Why Making Friends In College Feels Exactly Like Kindergarten

Why Making Friends In College Feels Exactly Like Kindergarten

Minus the playdates and juice boxes, of course.
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Anticipating my freshman year of college, I was extremely nervous about making new friends. Sure, the course load and living quarters were stressful as well, but I found myself fixating the most on the possibility of having no one to share it with and confide in.

Having gone to the same school my entire life, I had never been thrown into a situation where I didn't know anyone and was completely on my own. Most of my friends I had known since elementary school, and some even from kindergarten.

In those days, all I had to do was learn that the girl I sat next to had the same favorite color as me or we lived close to one another and we would be best friends by recess. That very same day, she would give me her home phone number and our moms would plan a play date for us after school, complete with snacks and juice boxes. We would ride our Razor Scooters around the cul-de-sac for hours as if we had known each other for years rather than days.

To my surprise, I've found that making friends in college is not all that different after all. Asking someone their favorite color is actually just about as effective as it was in my kindergarten days, especially if we have the same one. Living close to one another, too, is still a bonding experience, especially when they agree that "water ice" and "hoagie" are the correct lingo. Unfortunately, there's no recess to look forward to, but breaks between class are just as good, if not better, for making friends. It isn't weird to ask someone to hang out that same day, either, because they're just as new as you are (although I wouldn't recommend having your mom set up the play date via landline). Snacks and juice boxes aren't completely out of the question either, although a trip to the dining hall or a coffee shop might be preferable.

Unfortunately, I have yet to locate either a Razor Scooter or cul-de-sac on campus. Yet, as I find myself celebrating my "weekiversary" with my new friends, it feels as though we've known each other much longer.

Being thrown into a new environment with no one you know can be extremely scary. Fortunately enough, this is just as new to all of the people around you, just like it was in kindergarten. Instead of curious five-year-olds, we're suddenly nervous 18 year-olds. In both situations, we have our whole lives ahead of us and years of experiences left to gain.

I always thought that making friends got harder as we get older. Fortunately enough, I've found that making friends at 18 is just as easy as it was at five. For me, making friends in college feels just like kindergarten.

Cover Image Credit: Caitlin MacGregor

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A Letter To The Grandpas Who Left Far Too Soon

The thoughts of a girl who lost both of her grandpas too early.
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Dear Grandpa,

As I get older, my memories are starting to fade. I try to cling to every last bit of memory that I have of you. There are certain memories that have stuck well in my brain, and I probably will never forget them, at least I hope I don't. I remember your smile and your laugh. I can still remember how your voice sounded. I never want to forget that. I catch myself closing my eyes to try to remember it, playing your voice over and over in my head so that I can ingrain it in my memory.

I always thought you were invincible, incapable of leaving me. You were so young, and it caught us all by surprise. You were supposed to grow old, die of old age. You were not supposed to be taken away so soon. You were supposed to see me graduate high school and college, get married to the love my life, be there when my kids are born, and never ever leave.

My heart was broken when I heard the news. I don't think I had experienced a pain to that level in my entire life. At first, I was in denial, numb to the thought that you were gone. It wasn't until Thanksgiving, then Christmas, that I realized you weren't coming back. Holidays are not the same anymore. In fact, I almost dread them. They don't have that happy cheer in the air like they did when you were alive. There is a sadness that hangs in the air because we are all thinking silently how we wished you were there. I hope when I am older and have kids that some of that holiday spirit comes back.

You know what broke my heart the most though? It was seeing your child, my parent, cry uncontrollably. I watched them lose their dad, and I saw the pain that it caused. It scared me, Grandpa, because I don't ever want to lose them like how they lost you. I can't imagine a day without my mom or dad. I still see the pain that it causes and how it doesn't go away. There are good days and there are bad days. I always get upset when I see how close people are to their grandparents and that they get to see them all the time. I hope they realize how lucky they are and that they never take it for granted. I wish I could have seen you more so that I could have more memories to remember you by.

I know though that you are watching over me. That is where I find comfort in the loss. I know that one day I will get to see you again, and I can't wait for it. I hope I have made you proud. I hope that all that I have accomplished and will accomplish makes you smile from ear to ear. I hope that the person I marry is someone you would approve of. And I hope that my kids get more time with their grandpa than I did because the amount I got wasn't fair.

I want to say thank you for raising your child to be the best parent ever because they will one day be the best grandparent ever. Just like you.

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn McKinney

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To The Newly Graduated Seniors, Thank You

A thank you to the new alumni who made my freshman year great.
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Dear Newly Graduated College Seniors,

Thank you for coming into my life when you did. As you were preparing to leave college, I was just getting started. You have shaped my life and my future career in many, many ways and I am proud to have gone to college with you for the short time I was allowed.

First of all, thanks for showing me that graduation will happen. Whether it is in four years or five years I have seen that graduation is a possibility and not just a distant dream. I feared when I first began my college career that I would not be able to graduate but you have shown me that with the right amount of perseverance and confidence I will be able to get my undergraduate degree.

You guys have also taught me not to let the problems of becoming an actual adult let you down. It is okay to cry and ask for help when I have a situation I do not think I can handle. You guys supported me through many obstacles my freshmen year of college and I will continue to support you as you move on to bigger and better things.

One of the most important lessons you taught me is not to dismiss the freshmen. I was so scared you guys would automatically shut me down because you were on your way to graduation and did not want to make any more connections or friends that you would leave behind. All of you took me in and listened to me and gave me memories that I will personally cherish for the remainder of my college career and even after I graduate.

Thank you, now alumni, for being my friend and giving me a place in your lives. Please keep in touch and visit. I can not wait to have an amazing Alumni Weekend because of the amazing seniors I was blessed to meet as a freshmen.

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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