A Letter To My High School Friends

A Letter To My High School Friends

Whether we knew each other for a second or a lifetime, this is for you.

Dear Friends,

Our rooms have been emptied, our cars packed, and our time to depart for our next four-year journey has come. While we are supposed to feel excited, we cannot help but be overwhelmed by the vortex of emotions surrounding us: all the nervousness, anxiety, fear, and, of course, the inevitable homesickness. The comments made by our parents and relatives such as, "Your college years are the best years of your life!" fail to ease our pain of leaving everyone behind. No matter what, we are bound to be stressed about starting a new chapter, but maybe that's not an "incoming freshman" experience, and maybe it's just a "life" experience. And out of every life decision, saying goodbye will be the hardest thing I ever have to do.

Thank you for being in my life, no matter how long you were in it. As we all know, not every friendship is bound to last a lifetime. All our friendships have individually served as a support for what we needed at that time, during that year, in this moment. The friend group I assumed would last forever on the first day of freshman year was necessary because it allowed me to make the choices to meet the best friends that I graduated with four years later. Every friendship provided a lesson and should be remembered as a part of my story, no matter how amazing, horrendous, long, or short. From high school, our friends have scattered across multiple groups and cliques, which gave us the most realistic perspective of the different people we are bound to meet in life. Or maybe your friends all came from one singular group, which only strengthened your relationship with each other over the years. Maybe that is what truly makes it hard to leave them in these next few weeks. Because they have become more than your friends, but they are your family.

It has been hard trying to wrap my head around the reality that soon I will be in a new place, surrounded by hundreds of people I do not know. The anxiety of starting over simply bothers me, and it's not because I, in any way, hate social interactions, but because I have to start over. People no longer "know my face"; they have not seen me in the hallways after school. They have never been in a classroom environment with me. They don't know anything about my journey, about the places that have changed my life, about the incredible things I've seen, and about the people I've met. No, all they know is that they live in my residence hall, or they have seen me in the background of their History class. To which, I have to start all over with a simple, "Hi, my name is...", and eventually, the rest of my story will be known.

But, friends, these are the memories that I cherish forever, and if you were there with me, I will never forget. They are not only stories to be heard or things that have happened to me in the past, but they are who I am now. They embody what I truly love and embrace in this world, and I assure you I will carry them with me for the rest of my life.

Thank you for the conversations that have forever changed me. In my last two years of high school, I've encountered some of the most intelligent people with the most important questions. Our philosophical discussions started as the final bell ring, and sometimes even went on for over two hours, when our moms desperately calling us in a panic shouting, "Where are you?" but your only answer was, "But Mom, what even is truth?" These are the conversations that not every average high-school student partakes in, and what made me so fascinated by it all was the fact that I wasn't alone. So to my friends with a love for knowledge, cheers to you. You give me hope for the progress we can make in our own lifetime.

Thank you to the people staying home. I can only imagine how hard it must feel to see everyone away from home sometimes. The reverse homesickness that you feel in the gut of your stomach whispers, "I wish I had my own dorm" as your friends frantically choose a bed comforter in Bed, Bath & Beyond. But, you should allow yourself to explore your home-not just your home address- in an entirely different way, and like everyone else, with new people. Your experiences are slightly different, but the college experience itself depends solely on the individual, not the location. I assure you, Thanksgiving will be here sooner than we both expect. And when we hug for what seems like the longest time next November, I will feel like I never left. The friendships I have made away from home have not replaced you; those memories away at school have perfectly found a place right next to ours, and they will continue to be there.

Thank you to the people traveling farther away from home: Although you will be more distanced from everyone else on the Snap Map, our journey together will not end simply because you are a plane ride's distance away. Instead of "daily hangouts", our times together will transform into fun-filled weekends and road trips with events planned to the brim and stories that will last for days. And suddenly, we will realize together, the distance never mattered in the first place, and that it took a special friend to realize that what truly mattered were the efforts we put in to make it work. I promise you I will be booking more flights in the near future, and of course, you will surely receive a huge hug at Thanksgiving.

I know you will all do great things. And I wish you all the luck. This isn't "Goodbye", friends, it's a "See you later".

Cover Image Credit: Juliana Cosenza

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A Thank You Letter To The Father Of My Child

We Do The Best We Can With What We Have

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I know I don't have to thank you for loving our child but still thank you from the bottom of my heart. We were young, really young, too young but stepping up, especially for a guy, is rare, so I'd like to give you a little praise. We didn't do it 'the right way' but we do the best we can with what he have and I wouldn't change a thing.

You didn't have to, I mean you did but then again you didn't. There are days when I really don't like you and Vice Versa but at the end of the day, I am still raising half of you. I'm raising a 5-year-old who thinks that his daddy put the stars in the sky and his mommy made them shine and for that, I couldn't thank you enough.

You're doing the best you can (and that is more than enough). We have a unique situation but we made the absolute best out of what we have and I am so grateful for that. You help me facilitate a circle of respect and our child is well aware of that. We argue, we fight and we really disagree but when all is said and done, I'm so thankful to co-parent with you. We are by no means perfect (or remotely close) but I thank God (and you) that we aren't because how unrealistic is that.

Thank you for working so hard for our child. I realize that it's extremely hard when you don't see him often, especially since you think your day to day work goes unnoticed and unappreciated, but how wrong you are. Our son and I speak often of your hard work and I pray that he works harder than we ever do but what a good model he has to refer to.

Thank you for your grace. I never thought that I would be writing this letter, much less thanking you for this one thing in particular but I must. I fail often as a mother and a co-parent but you never let me believe for one second that I am any less of a great mother because of those failures. Your grace and support helped me become the awesome (if I don't say so myself) mom that I am today!

Thank you for crushing statistics with me (we never liked that subject anyways). We weren't 'supposed' to amount to much, we weren't 'supposed' to be happy and we weren't 'supposed' to be great parents but like I said we always hated math anyways so take that stats!!

Thank you for never allowing our son to believe that he is already at a loss because his parents aren't married. Thank you for being on the same team as me and thank you for learning and growing with me in this parenting thing that no one has the answers to. It takes a village and I am convinced that we have the best village out there, so thank you for helping me create and uphold it.

"The best security blanket a child can have is parents who respect each other." - Jane Blaustone

Love Always,

Your Thankful Co-Parenting Partner

Cover Image Credit: Tori Buddenhagen

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An Open Letter To My Future Bridesmaids

I cannot wait to celebrate with you someday!


To my dear Bridesmaids,

I am so excited to celebrate so much with you! I cannot do any of this without you. I will be celebrating the end of my single life, the beginning of my new chapter with the love of my life, and we will be celebrating our friendship.

I chose each of you to stand by me and celebrate in such a joyous occasion because I adore you. Maybe we met in school, maybe we are blood-related, or maybe our paths just crossed in unexpected ways. I am just so excited to have a support system like you behind me at this time. You mean so much to me and I am so happy you have accepted the invitation to be part of this!

It is not just one big day we will share. We will share many laughs, many beautiful photos snapped, endless phone calls and texts and many toasts shared in the months leading up to the big day. This will be a time for us to bond and remember forever.

I hope you are excited to go dress shopping, throw glitter at my Bachelorette Party, sip mimosas at my Bridal shower, walk down the aisle with me and dance the night away on the big day. I hope you are as excited about these moments as I am. I chose you because I thought you would.

I will get stressed before the wedding. I may even get overwhelmed and cry a few times. I know you will be there for calm me down. I know you will keep my head on straight and my feet on the ground. I know you will remind me in the excitement of event planning, the true reason for this all is to celebrate love and my future husband waiting for me at the end of the aisle.

Even after it is all said and done, we will still stay connected and share such a beautiful bond. I do not expect anything in return, but I will always support you like you do for me. I will always have your back! You will always hold a special place in my heart.

All my love,

A Someday Bride

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