Stories are not always happy. We live and learn in strength.

Words Unspoken: Time Passes, But A Moment Lives Forever

It was a cold January evening. Making my way to the third floor of the library, I found a study room for myself to get some homework done which was due the next day.

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I walked from the table to the dry-erase board practicing concepts and names for a standard Business Management Quiz. In typical fashion, I checked my phone during break time — no texts from anyone, minimal activity on Facebook. I had a Windows phone, which meant no Snapchat, sadly. One more pass for practicing my concepts and my phone goes off. Writing this now, my memory fades me. Intuition says it was Frank. He is unsure if it was, but I received a text message informing me that my best friend's father passed away.

Sitting down, I take a deep breath. I look directly into the carpet on the ground. A ringing noise lingers in the background. Not a single thought comes to my head except for one; go back to your room. I pack books into my bag, make way down the infamous spiral staircase and walk at the fastest speed I could ever remember (which says a lot, I walk very fast). Managing to take a glance to the right, I spot another best friend of mine at a study table – we connect eyes, and I dart out the entrance doors.

Each breath gets heavier with each step. I want to make it back to my room – it is the primary mission. Getting back, I did not even knock on the door. I simply walked right in and sat on my bed. I received a text from that other friend at the library, asking if I am okay. I inform him of the news. This is all I can recall from that evening.

Losing one's parents is an emotional and devastating experience in life. Death itself is an emotional and devastating experience. It can also be a relief of suffering, pain, and struggle. My best friend showed zero signs of weakness the next day of the wake. My father came to get me at school, to drive me home in time for the services. When I saw my best friend for the first time – since that text message I received, we hugged.

However, this hug had a bit more to it. It was the hug, which revealed his hurt. My best friend, the lion of all, lost his father to a battle with cancer. Words would not suffice, but the hug, a mere sign of friendship, brotherhood, and family would be holding strong.

My best friend learned two crucial traits (of many others) from his father: strength and humility. Being his friend, I think I have learned a lot in those categories as well. The world is a better place because of people like them, their family. It is an honor to not only know them but to be family with them. This month, this week, January 17, 2012, lives forever. Long live the great, number eight.

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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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18 Things You Know To Be True If You Are A Dancer

#Dancerproblems.

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It's the night before my first dance competition of the season, so of course I'm going to write about dance. Without further ado here are 26 of the most common things you know if like me, you are a dancer.

1. You are constantly choreographing dances in your head.

It doesn't matter what song you are jamming out to, without fail, you find yourself choreographing dances, even at 2:00 AM.

2. You always find a way to practice your solos or dances for competition.

Even if you have a small space to work with, NOTHING, and I mean absolutely nothing will stop you from practicing.

3. You are constantly trying to better your technique.

All day, every day, it doesn't matter if you're working on turn combinations or bettering your tap technique, not a day goes by that you don't work on it.

4. You have a "dance drawer" in your dresser.

Leotards, tights, and booty shorts, oh my!

5. The studio is like your second home and your team is like your second family.

There's really no explanation needed.

6. You feel like you never get enough time in the studio.

Because there's no such thing as "too much dance"

7. Your weekends always consist of a dance private

Literally almost every weekend

8. You're not embarrassed about going out in public while wearing dance clothes.

And you don't care if people look at you funny for wearing your leotard and company jacket to a restaurant.

9. Your company jacket is your jacket of choice.

You've gotta represent your studio, plus it's sooo comfortable.

10. Forget the holidays, competition season is the most wonderful time of the year.

I love competition season so much!

11. You're always losing bobby pins.

Gotta love those sock buns that take you literally 15 minutes to do, and the ridiculous amount of bobby pins that you use just so your bun can stay in tact.

12. You have regular earrings and then you have dance competition earrings.

Those big sparkly earrings are always fun to wear.

13. Your Instagram explore page is full of videos of other dancers.

What can I say, I just love dance.

14. The phrase "I can't, I have dance" is one you say all the time

I apologize to all of my friends and family who I try to make plans with but can't follow through because of dance privates.

15. The same goes for "5, 6, 7, 8"

I am so guilty of this one.

16. People ask you if what you do is like what they watch on "Dance Moms"

And you reply with "Sort of, but not exactly"

17. Sometimes you just randomly strike a dance pose.

For me, it has always been , and always will be an arabesque.

18. Your mom is the best dance mom ever, and you dad is the best dance dad ever.

They honestly are, I couldn't do any of this without my wonderful parents and am so thankful that they continue to support me in doing something that I absolutely love.

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