As I get older, I realize it doesn’t matter how many friends you have, but the quality of those important people in your life. It doesn’t matter how different we are, whether one of us is four states away, sitting in a room down the hall or in the bed besides yours or that sometimes a text or a phone call is our only way of communication when we’re at different colleges. At times, the only face to face contact we have is when we’re home on breaks, which of course, sometimes fall on separate dates. My friends from home, ones I have had in my life since third grade or made when I started high school, are loved the same as the ones I’ve gained through college, no matter if we’ve been together since freshman year, or by the grace of God, I’ve had the privilege to get close to as this new year of adventures begins. I truly couldn’t live without any of you.

The key is to take the time to put the effort into each relationship you have with your friends. Without my band of sisters, I wouldn’t have cuddle buddies, free therapy sessions, co-pilots for trips to town and a warm hug or big smile to see when we cross each other around campus. Friends are the reason college life has been so easy to transition to. It’s not always easy to balance school and fun, but friends are the ones that keep you from spending Thursday nights at the library and make sure you’re in that classroom on Friday morning, maybe a few minutes late, but always with a coffee in hand.

When life gets tough, I look for refuge in those in my life I care about most. When I want to share how great my day is, I call up my best friend at college an hour away from mine, or plop down on my roommates bed and tell her all about it. When I want to have a dance party on a Wednesday night, I can just skip down the hall and let myself in her room…because best friends don’t knock right? When I need a pep talk about getting out there and flirting with that cute boy, I know my friends will crawl under the bed and calm me down, cheer me up and tell me I'm not as awkward as I think. Isn’t it so weird how we meet people one week, and the next we can't imagine our life without them? People always talk about finding their soulmate, mostly like the person they’re going to marry, but there’s also the soulmate you can find in friendships.

Sometimes it’s hard to be in constant contact, and the key is to be understanding. Friends get busy with other friends, or classes and family, but in the end, if you're putting in equal love and effort, they’ll always be there for you, whether for fun or to wipe away your tears. While college is about learning, it is also about finding yourself and your people. While I'm still working on one of those, I can say that I have found the people who will be by my side in the future.