Tell The People You Love In Your Life How Much You Care

Here's Your Reminder To Let The People You Care About KNOW That You Love Them

It's so scary to think that one moment everything is fine and then something happens so out of no where and out of your control.

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Last week I stared at my phone screen, not believing what my friend had just told me. Our close friend's father had just passed. I didn't know him well, but there was still a huge knot in my stomach, obviously feeling awful for my friend. That has to be one of the most horrible things, that I could never in a million years imagine having to go through. I told my friend I was thinking of her, but honestly, I tried to push it out of my mind that entire week. It's so scary to think that one moment everything is fine and then something like this happens so out of nowhere and out of your control.

Sometimes things happen in our lives that are unexplainable. This semester has had its ups and downs for me, but it's been pretty smooth sailing overall. I usually gladly stay on campus for the weekends, surrounded by my friends and so much going on, rather than taking the hour-long train ride home. Of course, I miss my family, but I am rarely thinking about it, especially on a Friday night.

This past weekend, however, I had this overwhelming desire to be at home for the weekend, and I couldn't figure out why. Sure, I had more work to do than normal so going home would probably force me to be more productive. I had also been sick that week, so it would be easier to kick my cold in the comfort of my own home than in my dorm. And as much as I adore Brower (not really), it can never hurt to get a good home cooked meal. I kept telling myself I would be home for spring break in two weeks, so none of these reasons really added up to my wanting to be home for the weekend.

Nevertheless, after a late date night on Friday, I decided to pack up my things early Saturday morning and haul my duffel bag to the train. And by the end of my weekend at home, I realized why I needed to be there so badly. I hadn't really confronted how hearing about the loss made me feel and how it was affecting me.

Writing this sounds selfish. Why should it matter how I feel when someone I care about is over there grieving and going through such immense pain? But after a week of pushing it out of my mind, I saw these events as an eye opener for my own life. Even though I have a really close bond with my own father, we fight a lot more often than I'd like, and sometimes I need a reminder to just let things go. I don't show it enough, but I love my dad so much and need to be grateful for the important role he plays in my life.

It sounds like stating the obvious to preach the importance of cherishing every second because you don't know when will be the last, but we often forget. No one should have to suffer through loss, and it scares me the more and more I think about it. I wish there was such a thing as the perfect thing to say to help someone through such an unexplainable situation like this. I guess all you can do is be there for them, give the people you love a hug, and appreciate the little moments you're lucky enough to spend with family.

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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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True Tales Of Growing Up In A BIG Family

Spoiler alert, I get tackled a lot.

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I was born into a fairly large family. I have upwards of twenty-something first cousins, many of who are around the same age as me. It has honestly been both a blessing and a curse to have so many people around me all the time. Some of my favorite memories come from family gatherings where all of my cousins were there. However, since most of my cousins are male, there has also been a lot of physical violence where people get hurt, even if the intentions were innocent. I have so many stories about my family, some of which I won't share here because they are a little bit inappropriate, but others are too good not to share.

The first story I want to share is from this past Easter. Most of my cousins on my Dad's side were at my Papa's house celebrating the holiday. There was so much food we could probably feed a small army. Some of the older cousins decided that we were going to play a game of whiffle ball. All of the cousins who were playing were at least sixteen and some of them were much older. Many of us had or are playing sports in High School or College so this game of whiffle ball got extremely competitive very fast. I ended up being the Umpire/pitcher because I played softball for so long. The game ended with my brothers winning and my other cousins upset that they lost, but it was still one of the memories I will cherish the most even though I definitely threw out my shoulder pitching.

I can remember playing a game of football on Thanksgiving when I was young (maybe five or six). This game, not unlike the whiffle ball game we played at Easter, got super competitive super fast to the point where even I, as a six-year-old, was being pushed and tackled to the ground by much older boys. I honestly can't remember much about that game, maybe I got hit in the head too much, but I do remember having so much fun playing with my cousins.

I've been on a cruise two times in my life, both times with my extended family. One cruise was to Mexico when I was very little. What I remember about that cruise was getting extremely sea sick and that the cleaning staff would make towel monkey on our beds. The cruise was to Alaska when I was a lot older, I think I was fifteen. Since I and my cousins were much older on that cruise, we caused a lot more trouble and were able to get away with it. Every night we would go to the pool and swim. Then, we would go to the buffet and only eat pineapples and mac and cheese. We, also, may have or may not have gone into a bar to sing karaoke. While the cruise was fun, I wouldn't have had such a great time if I wasn't with my family.

While sometimes they can be a pain, having so much family has taught me a lot about communication and playing right. Again, I only have scratched the surface here in regards to the plentiful stories I have, many of which are so much funnier. I love my family so much and I would never trade that in for the world.

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