A Shout Out to All the Amazing Friends I Made in College

A Shout Out to All the Amazing Friends I Made in College

"Cash don't last, my friends will ride with me."
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One of the biggest fears I had before coming to college was whether I would ever make new friends after having been surrounded by the same group of people for seven years. I was concerned I would never form the tight relationships that I had grown used to being involved in.

Four years later, I only wish I could assuage freshman me’s mind. I find myself saying hello to an acquaintance daily on campus, and meet with my closest friends at least once a week. I have movie marathons, museum trips, and amazing opportunities lined up through this final quarter. The idea of “circles” has heavy resonance in my life, as almost all my friends know at least one other friend in some degree of connection.

Although my academic life has been fueled by my own interest, ambition, and passion, I still believe the other aspects of my college life have been substantially made better by the people I met here. If anything, the fear that consumed me before college encouraged me to leave my comfort zones and say hi to the new face that became my roommate this year. That fear contributed to my current position as a club president and fifth-grade creative writing teacher.

Here's to my UCLA family!

Shout out to my roommates!

I’ve already dedicated articles to my roommates (pictured above), but that’s because I’m so grateful that I have been able to live with these three women for the last academic year. Through all our dramatic, finals week breakdowns and our late-night, trashy movie marathons, I gained the three sisters my only-child self always wanted. You’re my ride-or-die second family and I love you so dearly.

Shout out to my incredible UCLA English department support system!

I felt welcomed by my department and the individuals that make up the department from the first day I visited on Bruin Day. After I started my classes, I made friends in every class. Not only was the department welcoming, but somehow the entire English major contingency followed suit. I met one of my best friends and roommates in my first quarter of English classes, and it was in that first month that we decided we would live together. I made friends in that class that decided to hang out even after our study sessions.

Shout out to my lit(erary) travel study crew!

Hanging out with the group of people that made up our travel study crew was what made traveling through the UK and wandering for hours through London so much sweeter. When I say that was an adventure of a lifetime, I mean I’m going to remember our late-night shawarma runs, high-tea times, and garden photoshoots forever. My heart ballooned to its greatest size when we finished our trip with a traditional Bruin 8-clap! If I get to, I’d love to travel with any one of you again.

Shout out to my dedicated organization leadership boards!

The pleasure has been all mine to work with my Writer’s Den board this last year and to participate as a member the year before. I can’t forget our inside jokes (especially the goats and white-snow ghost tigers) and will always remember how you all had my back especially during the hardest weeks of the last two years. We have accomplished the most amazing things as leadership and taught the most creative students I’ve ever come across. Thank you for all the opportunities and for the experiences that I’ll always hold onto.

Shout out to the friends of my friends who have now become my closest friends!

That seems like an unnecessarily complex title for y’all, but it is the most accurate. I would have never been so close to most of you if we had not been introduced by our mutual. And am I thankful for that introduction! Other people wouldn’t have ever guessed that we never knew each other before a couple months or years ago because of the state of our friendships. I am so glad we got to know each other and have grown much closer through the ups and downs of college life.

I’m writing here to acknowledge the different groups and individuals that have contributed to my college experience. With this shout-out, hopefully, if you’re also finding yourself with similar fears as mine, you can be reassured that you will find your people.

Cover Image Credit: Jui Sarwate

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A Letter To My Best Friend On Valentine's Day

Because you are my ultimate Valentine.
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To my beautiful best friend,

Warning: This letter is about to get extremely cheesy. I am talking four cheese lasagna cheesy. But no one deserves a love letter like this more than you do.

This Valentine’s Day, I want to express my love for you. On this wondrous occasion with which most people express their love to their significant other, I want to tell you, my best friend, how much I cherish our friendship.

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You are the ultimate love of my life. Boys have come and gone but you remain a constant; for that I am grateful. You have been there for me when my family could not be; for that I am grateful. You have been my backbone, my rock, and all those other clichés people use to describe the people they care about, and yet you have been so much more than that as well; for that I am grateful.

All my love this Valentine’s Day goes out to you, my friend, because you do not receive it enough. You have picked me up out of the dirt, brushed me off, and kissed my wounds more times than I can count, and I will never be able to thank you enough for that, but I am sure am going to try.

Thank you for the midnight cries. Thank you for the midnight laughs. Thank you for ordering way too much food with me and still just eating it all. Thank you for the advice, both solicited and unsolicited. Thank you for telling me what I need to hear, even when it isn’t what I want to hear. Thank you for the silly pictures. Thank you for the stupid inside jokes. Thank you for making bad decisions with me. Thank you for laughing with me and laughing at me. Thank you for the endless memories.

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More than anything, I want you to know that I love you. I love you. You are the family I get to choose, the one I go to when I have nowhere else to turn. You are the one I know I can always run to, whether we saw each other yesterday or haven’t seen each other in a year. You have played a part in molding who I am as a person, and I am so grateful for having such an amazing person affecting my life in such a positive way.

With all the love in my heart,

Your friend
Cover Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.pederson.5/photos

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To My Best Friend At A Rival University

No amount of school rivalry could ever change our friendship.

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In high school, we were practically inseparable- you and I and all of our friends. Even though we saw each other every day during the week (when both of us decided to actually go to school, at least; senioritis was real and it was rough), we usually saw each other at least once over the weekend, whether it be a coffee date at Starbucks, a sleepover, or a trip to the movies.

We would go on spontaneous trips to the local ice cream shop (for us, it was Twistee Treat) far too often for our own good. We spent so many summer days at theme parks, followed by sleepovers that consisted of painting each other's nails, baking break-and-bake cookies, and falling asleep in the middle of 'Men in Black.'

Now, we attend rival universities. The stories we share involve names and places foreign to the other. We each have friends that know us apart from one another. Some days, we hardly get a moment to talk, other than sending funny memes back and forth through Instagram.

Though it may seem like being away at rival schools would hurt our friendship, I think it's only made us closer.

When I come to visit you (or you visit me), we always make the most of our time, knowing that it's limited. We often do the same things we would've done at home, but in new locations, which makes it even more fun. Sometimes, I wish we would've chosen the same school- because having your best friend with you, sharing new experiences is always better than not- but I know we're each happy where we are. We're making new friends and new memories, which makes for new stories to share with one another.

I know that I can share anything with you without fear of judgment, and I think you know the same.

Even though we can't just stop by unannounced anymore, planning weekend trips to visit one another is still really fun.

Sure, we go to rival universities and we will never agree on whose school is superior, but in the grand scheme, it doesn't even matter. Your school is extremely lucky to have you and in my eyes, you are what makes it great.

No matter the distance, no matter how strong the rivalry between our schools, you will always be my best friend and the memories we've cultivated throughout our friendship will never be forgotten. I can't promise I'll wear your school colors again (that was a one-time thing and does not diminish my love and respect for my school!), but I can promise that you'll always have a friend in me.

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