A thank you to the roommate who made my freshman year extraordinary.

Our Friendship Has Just Begun

A thank you to the roommate who made my freshman year extraordinary.

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Dear roommate,

Where do I even begin with this year? I guess I could start by saying I love you. I am grateful to have built such an incredible friendship with you. Thank god I picked you to be my roommate because there is no one out there that could have topped you. I ask myself all the time how the heck do you deal with my goofy, constantly snacking, annoying self but somehow you do. I could thank you a million times, but I think that would be a bit extreme so, here are a few.

Thank you for being my first friend.

College was intimidating but what I was the most nervous for was meeting you for the first time. I still can remember how awkward I was but look where we are now. I am so lucky to have made a friend that was you right off the bat.

Thank you for the late-night dance parties.

It did not matter if it was a weekday or the weekend, you knew how to let loose. I will always remember cranking up the tunes and dancing away to the beat in our tiny dorm room. I definitely will not forget the songs we sang to but did not know a single word to. I may have to call you up next year if my roomies cannot get down like you.

Thank you for being you.

I do not know anyone that is better at winging it than you do. Keep it up because it seems to work for you. All the times you listened to me when I needed it the most meant the world to me. You are the best at having my back because whenever I was struggling you seemed to always lend a helping hand and pick me up.

Thank you for the endless polaroid pictures.

I loved getting all dolled up with you and ending it with a picture-perfect polaroid. Sometimes the selfies only included me, and others were downright bad but, in the end, we always got the best one to hang on the wall.

Thank you for the Chick-fil-a runs and other food cravings.

Let's be real we probably have spent a little too much on JoyRun but who's counting. It was shocking to hear you were not a big fan of Chick-fil-a, but you did come around so luckily, we got to share the same love in fast-food.

Thank you for the expulsive shopping moments.

Every time one of us was shopping online we influenced the other. Pretty bad for our credit cards but retail therapy is good for our hearts.

Thank you for all the Snapchat memories I can look back on with you.

The amount of Snapchat photos and videos I have saved is insane. Sometimes I ask myself did this really happen and then it hits me it did. They will for sure make me laugh till I cry or put a smirk on my face someday.

Thank you for the random rants and conversations.

At the randomness times, we ranted about things we agreed on and I loved that connection. There are times when I had an 8 a.m. yet I was still having a conversation with you about who knows what.

Last but not least thank you for making an impact on my life and for the memories that will last a lifetime. Just keep being you and do not let anyone get in the way of that. I cannot wait to cherish these last few days with you and to create more memories in the next three years.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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Finding Your Niche In College Starts With Finding You

Attempting to be someone you are not for the sake of having company only hurts you in the long run.

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Transitioning to college is hard enough, but trying to find a place where you feel "at home" can make this time even more stressful. Here are some tips on how to find that place/group of people that make you feel like sunshine.

I have always felt a little out of place wherever I went, but it wasn't until college that I realized that this feeling was so special and more people should capitalize on their differences rather than conforming to a certain mold. Transitioning to college and finding your place among so many people can be very overwhelming. The added stress of attempting to be someone you aren't for the sake of having company adds a whole other layer to this problem. The easiest thing for me to do in any situation like this is trying to make the setting a little smaller. One of the most obvious ways to do this on a college campus is by getting involved!

It is inevitable that within the first few weeks of the semester at any college, there will be an organization fair. This is a chance to scope out all that your school has to offer! Chances are there will be some type of group or club that lines up with your interests. Most college campuses have extracurricular opportunities ranging from social sororities and fraternities, professional ones, intermural sports, vocal groups, and so many more. You are more than likely going to find some type of organization that you can call home if you seek them out. Joining an organization is such an easy way to interact with people with similar interests. An interest can bring two completely different people together and create some beautiful friendships. It is situations like this where it is important to be your authentic self and mingle with those you share something with.

That being said, finding your place in college isn't always about being involved. Getting involved on campus is just one of the simplest ways to start. There are so many other opportunities on campus to meet people whether it be among others in your residence hall, people in your classes, or just people you find yourself stumbling upon! Finding people to spend your time with is easy; however, you should make it a point to surround yourself with people who bring you up.

Once you have a set group of people that you find yourself spending time with, it is important to pay attention to the way you feel when you're around them. If you find yourself feeling bad about yourself or get the impression that you need to change something in order to "fit in," chances are the people you're around are not the best for you or your self-esteem. It is important to surround yourself with people who allow you to feel comfortable in your own skin. That being said, you also want people who encourage you to make good decisions and help you reach your goals. People who encourage toxic behavior in your life might be fun in the short term, but in the grand scheme of things, you need to be surrounded by people with your best interest in mind. Essentially, surrounding yourself with people who influence you to be your best self is one of the best decisions you can make short and long term.

The key to all of this is being conscious of your own feelings and needs. Pay attention to who reaches out to you to hang out. Notice the ones who pay attention to you as you speak when it feels like no one is listening. More than anything, be conscious of who you're with and where you're at when you experience moments of pure happiness. Life is too short to waste your precious time on people who don't build you up. Wouldn't you rather spend your time with more moments of pure joy than self-hate? Start living for you!

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