A Letter To My Roommate As She Goes Abroad

A Letter To My Roommate As She Goes Abroad

I'm going to miss you, but I'm so excited for you.
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When you first told me that you were thinking of going abroad for a semester I was pretty devastated. How would I survive an entire semester without my roommate and best friend? I’ve never had to face the stress of college without you by my side, keeping me laughing and smiling through it all. You have been there for me since day one of college, and I feel extremely lucky that I was able to find someone who means so much to me--in my random roommate of all people. So, although I’m not looking forward to the next semester without you here, you know I’m wishing you all the best on this adventure.

I hope this experience is everything you want it to be and more. I hope you have the time of your life, learn even more about yourself, continue to grow into the amazing person you are, and embrace every moment of it. I know you won’t waste a minute of this journey and will keep me fully updated at all times. I cannot wait to hear all of the great stories you will have from being abroad; all that you’ll learn and get to do. I’m jealous that you get to do this, but I’m even more jealous of the people that will get to enjoy your company for those months. They should realize how lucky they are to have you around.

I really don’t tell you enough how much I appreciate everything you do as my roommate and friend. You help me make tough decisions, support my decisions even when they’re clearly stupid, make me laugh until it hurts and I’m sure I should have formed at least one ab, listen to me talk about all my problems, give me the best advice, and laugh at all my ridiculous jokes.

I love that we talk about anything and everything under the sun. I love that you’re always up to dance like a fool with me. I love that we understand each other’s humor and can convey things to one another with just a look.

I never thought in a million years that my random roommate from freshman year would become such an important person in my life. You know everything about me, and I’m not just saying that, you really know everything. So I guess what I’m trying to say here is, thank you. Thank you for being my person. Thank you for staying up late into the night just talking, thank you for always looking out for me, and most importantly, thank you for being the amazing person that you are.

I want to wish you the best of luck on your journey. I know right now it’s all very intimidating and scary, but I know you, and I know you’ll make the most of it and have the time of your life. I’ll be stalking all your posts on social media and patiently awaiting all the updates I expect from you the whole time you’re gone. I’m so sad that you’re leaving me, but I’m more excited for how incredible the semester is going to be for you.

I’m going to miss you like crazy, and I wish you the very best of luck!

Cover Image Credit: Olivia Sun

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15 Things You Realize As Your Baby Brother Grows Up

No matter how old he gets, he will always be your baby brother.
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Despite the fistfights and days of locking each other out of the house, a little brother is one of the biggest blessings you can receive. Most sisters can agree that they probably bossed their brothers around a lot when they were younger (and probably still do). Most sisters have also most likely forced their brothers to participate in many games that were only enjoyable for one party (baby dolls, house, dress up, etc.)

As a little brother grows up, you start to realize a lot of things as they become your lifelong best friend. Here are 15 of them:

1. He will outgrow you

Even though you were once able to beat him in a wrestling match, and have a fair game of tag, as you get older, he begins to pass you up in size and you realize it probably isn't in your best interest to pick a fight.

2. Teenage boy sass is a real thing

So many times, girls get a bad rep for the teenage phase, but let me tell you, teenage boys have just as much sass if not more than the average hormonal girl. But you also realize that you will get through it, and he is still your sweet brother somewhere deep, deep down.

3. He will go through a phase when he is too cool for you

Your whole life you have been used to your little brother looking up to you and wanting to be just like you and do all the things you do. This probably really annoyed you at some point too and I know I found the words "stop copying me" coming out of my mouth a lot. Don't wish it away, enjoy these times because there hits a point where he will want to do their own thing for a while.

4. He will begin to form his own opinions, and he is actually really smart

He still looks up to you, but there comes a time when he actually starts to contradict and challenge your opinions, and his arguments are surprisingly really good. You learn a lot from your little brother, so start listening to what they have to say sometimes.

5. No girl will ever be good enough for him

When he brings a girl home, you can't help but judge everything about her (no pressure) because to you, no girl will match up to his awesomeness. You know you are annoying, over-controlling, and overly judgmental, but you can't help it, he is your baby brother after all.

6. Regardless of how old or big he gets, if anyone messes with him, you will "beat them up"

I am not a fighter, but somehow anytime someone messes with my little brother, I get the ego of Muhammed Ali and believe that I can beat anyone up. Even now that he has outgrown me by about six inches and 50 pounds and is definitely a lot stronger than me, I still threaten to protect him because for some reason I feel like I can defend him better than he can himself. If anyone shoves him on the soccer field or says something mean to him at school, all of the sudden the big sister is the most intimidating and feisty little 5'4" girl there is out there.

7. He has your back

The once quiet and shy boy you outspoke as a child is not afraid to stand up for you. Even if he knows you're wrong, he is just as protective of you as you are of him and he will always be there for you whether you need a shoulder to cry on, you've had a fight with your friends and need someone to talk to, or a guy blows you off and you just need dairy queen and a movie night.

8. People will think he is your boyfriend and vice versa

As little kids, you were obviously the big sister, but now that he has outgrown you, hit puberty and matured, people mistake him as your boyfriend all the time. When you go to dinner and get the "you are such a cute couple" comment, you can't help but laugh.

9. All of his academic success is obviously all thanks to you

All the days you forced him to play "school" with you and tried to teach him everything you knew paid off because he actually knows what he is doing now. You're welcome.

10. Every year he turns another year older, you freak out because you remember how old you felt when you were his age, and it is not possible for him to be that old

No, no, no. He is little. He cannot drive just because he is 16. That is scary. [Only you were mature enough and ready to drive at 16.] There is no way that he is already 18 and can vote. You will never get used to the fact that he is growing up at the same pace as you are.

11. He is the one person who defies your theory that you are never wrong

He always has your best interests in mind, so if he disapproves of a guy, or questions a choice you are making, he is most likely right, just listen to him. Seriously, it will save you time in the future.

12. You will always worry about him

Yes, you are annoying and you know he can handle himself, but the thought of him ever getting hurt kills you. Every time he goes out or takes a risk, you worry about him. However, you also know and trust that he is smart and makes good choices, and if he ever doesn't, you will always be here to save the day, duh!

13. You are his biggest fan

And you are absolutely obnoxious at sporting games and other events. You are the first person to yell at the referee when he gets fouled and the loudest person screaming when he scores a goal. You also find yourself bragging about him to your friends because you are just so proud, and you taught him everything he knows (duh again).

14. He is your best friend

You can tell him anything and he can tell you anything. You guys have a pact and he won't tell your secrets. He's your person, and you have come to find out that he actually gives great advice when you give him the chance to talk.

15. No matter how old he gets, he will always be your baby brother

No matter how old my brother gets, we still say "I love you" every night and he will always be my little baby brother who I watch over and protect, always. I know I have a lifelong best friend who I can lean on during hard times, and celebrate with when the times are good. Bless up.

Special shoutout to my baby brother, Luke, for teaching me so much about myself and always being there for me.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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'Best Friend' Can Lose Its Meaning If You Don't Act The Part

Sometimes the ones you are closest with can hurt you the most.

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It's pretty crazy that someone who seems to be happy and has their life together could be fighting some pretty serious demons. It's hard to believe that your best friend could be having issues that they don't feel comfortable coming to you about. It's crazy that someone who is surrounded by love can feel so alone and unloved. But it happens. All the time. And it happened to me.

When I was in seventh grade, I had a lot of close friends in my life (or at least those who I thought were my friends). I was pretty popular in middle school. I had a "boyfriend" in title, but nothing more. My family was super involved in my life. But something snapped. I would hear my "friends" making comments about how they wore a size zero, but I couldn't relate. They would make comments about guys talking to them. They would say that I shouldn't know what that's like since I had a boyfriend. I would be a slut if I was friends with other guys. It would make my boyfriend look bad if I had guy friends. They pointed out all the things that were wrong with me, and because I thought they were my closest of friends, I thought they were right.

So in seventh grade, I developed an eating disorder. It started out small: Just giving my lunch to my friends because I "wasn't hungry." I slowly stopped talking to all my friends, male and female. But nobody noticed. My "best friends" didn't notice that I was slowly becoming isolated and losing weight faster than I should have. As the year continued, I continued to eat less and less, and I ate even less in eighth grade.

My own family didn't even notice. Nobody knew that I was fighting these demons. But my mom found out. We were Black Friday shopping and I hadn't had anything to eat all day. Before we went shopping, I hadn't slept, either. Everything was totally fine and I was enjoying time with my mom until I got dizzy and everything went black. Before I knew it, I was on the ground and was surrounded by people. When my mom found out that I wasn't eating and was losing friends, she didn't know what to do.

She started having people watch to make sure that I was eating. Any time I would stay somewhere, she would tell a parent about my issues and reminded them to watch me closely. It was embarrassing but it needed to be done. It was because of my mom that I did start eating and slowly started to talk to people again. It was a hard process and it was something that continued until I was a senior in high school. It took five years to repair the damage that one conversation with my "friends" caused.

The moral of the story is this: If you're friends with someone, you never want to put them down. Being a friend is all about building up and supporting others. Don't be the reason that the term "best friend" loses its meaning.

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