To The Best Friend Who Didn't Make It To The Next Chapter In My Life

To The Best Friend Who Didn't Make It To The Next Chapter In My Life

Because things don't always go the way you would like them to.


We were inseparable. No one would’ve expected it to go this way, but that’s okay. You helped me through awkward, tough, and uncomfortable times. You were my rock when I needed stability and my laugh when I was crying. Thank you for being you. You are genuine, kind, and selfless.

But, I’m sorry. I’m sorry we grew apart. We used to mesh so well, but we lost our synchronization so randomly. One day we were laughing at our constant inside jokes and the next we weren’t prioritizing our friendship. But, I don’t have any hostile feelings.

You were the best part of my past. I will look back on our friendship and hope my kids have a friend like I had in you.

Our memories used to sting, but now I enjoy going through the countless pictures. You are such a sweetheart and I wish you the best. We both have gone down separate paths, but we’re positively thriving. Keep doing your thing!

I can’t even refer to you as an ex-best friend because that’s far from the truth. We are simply best friends who drifted. I’ll consider you a friend forever though. So no matter the time that passes, if you ever need anything just know I’ll always be here.

I may not understand your facial expressions anymore and I may not be the person you tell everything to anymore, but that’s okay. I had my time in that position and now someone else will be blessed with your radiance.

You had such a positive impact on me when I needed it most. I’m so thankful you were part of that chapter of my life. Without you, I wouldn’t have made it through some of the most horrendous school days.

Thank you for the memories. Thank you for the ridiculous pictures. Thank you for the endless photoshoots. Thank you for providing me with a second family. Thank you for your support. Thank you always for being my best friend.

Love always,

Your Friend Forever

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Culture Can Define The Bottom Line For Befriending The Opposite Sex

Feeling trapped in between two cultures? Time to draw your own bottom line!

I’ve been living in the US for almost four years now.

I know that’s not a very long time, but these are the most crucial years where I grew from a wide-eyed 17-year-old teenager to a strong-willed 21-year-old young woman. True, I was born and raised in China, but I cannot deny that I really “grew up” in the US. My thoughts, aspirations, values and even styles have completely changed.

Often, I feel trapped in between. I understand the tradition of my birth country, because that's my root. Meanwhile, I'm so afraid to admit that I feel more aligned with what I’ve learned and lived in the US, because I'd be called a "traitor" for "forgetting my root." Inter-gender relationship is such a thorny issue that caught me in between two different sets of cultural morals.

I’m now on the plane going to the Big Island of Hawaii to visit a guy friend L, who has been the big brother I’ve never had to me – enduring my “ruthless” pranks all the while non-stop loving on me. Growing up as an only-child, I treasure this friendship very much. L and I, as close as we are, we don’t want to date each other (who’d want to date their brother/sister?!).

Yet, my mother doesn’t think so.

My mom is, more or less, a stereotypical Chinese mother. She holds very traditional and conservative morals, even though she was brave enough to send her only child oversea for college. Don’t get me wrong. I love my mother and she is open to ideas in certain ways.

For example, when no one else in my family had ever even attended college, my mother went against the more familiar and traditional way of education (i.e. making me take college entrance test with billions of other Chinese students) and allowed me to make my own educational choices (i.e. go abroad for college) all those years ago.

Without her support, I would’ve never even end up in Los Angeles for college. I must applaud her for taking that leap of faith with me, when she doesn’t even understand English.

However, when it comes to more intimate topics, like friendships and sexuality, my mother is incredibly conservative. While waiting for the flight to Hawaii, I told my mom my Spring Break plan – going to Hawaii by myself to visit my guy friend L.

“Just the two of you?” My mom asked.

“Yes.” I answered, as my stomach dropped. I know where this conversation is going.

“How can you do this?! He’s a guy. Do you not remember what I told you about maintaining your reputation as a girl?”

“What are you talking about? We’re just friends.”

“You don’t know what he thinks you are.”

“I’m absolutely sure he thinks I’m a friend, too. Plus, time has changed, mom. Guys and girls can be just friends, ok?”

“No matter how much time has changed, you still have to have a moral bottom line! Even if you’re not interested in each other now, when you’re in the same room, who knows what’s going to happen?”

I totally understand where my mom’s coming from. I’ve gone back to China for breaks over the past four years and noticed how different Chinese and American cultures are. While me and my American girl roommates are totally comfortable with hanging out with boys at midnight in our house, the Chinese girlfriend I grew up with blushes even at the mentioning of her boyfriend.

My American friends would not hesitate to give huge bear hugs to friends of the opposite sex, while my Chinese guy friends literally froze and didn’t know what to do when I gave them hugs. Of course, I’m aware of diversities within each culture and my simplifying the two cultures here due to the length of this article. Still, American culture is much more comfortable with intimacy in general than Chinese culture.

Growing up I’ve always been a tomboy and have more guy friends than girlfriends. I still remember, one day in middle school, my mom (tried very hard to appear to) “casually” asked me, “do you think your guy friends maybe ‘like’ you? Maybe you should be more careful when hanging out with them. You’re a girl. You need to protect your reputation.”

What horrified me even more was when my mother asked me about my high school mentor, who happened to be a young man, “That mentor of yours, are you sure he’s just your mentor? Nothing else?” (What the what? MOM?!) In other words: it’s not right to be too close with boys. If you’re close with boys, there must be more than “friendship” going on. If you’re that “close” with many boys, you’re not a “clean” girl.

I understand that my mom is worried about me getting hurt, but I don’t think this way of thinking serves me anymore. Some of my closest friends are guys and I treasure our friendships very much. I’ve learned in the past four years to express my love for my friends with hugs and words (i.e. I love you), even if they are of the opposite sex.

Meanwhile, I’ve also learned to maintain my distance from the opposite gender while I’m China, because “people talk”, according to my mom.

But, if you know me, you know one of my top love languages is physical touch.

I love giving people solid hugs to express and receive love. Forcing myself to not do it, because in traditional Chinese culture physical touch crossed the “bottom line” of inter-gender relationships, makes me feel trapped and deprived.

On top of that, such moral of maintaining distance from boys, while seemingly protecting girls, actually strips girls of power to choose. Only boys can choose to be friends with girls they are not interested in?

I cannot choose to be friends with boys because they may be interested in me? Boys only want to be my friends because I’m a girl, not because I’m funny, witty, dorky, and me? Girls are always vulnerable and can’t be strong and smart enough to protect ourselves? Boys are just so weak that they’re always sexually attracted to girls? Are we humans or just sexual organs?

Maybe, it's time I don't categorize myself as Chinese or Americanized Chinese. Maybe, it’s time to write my own bottom line rules.

Yes, I will continue being friends with guys. I will continue giving them my signature bear hugs. I will continue telling them I love them. I do these, not despite them being boys, but because they are my friends (aka. Human beings I enjoy sharing my time with). Yes, I might have some alone time with L during this trip. So what?

Bottom line? Our hearts are in the right place. We have mutual respect for each other. We value each other as human beings. That’s what friendship is about, regardless of whether you both have boobs or not.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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10 Things That Happen When You Reunite With Your College Friends

The best years of your life give you best friends for life.

Oh, adulthood.

Remember how excited you were to finally receive your diploma and put the days of midterms and final exams well behind you? And while life after graduation is a time of self-discovery and responsibility, your college years were the ones where you were carefree and adventurous and you and your friends could somehow make it out to the bars four nights a week.

Those were the years that defined you, that made you the prosperous and thriving adult that you are today. And there's nothing better than reliving the glory days with the people who were by your side through it all.

1. You take Jell-O shots like you're 21 again

Once upon a time at a university party far, far away someone decided to combine blue raspberry Jell-O with Fleischman's vodka and a tradition was born. Fast-forward five years later, two years past graduation when you all get together for so-and-so's housewarming party and someone breaks out those same blue raspberry Jell-O shots and you suddenly feel like it's freshman year all over again.

2. You prepare for a weekend of drinking like you haven't experienced in nearly a year

It doesn't matter the occasion - whether it's because your fraternity brother is gonna be in town for the weekend for a conference or because your old college roommate is visiting her cousin - you know that once night falls, you will pretend that your liver is suddenly a young and willing virgin.

3. You reminisce about all of the awful one-night stands and random hookups you had in college

Amongst old friends, nothing is off limits. And when it comes to the people who have seen you fun-drunk and dancing on a table or blackout drunk and crying about the fact that you broke the strap on your sandal, nothing rounds out a Friday night like recalling the time you hooked up with your Biology TA and ended up getting an A in your lab class.

4. All of your conversations are about boring, adult stuff

Phoebe got a new job, Rachel and Chandler got engaged, Ross is buying a house, and Monica was just made partner in her firm. You used to have conversations about who hooked up with who in the bathroom of the bar on Saturday night and how JD and Turk got into a fight because JD's girlfriend was grinding on Turk in the fraternity basement. Now, you purposely gather around wine and beer to make your boring adult lives seem much more interesting.

5. You can afford nicer alcohol and to do nicer "activites"

Yes, partying in college was probably the best time you'll ever have. You were young and hot and could show up to class on Thursday morning probably still a little drunk and pull off a solid 3.0 GPA. But now, as an adult with a real job and a salary, you still party like you're in college, but now with sophisticated tastes and hobbies.

6. Your hangovers are worse than they ever were in college

What happens between the age of 23 and 24 where suddenly, two vodka sodas and a beer leaves you bed-ridden the entire next day? In college, you could start tailgating at 10 A.M. and continue drinking until you and your friends closed down the bars and somehow find it in you to make it to brunch the next morning. Now, you and your friends take one shot of tequila and spend all of Sunday on the couch marathoning "Parks and Rec."

7. You can never find a bar that fits your age group

Once you're out of college, it seems no matter where you go, the bar is always crawling with college students. Determined to relive your glory days, you seek out some place with a decent bar and maybe some pool tables or a dance floor. What you usually find is a "hip" bar spewing out AMFs and Long Island Iced Teas while drunk sorority girls crowd around a table and giggle in the direction of the boys from Phi Kappa Kegstand and they seem to need all of the 8 chairs at their table even though there is only five of them.

8. You do keg stands and you shotgun beers to prove you're still young

I mean it when I say that you will never think you're too old to do a keg stand. And I mean it when I say that there comes a point in your life when you will be older than the number of seconds in which you can actually do said kegstand. But, because old habits die hard and your friends will always be your biggest cheerleaders, you will undoubtedly find yourself shotgunning a Coors Light and swearing up and down that you will still kick everyone's ass.

9. EVERYONE you know is talking about their wedding

This one shouldn't even come as a surprise. LIterally - LITERALLY - everyone is getting married. You can't go a day without seeing a new engagement announcement on Facebook or photos of someone's wedding popping up in your news feed. But still, you can't help but talk about all of the wonderful milestones everyone is reaching. And besides, who doesn't love open bars and free food?

10. And most importantly, you remember how much you love these people and would trade anything else in the world to be with them

These are your people. There the ones who have been there through all of highs and lows and the tail-end of your awkward stage. They love you no matter where you are on the earth and will always make you feel young again. You are meant to run with their crowd and they are mean to be the ones you run with.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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