My dearest friend,

We haven’t been friends for that long, which is odd because it feels like I’ve known you my entire life. From the moment you shook my hand and told me your name, I knew you would be an important part of my life, but I wasn’t quite sure how. Over time, I realized that you and I crossed paths because you can teach me things I would not have learned from anybody else, and I hope you could learn from me in return. It wasn’t until I became your friend that I realized how far I was from being the person I aspire to be. I think it’s time you know just how you’ve helped me become a better person.

You never back down to a good challenge or allow negativity in when tackling something difficult. Stress doesn’t frighten you, but it excites you. I’ve learned from you that taking on challenges allows for the opportunity to rise to it. You always encourage me to take on a challenge with the ferocity of a tiger, and if I still fall short, at least I’m the baddest cat in the jungle. There’s no way of knowing unless you try.

When I watch you hold the world in your hands, you assure me that it is possible to do it all. Between a hard class schedule, extracurriculars, personal responsibilities, family, and friends, it seems almost impossible to find any balance. On top of everything else you do for not just yourself but other people, you get a good night’s sleep every night. You have helped me find that balance in my life, so that I can accomplish everything I want to in a day, even when I doubt that there is time for everything I want to do. And during times that my life was thrown off its balance, you were there for me run to.

You’ve taught me to be strong, by letting me crumble. When it’s two o’clock in the morning and I’m having a complete breakdown, you are there to talk me through it. More importantly, you help me realize that my problems are temporary and I can use them as a learning experience. Because of this, I’ve become stronger. I haven’t cried over the same thing twice, but I know that if I do, I can count on you to hold my hand through it.

You’re not like everybody else, and you’re perfectly content with that. When everybody else stays out late doing who knows what, you’re staying in with me getting to know each other and preparing ourselves for classes the next day. When everybody else is drunk out of their minds, you and I are sober, watching it all unfold, and having the greatest time doing it. While it seems like everyone takes the path to the right, you take the path to the left. I’ve learned from you, it’s more fun that way.

When I forget to, you remind me to take care of myself. You’ve helped me realize that although it is important to prioritize certain things, such as school and family, it is also important to make sure that personal health goes to the top of that list. Whether its making time for a workout with friends or a much needed nap, you make sure I lean in that direction. Running on little sleep can be exhilarating for the first few nights, but can be detrimental to functioning after that. Being regularly sleep deprived, you have helped me realize this. There have been times where you’ve told me to go to sleep and walked me back to my room specifically so that I would go to sleep. I’ve learned a great amount my personal needs from these experiences. You saw what I needed most when I was blind to it.

All of those times you helped me through things as a friend have taught me to help others any way that I can. I learned that asking ‘how are you?’ more often really makes a person feel better, knowing that someone cares about how they feel. Anytime you ask me how life is going, whether in passing or in a regular conversation, I feel secure. I know that you are a place I can go if I just need a hug, or serious life advice. I could only hope that you feel the same way with me. You make me feel safe in a way very few people have done before. I strive to become a safe place for others because I now know how important that is. All because you care about me.

Didn’t think you did all of that, did you? I could not imagine the person I would be right now if I did not have you as my friend. The unconditional love and support you’ve given me will inspire me and move me for years to come. Whether you’re in my life for the long haul or only a season, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Love always,

The Friend You’ve Changed For The Better