At 21 years old, you probably have friends from all walks of life - childhood besties, high school friends, teammates, etc. But there's always something that sets your college friends apart from the rest. Nothing about running into them at college was happenstance. Whether they stayed for a semester or all four years, they play a critical role in the human you are when you walk across that stage at graduation.
So to the friends college gave me, thank you. For everything. College was the biggest change in my life when I was 17 years old and you made the change easy. You shared the struggles and tears of the adjustment with me and we can look back on them now and see how far we've come. You were there with me making stupid college decisions with me and regretting them the next morning and vowing to never make those same mistakes again. And then you were the one who made me stick to those vows. You also made me stick to all of the other vows I made - like prayer daily, workouts, refraining from drinking 4 cups of caffeine a day, etc.
You were up late with me, last minute studying for our tests the next day. You were there during the boy problems and you threw eggs at a fence with me out of frustration. I was there during your boy problems and handed you eggs as we threw them at a fence again.
Maybe you only stayed around for a semester, but in that semester, memories were made that won't be forgotten. Game nights that lasted till 1 a.m. and ended in delirious laughing fits. "Mario Kart" marathons and "Just Dance" parties. College sport game days and just random hangs throughout the week.
Maybe you were a classmate. We'd rant to each other about the crazy projects at hand but then sit down and work on them together. We became comfortable with each other and wished for more classes together as the year went on. It became like a promised A grade if we ended up in a class together cause we knew we'd have each other and help each other out.
Maybe you were a roommate. We'd spend nights in oversized sweatpants and baggy tees talking about the latest college struggles or boy drama. We'd watch "The Bachelorette" together when it came on. We became this family away from family and there was a safety and comfort in the space we created.
Maybe you were a best friend who was there through all of the college years. We needed each other. The Big Man just knew we did when He placed us together. You've seen the growth as a baby freshman to a full on senior adult. You've met all the boys and been there when they all left. Except for one. You've met him, too and you watched him stay and you listened to all of the stories about him and were the first FaceTime call when he put a ring on it. You never left, were always by my side, and will be by my side for life. You've seen me at my lowest points and I've seen you at yours. You know what's on my mind before I speak a word. You have become my new family in four years, my sturdy shoulder, and my favorite joy.
So to all the friends college gave me, you are soooo so important and I needed you every step of the way. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.