Why I'm Grateful For Boba This Holiday Season

Why I’m Grateful For Boba This Holiday Season

In extreme loneliness, tapioca is our savior.

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Deplane, dinner, boba is the routine I usually follow on my trips back home. Where I'm from, boba is much more of a social activity than a delicious drink. An outing to get a Thai Milk Tea is comparable to a mini-Christmas dinner in the way I usually drink boba surrounded by people I care about with conversation that leaves me feeling happy and whole.

Boba is a motif that follows times of celebration and community in my life. During my senior year of high school, finishing a college application was rewarded with a trip to the local sit down boba shop with my mom, dad, and sister. The same went for when my sister PR'd in her track meets, or when my friends wanted to procrastinate on studying for exams, and even when my relatives were in town and were in deep need of a catching-up. This still rings true; my boba excursions during my visits back home have been to spend much needed time with my boyfriend and to catch up with friends whose hilarious stories make me wish I still went to school with them.

Oddly enough though, it seems as if the purpose of boba is to be an individual experience and not one shared by family and friends. It's packaged with a single straw for one person only and has no need to be enjoyed with anyone else. Other highly valued modern-day cultural artifacts seem to follow this same outline of individualism; smartphones alienate you from your peers, headphones allow you to block out the sound around you, and Google's latest Oculus Go literally puts you in your own world. On such a highly populated Earth, it's never been easier to be alone.

To me, this is dangerous. In a year where Cigna's 2018 Loneliness Index states that "nearly half of Americans report feeling isolated from others as well as lacking companionship" it is imperative now more than ever to reinstitute systems of community in our society before we alienate each other to a point where age-old morals like camaraderie and teamwork no longer exist. It feels silly to think that as human beings who are intrinsically reliant on each other for survival we could ever live truly individual lives, but this is very much a potential reality. According to the same Index's Loneliness Scale, Gen Zers (ages 18-22) scored a loneliness rating of 48.3 out of 80, making myself and those in my generation the loneliest generation yet.

For this depressing phenomenon, we desperately need a solution. This is where boba comes in. Everything logistical about boba tells you that it's supposed to be enjoyed alone. Many boba shops don't even have places for you to sit but still community and friendship prevail. If there isn't a table, I and my friends pile back into the single car we stuffed to get boba and laugh for hours about our most embarrassing moments. On other nights, we'll venture to boba shops far from our regular spot just to have the experience of enjoying our beloved tapioca in each other's company.

It's empowering to know that in the seemingly inevitable doom of generational loneliness there stands a champion of camaraderie in the form of milk tea. So as I'm catching up with my friends and family this winter break with long hugs and hearty laughs, I know what I'll be most grateful for... Boba.

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An Open Letter To My Unexpected Best Friend

You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better.
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“It's so amazing when someone comes to your life and you expect nothing out of it, but suddenly, there right in front of you is everything you ever need."

-Unknown

Dear Unexpected Best Friend,

You were the person I never thought I would speak to and now you are my very best friend. You came out of nowhere and changed my life for the better. I can't thank you enough for everything you have done to shape me into the person I am today. You've taught me what it means to be selfless, caring, patient, and, more importantly, adventurous.

You don't realize how much better my life has become and all because you came out of nowhere. I didn't see you coming. I just saw you on occasion, and now I can't see my life without you in it. It's funny how life works itself out like that. Our unexpected friendship filled a hole in my life that I didn't know existed.

I don't even remember what life was like before you came along; it most likely had a lot less laughter and spontaneity than it does today. I can call you about anything and you would drop whatever you're doing to help me in any situation. You know when I need encouragement. You know when I am at my best and when I am at my worst. You always know exactly what to say.

SEE ALSO: 8 Tiny Lies Every Young Woman Has Told Their Best Friend

I couldn't have found a better friend than you if I tried. We balance each other out in the best way possible. You are most definitely the yin to my yang, and I don't care how cliché that sounds. Because of you, I've learned to stop caring what people think and to do my own thing regardless of any backlash I might receive. You are my very favorite part of what makes me who I am to this day.

It's as if I wished up a best friend, and poof — you appeared right in front of me. I am so beyond blessed to have you and I wouldn't trade the world for all our memories. Thanks for coming out of nowhere.

Love you forever and a day.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Medders

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10 Fun Things You Should Do With Your College Friends Before Summer

Before your friend from New York heads back home, grab her and enjoy her company while you can.

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1. Go on a shopping spree for summer clothes

2. Try out a new restaurant

3. Get matching tattoos (or henna if this is too extreme)

4. Get piercings together

5. Go bowling with a group of friends

6. Go skydiving

7. Go explore a zoo

8. Go on a hiking trail

9. Plan out a weekend to meet over the summer

10. P-A-R-T-Y!!

In college, you meet people from all over the world. Though when you become best friends with those people it is hard to say goodbye when the college year ends. Hopefully, these ideas will help you say goodbye easier (it will definitely be hard but at least you have these memories to hold on too)!

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