To the sweet women of 732,

I had no idea when I replied to your GroupMe request for a roommate on May 2nd that I would soon be blessed with the friendship and love of the three of the most incredible women I've ever met, and that I would learn and grow so much without ever leaving my dorm room.

Moving in with three strangers was definitely awkward. You all worked hard to not call me "Mary." I put my alarm on "quiet" in fear of waking you up too early (even though I missed my 8:30 a few times because of it). I portrayed my best self, careful not to let you in to see my weaknesses or my struggles. I was looking for people to live with, but I for sure wasn't looking for friends.

But then we made cookie bakes late at night. Then you covered me up with a blanket while I was taking a nap and let me borrow a shirt. We spent several nights laughing, dancing, and ranting. Then we stood up for each other. Soon we opened up about how our hearts had been broken, and how the darkness of the world has touched each of our lives. In the blink of an eye, we were friends. I noticed myself looking forward to coming home to my support system — my ladies of 732. And when I walked in the door shaking after reading a text message that almost broke my heart, your arms were the ones I wanted to run into.

You all have taught me the value of having people in your life that care, people that can tease you, people that you can laugh with (and at), and even people that are completely different as you.

Despite being involved in different things, being in different majors, from different hometowns, from different churches, and not knowing each other before college, we've created quite a home for ourselves in 732. You've become my go-to gals, the source of my laughter, my "daughters," and the people I'd drop everything to drive to pick up or share a Mac and Cheese with. ;)

We've gotten the incredible privilege to not have the pressure of friendship to allow it to grow through awkwardness, taking some L's, and a lot of heart to hearts.

I am more thankful for you all than you will ever know.

All my love,

Mary Clare

(aka Mar/Mom/MC)