A Letter To My Freshman Roomies

A Letter To My Freshman Roomies

To the three special girls who know me best: Thanks for everything.
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To the three girls who know me best,

The first semester of our freshman year is coming to an end and I can’t believe how fast four and a half months have flown by. I have met a ton of new friends and made twice as many memories – but the friendship that I have developed with my roommates is one that I cherish more than anything. We have seen each other succeed in great ways and we have stood by each other through each failure (shout out college algebra). No matter how amazing or how terrible the situation, I can count on three girls standing by my side.

Thank you for keeping my outfits looking fleeky.

I can almost guarantee that wherever I am going, I’m wearing at least one article that isn’t my own. Each outfit is carefully analyzed and experimented with until I’m wearing the perfect combo. Thank you for always taking time to focus on me even though we all have places to be.

Thank you for keeping me humble.

“Whitney… your contour looks like a bruise.” Even though I’m basically a professional makeup artist, I always have three sets of eyes to make sure I haven’t made a mistake. Although it’s a tragic realization, I am grateful to have friends who give me the gentle reminder that I live in a dorm in Tallahassee and not in a penthouse on the Upper East Side. Thank you for keeping me grounded to who I am even when I am in full diva-mode.

Thank you for simultaneously making me feel like a rock star.

I have grown monumentally throughout the past four months, but growth comes with difficulty. Through every failed test, every night of homesickness, every mid-week crisis, and every bout of hurt feelings, I have had three people to build me up and help me to remember my worth. Thank you for never failing to bring me back to reality when I am feelin' blue.

Thank you for being my home away from home.

Leaving my friends, family, church, and small-town that I have lived in forever was a scary thought. I don’t love change and I wasn’t sure how well I would do away from familiarity. I am so blessed to have found three girls that have become sisters to me. Thank you for being by my side through the good moments, the bad moments, and the hyper moments/hours (oops).

Thank you for being my Proverbs 27:17 friends.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Thank you for making me feel sure that I can be 100% transparent with you. I have always been a person to hide what I’m feeling and keep my emotions bottled up inside. Thank you for letting me show all sides of myself to you and yours to me. You have helped me to realize that my many flaws are okay. Thank you for loving me for both my imperfections and my gifts.

There are absolutely no words to describe my appreciation for my roommates. As crazy as life gets, I always know that I can come to them for anything. Thank you for being the solid ground that I can count on throughout this new season. I can’t wait to see where our special friendship will take us and I am beyond excited to be a part of each of your lives.

To the three girls who will be in my life forever, thank you.

Cover Image Credit: Whitney Weldon

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8 Things I Have Not Thanked My Best Friend Forever For In, Well, Forever

Thank you for always being the best.
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1. Being there through it all, even if you're not "physically" there

We can't always be together, but you have never completely "left" me behind and have been there with me through thick and thin and I am so grateful.

2. Being my biggest cheerleader

Thank you for not only being there through the bad, but also celebrating my victories with me. I can always look forward to telling you good news because I know you'll be happy right along with me.

3. Answering my "important" phone calls

Whether it's a "he texted me back!!!" phone call, or an "I found a gray hair, please help!!" phone call, you pick up the phone and hype up with me no matter what.

4. Being selfless, and going above & beyond to make sure I know I'm worthy

This explains itself and I am so grateful for that.

5. Brushing my hair when I don't feel like it

Okay, this probably sounds silly... But it's the greatest struggle to brush my hair and I'm glad you do it for me sometimes!

6. For being there through all of my mini-crises

You already know what I'm talking about here...

7. For talking me out of things

If it wasn't for you talking me out of things, I'd probably have quit my job, be dating a horrible guy, got my eyebrow pierced, etc.

8. Making me a part of your family

I'm too lucky to have you all as my second family.

Cover Image Credit: Personal Photo

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Help, I Have A Lot Of Feelings

Finding Purpose in All Those Feelings

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I, 100%, believe you can manifest your own reality. It's disturbing how "feelings" quickly go from scenarios that we create in our heads to a toxic reality.

When I was really sick, I could think of countless reasons to hate myself. It felt like those reasons were piling up and barricading me into my own personal prison of self-disgust. But as I have continued my journey to be stronger than my eating disorder, I am learning that if can convince myself, with the power of my mind, that these feelings are all valid, I can also convince myself that I am actually sufficient, capable, competent, enough, strong and qualified. This power lies in recognizing the difference between feeling and knowing.

Knowledge is constant while feelings vary based on circumstance. I know my best friend loves me even when she doesn't text me back. I may, for a moment, feel like she doesn't care about what I have to say because of the circumstance. But that doesn't change what I know to be true. My best friend loves me.

Being "feelings driven" is a dangerous way to live. It led me to become an empty and shallow version of myself. I was unhealthy and dissatisfied. But I found new life after deciding not to let the way I feel dictate what I knew is true.

If feelings change so often, how can they hold such power over us? Surely they must play some sort of significant role in our lives. Of course they do. Feelings provide us with the opportunity to act. They show us that something might need to change. Typically, we want it to change as soon as possible. If you're feeling bored, you text or call your friends. If you're feeling hungry, you go get food. Feelings give us the opportunity to react. These reactions can affect you positively or negatively. The important thing to remember is that, when you are prompted with a feeling, you always get decide the reaction.

When I was sick, I was very familiar with feeling "gross", "fat", "uncomfortable", and other untrue ways to describe my physical appearance. The reaction that came with that feeling wreaked havoc on me mentally and physically. I could not get through a day of meals without feeling extreme guilt. This guilt was overbearing and it would not go away until I responded with my trigger reaction. Even with these rash and dangerous choices I was making, one thing remained constant. I never felt the way I wanted to. I did not feel beautiful. I did not feel strong. I woke up every single day without any change.

When you are prompted with a feeling that deserves a reaction, make it a beneficial one. I still have many moments when I feel bad about the way I look. Only now, my language about it has changed. I don't take that feeling as an opportunity to hurt myself. Instead, I write about it, call a friend, pray and ask God to help me see myself as He sees me or even just distract myself from the thoughts with some TV.

I cannot count on feelings to fuel my thoughts and take over my mind. Because even though they can bring about the right kind of actions, they have the power to bring you a world of trouble. Acknowledge your feelings. They're there for a reason. Welcome the good feelings, don't be afraid of the negative ones. Just be ready with what you know to combat them. Remind yourself with the truth about who you are constantly, making it your first language. Feelings are temporary and based on circumstance.

Think of the feeling you get when you are so tired after a long and busy day. What comforts you? Knowing the fact that when you get home, you will be able to sleep. You know you will be okay. This same practice of comforting yourself with the truth can and should be done with any negative feeling. Knowing that you will not feel that way forever can protect you from dangerous reaction, whatever it may be. Let it remind you that the temporary state of discomfort, pain, or dissatisfaction, will eventually go away and you will be feeling another way once again.

Feelings are fleeting and changing. They are here one second and gone the next. So to put something so valuable, like your worth or your future, in something so fickle, just sounds foolish. Use feelings for what they are for: to inspire change. What I know is that I AM STRONG even on the days I feel weak, I AM BRAVE even on the days I feel afraid, I AM CAPABLE even on the days I feel unfit for my calling. Any feelings that are not driving me to truth don't stand a chance against what I know.

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