary to think about? Of course. When my current boyfriend had told me I was going to meet his girl best friend, I wasn't thrilled about it. As sweet and nice as she was when I met her, I still wasn't thrilled about it. We had just started dating, so I hadn't yet gotten over those insecurities yet.

Questions ran threw my head. Had they ever had feelings for each other? Do they have feelings for each other and just won't act on them for the sake of their friendship? I couldn't seem to get my head to stop.

Until I started to talk to her more.

When I tell you, the best thing you can do in ANY relationship, is become friends with their best friend. They know everything about your significant other. The good, the bad and everything in between. You'll learn more about your boyfriend/girlfriend from their family and best friend than you will from them. You see a different side of them when they're with them.

To say I was apprehensive at first is probably an understatement. It didn't help that I had this awful gut feeling that she hated me. (BTDubstep, her and I are best friends now). But, after letting go of those insecurities and getting to know her, I realized that there was no form of intimacy or flirtatiousness between them at all. I had no worries because I trusted both of them.

She actually lives with him and his other brother. People always laugh at me when I tell them that because they think the stereotype and assume they have a thing. I love my boyfriend, I trust my boyfriend. I love his(and no mine) best friend, I trust her. There's nothing we don't share with one another because all 3 of us are very open with communication.

Just because your significant other is best friends with someone of the opposite sex, doesn't mean they're in love with them, or that they are trying to sleep with them.

Take the shot, the worst that happens is they do have a thing and you break up. If that's the case, they aren't right for you anyway. But take the shot, you might even gain yourself another best friend.

I know I did.

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