A Semester Buddy Became A Lifelong Friend (Part One)

A Semester Buddy Became A Lifelong Friend (Part One)

It is not goodbye but simply "until next time."


For my Health Communication class, our professor exclaimed to us that we were to make it our mission to become friends with a person at Clemson Down's. Now, If you don't know, Clemson Downs is an Assisted Living Facility located just in the heart of Clemson, SC. This is a place where elderly people are allowed to live as free as they please amongst others who are similar to them. Not to get this confused with a retirement or nursing home, persons in assisted living facilities are free to live in the bounds of the building or in actual houses that surround.

When first hearing of this semester task honestly, I couldn't even picture taking time out of what I called a busy week to sit and talk with an elderly person about God knows what. I was already thinking of what he would be like.

Would he be a super old white guy?

"God, I hope he's not a racist. I wonder if he likes pudding?"

Literally, so many redundant questions filled the temples of my brain! As soon as my professor presented us with his cell phone number, I texted him almost immediately. A long text indeed, I elongated the idea about finally being able to meet in person and hearing all the wonderful things she had to say about him. I waited and I waited … and a response never came. I told my partner Arianna Conti, that this affirmed everything I initially thought, he hated me before even meeting ha-ha!

Well come to find out, we had the wrong number. We finally met and I went on and on to my roommates and everyone at my job about my waited anticipation. Here was the moment of truth...in walked Arianna and me into the doors of the Clemson Downs...

Dick Hall first introduced himself with a casual handshake exchange. He was gracious enough to let us into the doors of his home and I was more than willing to plop down and make myself comfortable. I can vividly remember Dick's first two questions off bat.

"You said your names were Arianna and Makayla was it?"

Yes, sir, that's us...

Shortly after that, Dick ended up telling a joke that I was too dumb to understand at first. I explained to him how my mother always told me that I had book smarts and no common sense. It was then that he re-explained his joke, we all laughed, and it was at that moment that he understood my mother's sentiments exactly.

*here I wish I could insert the crying emoticon*

"So … this is supposed to be something for a class, right? What are you guys looking to get from this?"

Completely shocked, we answered as honestly possible...

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To The Friend I Never Saw Coming In College

It's the friend everyone needs, but doesn't know it until they find her.
I owe you a whole bunch of thank yous

1. For always keeping me on track

When I have forgotten about the homework due in an hour, you're always there to send me the answers super quick or just when I need help with any school work, you're my go to girl. And lets be honest, just sitting with someone doing homework together will ALWAYS better than doing it alone.

2. For doing absolutely everything with me

Thanks for always being my date to the Caf, running errands with me, supporting my sorority fundraisers, tanning by the pool with me, taking walks with me, bringing me a sweatshirt to class, giving me snacks, studying with me, laying by the river with me and really just being there overall. I know I'll never be alone in this crazy college ride because I have you.

3. For being just as weird as I am

Some of our inside jokes (and study tactics) people will never understand. We can look at each other, and start laughing with no words said and make the weirdest comments without ever being judged by one another.

4. For always being a listening ear

Considering we spend almost every waking second together, you always know the drama in my life, and you're always down to listen. From the rants about the mean girls at the bar, to the ridiculous nights you missed out on, I know I can always ramble on about anything to you and you'll always be there to listen and talk about whatever it is with me.

5. For understanding my love of junk food

From the "screw the gym today" texts or my favorite "the Caf has chocolate frosted brownies today", you always understand my everyday cravings for junk. It's always good to have a friend to be lazy and pig out with.

6. For encouraging me

Shout out to you for reminding me what I deserve in life. You always keep it real and tell me when I'm messing around with the wrong guys, telling my secrets to the fake friends, or just telling me the truth about how crazy my hair looks that day. Whenever I'm upset or discouraged, I can always count on you to cheer me up and give me 1000 reasons to smile.

7. For being another closet

Thank heavens we're the same size shoe! You always have exactly what I'm looking for, and if not you help me find it. Life's a whole lot easier knowing you have about 100 more outfits to chose from for that fancy sorority brunch, so thanks for always letting me borrow your clothes when needed.

8. And for just being you

For being crazy, but lazy, funny, smart, dedicated, weird, sassy, fun, adventurous, and simply just you! I'm so happy college led me to you, and I can't wait for the rest of this journey with you.

Cover Image Credit: Rachael Dugo

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An Open Letter To The One Who Left Without Saying Goodbye

I'm glad that you're moving on with your life, but did you even think of me when you left for good? After all, we used to be best friends.


I get it. You just graduated and you're ready to move on with your life. I'm seriously so proud of you that you get to go live your dreams and be where you have always wanted to end up.

I'm so sorry that our friendship didn't work out. But that doesn't stop me from wondering why you didn't reach out to me one last time before you left for good, knowing that we most likely won't ever see each other again.

I remember the first day I met you. For someone with anxiety, talking to you, a complete stranger, was a huge thing for me. But you were so easy to talk to. We bonded over our anxieties and our love for TV shows and movies. We bonded over not knowing anyone else and feeling super awkward.

But the thing that I remember most about the day that we met was a comment someone made to us. When she saw how we talked and acted with each other, she asked if we had known each other for a long time.

When we told her we had literally met that same morning, she was shocked, saying that she knew we were going to be great friends.

And she wasn't wrong, for the most part. You were the first person who seemed to truly accept me.

You supported me through whatever, and you supported my need to escape into fictional worlds and to be lazy when the world became too much to handle.

But somewhere along the line, things went wrong. I don't know what I did wrong. Maybe I let you in a little too much. I exposed all of my flaws and insecurities. And you used them against me.

You made me feel the way about myself that you had spent months telling me wasn't true. You told me everything about myself that I needed to change, and then called it "constructive criticism". All because you didn't get what you wanted.

From that moment on, though we were still friends for another year after that, I never felt the same.

I no longer felt the comfort of your support. I could only think of how you criticized me, on stuff that you knew I was trying to work on but was struggling with. How was I supposed to change if in that one day I lost all the support that I so desperately believed that I needed?

And then came me moving away. You promised me that we wouldn't fall apart. I told you I was being realistic and that we would probably grow apart, not by choice, but just because of the distance and how different our lives would be.

And I was right. We grew further and further away from each other. During that time, I grew as a person. Maybe you did, too, I wouldn't know. I just know that you had a falling out with our other best friends, the ones that made us a group of four.

And I couldn't see how I could be your friend with you not speaking to them. I wouldn't be able to handle it, knowing that bond that we all once had was gone forever. The puzzle was broken.

So when I saw the pictures of your graduation last weekend, I didn't know how to feel. I was happy for you, you get to go live your dream. The other part of me wonders why, on your end, we stopped talking.

I know mine, but you just faded away on your end. You never answered the last Snapchat. You never texted back. Did you have a reason?

Part of me wants to know that reason. Was I easily replaced? Did I ever mean anything to you, or was I just an easy target for a friend because I was desperate and alone? Are you as conflicted about us drifting apart as I am?

These are questions I will most likely never get the answers to. And the logical part of me knows that that's okay, it's better not to reach out, to leave things as they are. After all, this was probably inevitable.

From the bottom of my heart, I do wish the best for you. I hope you can live out your dreams and find the happiness that Missouri and your friends here couldn't give you. I just ask that you remember my letter. This, like that one, is full of things that I can never say. Instead, I remain silent, pretending that I'm okay.

And I will be. One day, I'll be able to look back on our friendship and the memories that we made with only nostalgia, remembering a good moment in time, instead of feeling guilty or like I should have done something to fix what was irrevocably broken.

So this is for you. And on one last note: I'm sorry. I'm not sorry for doing what I believe was best for me and my mental health by distancing myself from you. I'm sorry if I did something to make you never want to speak to me again. I'm sorry that it couldn't work out, that it just wasn't meant to last. I'm mostly sorry that I didn't tell you any of this, but when I last tried to, it didn't make a difference.

I'm grateful for the friendship that we had in the beginning, and the fond memories that we made during that time. I wish you the best and I hope you do have a happy life.

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