As a sophomore in college, I am quite surprised (but also flattered) whenever people mistake me for an upperclassman.

I feel like I could pass as a 15-year-old, but I guess that's not the case nowadays. My immediate thought is typically something along the lines of:

Well, that's probably because I spend a significant amount of time with people who have already been college sophomores. I learn how to act like a 22-year-old, rather than a 19-year-old.

If I'm being honest, it hurts to think about how some of my favorite people I've met at college won't be here this time next year. Same goes for my friends at other schools; they’re moving on up in the adulting world, and I’m still trying to figure out what to do with my time here. I’m going to miss them all (so, so much), but I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

For now, I’d like to shed light on why being friends with people who are a couple years ahead of me is the best thing ever.

They know what’s best for me.

Friend drama? Guy problems? Stressed out about schoolwork? I always look to my older friends for advice; they always have the inside key on how to tackle the typical college girl issues. Even if I’m afraid to follow through, I thank them later because their advice is almost always effective.

They know all the best party spots.

I’m telling you right now, some of my best memories at UMass have been at tailgates and parties with my older friends. UMass is a huge school.. It’s hard to navigate at times, especially on bustling weekends. My friends know how to do it right, and they always make me feel welcome -- there’s no such thing as feeling lost in a crowded house while I’m with them. They bring out my fun side, and I never regret staying out later than I probably should.

They’ve been in my shoes.

I know that whatever problem I have, my friends have most likely already experienced it. I trust their judgment, because they’ve literally seen and done it all. It’s so comforting to know that some of the best people in my life have been in my place at some point, too. Nothing feels impossible to handle when I confide in them.

They love me for me (and I love them just as much, if not more).

Guys, I truly don’t know what I’d do without ya. Thanks for always being there, no matter the time or place. I love you.