Living Away From My Best Friend

Living Away From My Best Friend

13 hours and 17 minutes away

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13 hours and 17 minutes. That's about how long it would take me if I dropped everything right now and drove to my best friend. Thanks to technology, being a couple of states away isn't too bad. She's on a screen with a click of a button and we can talk all hours of the day. She's an hour ahead of me, so she tries to tell me the future, and she also brags about it being Christmas sooner. An advantage of her not being here is she can't smack me when I do something dumb, which I tend to do a lot, but we always have something to say since we aren't living the same experiences. There's different gossip, funny/stupid things that happened to us, events, etc. She's not there to break into my room and steal my food. Luckily, she's not here to force me to go shopping and drive me to be poorer than I am. She's there for every decision before I make it. Every Christmas gift sent through the mail is happily received when you realize it's not a bill.

Although it has its advantages of her being far away, it definitely has its disadvantages. There are so many moments where I just wish my best friend was at my side. Every breakup, every accomplishment, every emotionally charged moment, every milestone, every new relationship, every fun experience, every interesting new food, and everything else that we know the other would like. Those days when everything is falling apart and you need someone, a phone doesn't compare to showing up at your doorstep with all your favorite things and watching a movie. It's different celebrating an accomplishment through text when you could be out at your favorite restaurant together. Every new relationship is tough knowing your best friend isn't there to get an unbiased opinion of the person, and to help hide the body when they break your heart. Every moment she doesn't reply, you wonder if something happened to her and if you would be notified if she died.

There isn't a girls' night when I look like a mess. It doesn't make sense when I'm trying to describe someone she's never met. She doesn't know how gross it was that this guy flirted with me or how that piece of that girl's outfit looks terrible on her. We can't have Saturday nights out together or movie nights in. She's not here to wipe the tears of sadness or encourage the tears of laughter. It's impossible to surprise them with anything.

I'm terrible at fashion, makeup, trends, etc. while she knows it all. I know absolutely nothing when it comes to makeup, so it's hard asking for help when she can't color match in person. I can't help her with homework, sports, or art. We can't use our individual talents for each other. All of that is through a screen. A screen that can die. A screen that can malfunction. A little screen is all we rely on.

I guess the thing I've come to realize is that when one of us do go those 13 hours and 17 minutes or so, we definitely have to take advantage of it. We have to have our movie nights and makeovers. We have to blow all our money shopping and getting me all the makeup I had ever ask help for. We have to introduce every person we had previously mentioned through the screen. We have to celebrate all the accomplishments, meet boyfriends, and surprise each other with our favorite things.

Although it sucks being 13 hours and 17 minutes away, if it means keeping our friendship, I'm okay with there being distance.

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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

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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Finding Your Niche In College Starts With Finding You

Attempting to be someone you are not for the sake of having company only hurts you in the long run.

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Transitioning to college is hard enough, but trying to find a place where you feel "at home" can make this time even more stressful. Here are some tips on how to find that place/group of people that make you feel like sunshine.

I have always felt a little out of place wherever I went, but it wasn't until college that I realized that this feeling was so special and more people should capitalize on their differences rather than conforming to a certain mold. Transitioning to college and finding your place among so many people can be very overwhelming. The added stress of attempting to be someone you aren't for the sake of having company adds a whole other layer to this problem. The easiest thing for me to do in any situation like this is trying to make the setting a little smaller. One of the most obvious ways to do this on a college campus is by getting involved!

It is inevitable that within the first few weeks of the semester at any college, there will be an organization fair. This is a chance to scope out all that your school has to offer! Chances are there will be some type of group or club that lines up with your interests. Most college campuses have extracurricular opportunities ranging from social sororities and fraternities, professional ones, intermural sports, vocal groups, and so many more. You are more than likely going to find some type of organization that you can call home if you seek them out. Joining an organization is such an easy way to interact with people with similar interests. An interest can bring two completely different people together and create some beautiful friendships. It is situations like this where it is important to be your authentic self and mingle with those you share something with.

That being said, finding your place in college isn't always about being involved. Getting involved on campus is just one of the simplest ways to start. There are so many other opportunities on campus to meet people whether it be among others in your residence hall, people in your classes, or just people you find yourself stumbling upon! Finding people to spend your time with is easy; however, you should make it a point to surround yourself with people who bring you up.

Once you have a set group of people that you find yourself spending time with, it is important to pay attention to the way you feel when you're around them. If you find yourself feeling bad about yourself or get the impression that you need to change something in order to "fit in," chances are the people you're around are not the best for you or your self-esteem. It is important to surround yourself with people who allow you to feel comfortable in your own skin. That being said, you also want people who encourage you to make good decisions and help you reach your goals. People who encourage toxic behavior in your life might be fun in the short term, but in the grand scheme of things, you need to be surrounded by people with your best interest in mind. Essentially, surrounding yourself with people who influence you to be your best self is one of the best decisions you can make short and long term.

The key to all of this is being conscious of your own feelings and needs. Pay attention to who reaches out to you to hang out. Notice the ones who pay attention to you as you speak when it feels like no one is listening. More than anything, be conscious of who you're with and where you're at when you experience moments of pure happiness. Life is too short to waste your precious time on people who don't build you up. Wouldn't you rather spend your time with more moments of pure joy than self-hate? Start living for you!

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