I'm Thankful For Long-Distance Friends

I'm Thankful For Long-Distance Friends

Two high schools and five colleges could never split us apart.

Making friends when you've always gone to the same school is relatively easy. Growing up with these people, you're bound to make a friend or two along the way. Luckily, I was able to make great friends throughout my years in high school. Some of the friendships I cherish most, however, were with people I never once sat in a classroom with.

Calling them "long-distance" friends may be a tad overdramatic, but when we first met on a 6th grade AAU basketball team, our mothers still had to drive us whenever we chose to hangout. Making the 45 minute drive to each sleepover and party seemed endless, and slightly impractical. Regardless, our friendships grew, as sporadic team bonding turned into sleepovers whenever we had the chance.

The team itself was extremely difficult, and we found ourselves frustrated and upset following practices. By enduring this together, our bond strengthened. We sought one another for support, growing our trust and reliance upon one another. Even when we felt like quitting, we stayed for we couldn't bare the thought of playing with anyone else.

Since then, our small group of five has celebrated birthdays, gone on beach trips, and anticipated the next free moment we could see each other. When I quit basketball, we stayed friends. When we went into high school, we stayed friends. Finally, we each got our licenses, and our parents no longer had to make the long drive to drop us off at one another's houses

They say distance makes the heart grow fonder, and in this situation I found that to be the case. The longer I go without seeing them, the more I cherish the experience when we are able to find the time. We can go months apart, but as soon as we are back together it is as if no time has passed at all.

Going into college, we are once again going our separate ways. Instead of two different high schools, we will now be scattered at five completely different colleges. Although we're excited by the prospect of day trips to see one another, our ease of visitation will once again revert back to our sixth-grade parent-escorted levels. Our long distance friendship is becoming even more long distance.

Yet, I don't find the distance daunting. Wherever we may be, I will always know that basketball gave me four forever friends. We've overcome shorter distances and greater lengths of time, and we can certainly do it again. What started as teammates turned to best friends and ultimately family.

Thank you, Julie, Gabby, Taylor, and Emily. Your friendship means the world to me.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Scheuring

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A Letter To The Grandpas Who Left Far Too Soon

The thoughts of a girl who lost both of her grandpas too early.

Dear Grandpa,

As I get older, my memories are starting to fade. I try to cling to every last bit of memory that I have of you. There are certain memories that have stuck well in my brain, and I probably will never forget them, at least I hope I don't. I remember your smile and your laugh. I can still remember how your voice sounded. I never want to forget that. I catch myself closing my eyes to try to remember it, playing your voice over and over in my head so that I can ingrain it in my memory.

I always thought you were invincible, incapable of leaving me. You were so young, and it caught us all by surprise. You were supposed to grow old, die of old age. You were not supposed to be taken away so soon. You were supposed to see me graduate high school and college, get married to the love my life, be there when my kids are born, and never ever leave.

My heart was broken when I heard the news. I don't think I had experienced a pain to that level in my entire life. At first, I was in denial, numb to the thought that you were gone. It wasn't until Thanksgiving, then Christmas, that I realized you weren't coming back. Holidays are not the same anymore. In fact, I almost dread them. They don't have that happy cheer in the air like they did when you were alive. There is a sadness that hangs in the air because we are all thinking silently how we wished you were there. I hope when I am older and have kids that some of that holiday spirit comes back.

You know what broke my heart the most though? It was seeing your child, my parent, cry uncontrollably. I watched them lose their dad, and I saw the pain that it caused. It scared me, Grandpa, because I don't ever want to lose them like how they lost you. I can't imagine a day without my mom or dad. I still see the pain that it causes and how it doesn't go away. There are good days and there are bad days. I always get upset when I see how close people are to their grandparents and that they get to see them all the time. I hope they realize how lucky they are and that they never take it for granted. I wish I could have seen you more so that I could have more memories to remember you by.

I know though that you are watching over me. That is where I find comfort in the loss. I know that one day I will get to see you again, and I can't wait for it. I hope I have made you proud. I hope that all that I have accomplished and will accomplish makes you smile from ear to ear. I hope that the person I marry is someone you would approve of. And I hope that my kids get more time with their grandpa than I did because the amount I got wasn't fair.

I want to say thank you for raising your child to be the best parent ever because they will one day be the best grandparent ever. Just like you.

Cover Image Credit: Katelyn McKinney

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To My Thompson Hall Friends

I never expected to make such amazing friends.

Freshman year is coming to an end. It feels like just yesterday I was moving into my dorm and saying goodbye to my parents. So much has happened over these last few months. I feel like I’m a different person now.

I have survived living on my own and navigating the ups and downs of college. It was a time for growth and I’m happy to have experienced it here at Delaware.

There have been many positives as well. I started writing for Odyssey which allowed me to set aside a time each week to let my creative juices flow and formulate them into different articles. Although there have been many times where I have had writer's block, it allowed me to push through and write what I was really thinking.

I started dating a really great guy. Although I wished this had happened sooner in the school year, everything does, in fact, happen for a reason. He gets along so well with my friends and I genuinely enjoy spending time with him.

The biggest part of my year though was the friends that I had made. Without them, my life would be boring and I wouldn’t have had half of the amount of fun as I did this year. We all somehow gravitated towards each other and now we’re this big group that navigated college together.

Some of them have become my absolute best friends. I didn’t expect this to happen when coming to college, but it did and I’m beyond excited about it. We became friends so quickly simply because we’re living out of each other back pockets and are always around each other.

All I have to do is walk out of my room and down the hall to find someone to talk to. That’s my favorite part of college because someone is always around and ready to hang out. It’s nice when all of your friends live right down the hall and every night feels like a weekend.

It’s never a dull moment with our group. There’s always someone saying something stupid, and yes it will always be caught on camera. We make each other laugh so hard that we end up crying just because what that person said was so absurd.

It feels weird whenever I go home and I can’t go and talk to someone or ask if they want to make a POD run together. Sometimes it’s nice to just lay in bed and chill with someone as you both watch TV or do work. It’s just nice to always have people around.

I have never stayed up until the early morning hours in my life, but it has happened multiple times here. For good and for the bad. It doesn’t seem crazy to do that either. Someone will always want to keep talking and by the time you realize it, the sun is coming up.

I can’t thank my group of friends enough because without them college would be so beyond boring. They make me look forward to the end of the day where I can hang out with them. Thank you to my “T2” friends. Freshman year wouldn’t have been the same if I hadn’t met you.

Cover Image Credit: Ariana Pelosci

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