An Open Letter To My College Roommate As I Go Abroad

An Open Letter To My College Roommate As I Go Abroad

I may have put "college roommate" in the title, but you'll always be like family to me.

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Right now, you're packing your suitcase and asking me advice on what you should and shouldn't bring on vacation. It's finals week, which means in just a few short days, we will both be saying goodbye to State College. Another semester down in the books.

Many people don't know Jul without Aub, or Aub without Jul. Probably because we've been a package deal ever since summer session. I feel like I've known you for a lifetime, so how is it that 2016 was only two years ago?

It's funny because we both get randomly sappy and emotional in person, but on the internet, we love a good roast. I promise I won't do that right now though (maybe).

How can I not be emotional though? In less than a month, I will be living halfway across the world without my sister.

Although I know our random FaceTime's won't come to an end, they will never amount to the past six semesters. As cliche as it is, you've truly been there for me through the thick (thicc) and the thin. Through ugly crying, to weird dancing, to laughing until we grew abs.

I will forever be in awe of how the universe works, bringing people together in the most unexpected ways (thank you, Facebook).

As sad as it will be to part ways for the spring, nothing makes me more excited than the year ahead, when you, Paige, and I will all be living under one roof. For every time I get upset or homesick, I know there will be a hundred happy memories to come.

I just tried to think of some things that I won't miss (to make us less miserable) and I couldn't think of anything. I'll even miss driving in the minivan together, hearing everything through the walls, and getting roasted. You mean so much to me that I'd even kill a cricket spider for you.

Sometimes when people go away for a little while, they worry about how things will change while they're gone. They worry that things may be different when they come back. But those thoughts have never crossed my mind.

We've gone summers and breaks without seeing each other before and we always pick up right where we left off. The only thing that will be different this time is that we won't be rooming together for a semester. But that's nothing we can't handle.

I can't wait to get your daily calls, Snapchats, and funny memes. You're like a sister to me and I'll love you always.

Until senior year,

Jul

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I Ghosted My Old Self For 5 Months In An Effort To Reevaluate My Life

My life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

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BREAKING (not fake) NEWS: It's true, you have to hit your lowest before hitting your highest.

I want to share my lowest with you, and I'm almost ashamed to say it had nothing to do with the loss of both of my parents. I like to think I handled that like a warrior.

Turns out I didn't, and the hurt I've been burying from that hit me all at once, the same moment my life fell apart faster than a drunk dude approaching a Jenga stack.

My life flipped upside down overnight back in August. I had my heart broken shattered, lost two very important friendships that I thought were with me until the end, lost my 9-5 job, my health took a hit stronger than a boulder, and I was absolutely lost. For the first time, ever, I let go of the reigns on my own life. I had no idea how to handle myself, how to make anyone around me happy, how to get out of bed or how to even begin the process of trying to process what the f*ck just happened. I was terrified.

Coming from the girl who never encountered a dilemma she couldn't fix instantaneously, on her own, with no emotional burden. I was checked out from making my life better. So I didn't try. I didn't even think about thinking about trying.

The only relatively understandable way I could think to deal with anything was to not deal with anything. And that's exactly what I did. And it was f*cking amazing.

I went into hiding for a week, then went on a week getaway with my family, regained that feeling of being loved unconditionally, and realized that's all I need. They are all I need. Friends? Nah. Family. Only. Always.

On that vacation, I got a call from the school district that they wanted me in for an interview the day I come home. It was for a position that entailed every single class, combined, that I took in my college career. It was a career that I had just gotten my degree for three months before.

I came home and saw my doctor and got a health plan in order. I was immediately thrown into the month-long hiring process for work. I made it a point to make sunset every single night, alone, to make sure I was mentally caught up and in-check at the same exact speed that my life was turning. I was not about to lose my control again. Not ever.

Since August, I have spent more time with family than ever. I've read over 10 new books, I've discovered so much new music, I went on some of my best, the worst and funniest first dates, I made true, loyal friends that cause me zero stress while completely drowning me in overwhelming amounts of love and support, I got back into yoga, and I started that job and damn near fell more in love with it than I ever was for the guy I lost over the summer.

But most importantly, I changed my mindset. I promised myself to not say a single sentence that has a negative tone to it. I promised myself to think three times before engaging in any type of personal conversation. I promised myself to wake up in a good mood every damn day because I'm alive and that is the only factor I should need to be happy.

Take it from a girl who knew her words were weapons and used them frequently before deciding to turn every aspect of her life into positivity — even in the midst of losing one of my closest family members. I have been told multiple times, by people so dear to me that I'm "glowing." You know what I said back? F*ck yes I am, and I deserve to.

I am so happy with myself and it has nothing to do with the things around me. It's so much deeper than that, and I'm beaming with pride. Of myself. For myself.

I want to leave you with these thoughts that those people who have hurt me, left me, and loved me through these last couple of months have taught me

Growth is sometimes a lonely process.
Some things go too deep to ever be forgotten.
You need to give yourself the permission to be happy right now.
You outgrow people you thought you couldn't live without, and you're not the one to blame for that. You're growing.
Sometimes it takes your break down to reach your breakthrough.

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.

My god, it's so f*cking good.

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Just Because Your Home Friends Are Far Away Doesn’t Mean You Can Ghost Them

Show them that you are thinking of them.

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If you're anything like me, your home friends are some of the greatest friends you have ever had. They are the people who stuck with you, even after most of your friends from high school kicked you to the curb once they found new friends in college. So, when you go back to school, or if you are already back for second semester, make sure that you don't shut them out of your life. Here are some ways to make sure that you don't ghost your home friends.

1. Check up on them.

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No matter how far they are, it's important that you stay in contact with them. Friends who have stuck with you for this long are lifelong friends. Obviously, you don't have to speak with them every day of the week, but make sure that you check in on them every once in a while. If they value your friendship just as much, they'll do the same.

2. Write them letters.

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This may seem a bit old fashioned, but writing letters is always a way to keep in touch while tapping into your creative side. Many of my friends from home have written me letters throughout our friendship, whether it was for a special event or just because they felt like it. Either way, it made me feel extremely thankful to have them in my life and it ensured me that I was still a prominent part of my friends' lives.

3. Set up a date to hang out and catch up with them.

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If they go to school in the state, setting up a time where you can spend the weekend together is a great idea. This way they can see what your life is like at your school or vice versa. Having this time with them is also a great way to catch up with each other face to face, rather than over text message. It'll be a nice mental getaway from the thought of school work, too!

4. Plan ahead if break is around the corner.

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Spring break is usually around a week long, if not shorter. So, if you want to see your friends from home in the span of a week, make sure you plan at least a week in advance so that everyone can clear time in their schedule. Don't wait till last minute or you may have to wait until the end of the semester to see them.

5. FaceTime or call them.

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Sometimes texting your friends that you haven't seen in a while just doesn't cut it. Hearing their voice or seeing their face heals the ache that forms in your chest from missing them. Make sure you are FaceTiming each other at a time where you both are free. You don't want a facetime or phone call to feel rushed, especially if you haven't seen your friend in a while.

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