To Those That Think I Need More Girl Friends, From the Girl Who Is Proud of Her Guy Friends

To Those That Think I Need More Girl Friends, From the Girl Who Is Proud of Her Guy Friends

I know. It's just not healthy for me to be friends with so many boys.

It all started when I got to my college for the first night. I had one friend already (a girl I might add), and I set out to make a few more. My floor meeting brought me Nick, a cute guy who lived on my floor, and we wandered around together because my original friend was with some of her floormates.

We went to play Cards Against Humanity and I met Peter, Mario, and Tyvel. All four guys knew each other already, and I tagged along with them. My friend Alayna joined us eventually, and as the year passed we lost and added a few other members of the core friend group, but my point is, I’ve been surrounded by guys since the beginning.

I have yet to really come back from it. I have a couple of friends that are girls, and they are all amazing, beautiful women. But every now and again, someone will shame me. “Oh, your best friend is a boy? Didn’t your boyfriend mind?” (No. He did not.) “Aww. Bunch of boys, what do you talk about?” (Everything they’d talk about with each other, and shoes!)

I’m tired of silly questions, so I’m just going to answer as much as I can within this letter. My friends are guys, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of talking to me.

Tyvel has walked across campus in the middle of the night because I was in tears over another guy.

Mario has threatened to fight anyone who gets in my way (well, anyone, but then again, he’s at Penn State).

Peter is my best friend, and he would talk to me about anything. We watch a lot of the same shows, the same movies. He listens to my music and screamed for Jesse McCartney with me even though he didn’t know who he was screaming at.

And those were just the guys I knew freshman year.

The guys that I have met through board game club are a group of guys I wouldn’t trade for anything else. Of course, there have been girls who I met there, who are amazing, funny, and so good at everything. But you’d be surprised how often I’m surrounded by 15 guys who all look at me like I have some kind of authority. They treat me with respect, and where some people I know think it’s weird that I am in a board game club and even more shocked when they learn I run it, it makes me so upset.

My guy friends were the reason I went to the first semester of that club. My first semester, besides Alayna coming every once in awhile, I was the only girl there. Now, there are about 40 people that come. Most of them are guys. Most of them I consider friends.

I’ve moved past the point of feeling self-conscious when I talk about Kevin and Joe and Rico Louis, Criswell (Mike) and Carney (Mike #2). My relatives no longer assume I am dating any of them or have a crush on any of them (most of the time).

There was a time when having a lot of guy friends would have been weird for me. I would have thought of them like I think of my brother and we would have had a barrier. But now, things are different. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve walked home from parties with my guy friends at 2 a.m. and I trust them despite the world we live in. I have watched movies and done a face mask with my roommate while my friends are sitting on my floor. I have gone to video game tournaments and tried to understand some sports, and I’ve kept my interests afloat while respecting theirs.

My guy friends have taught me that my worldview is not always the right one. They've made me think about issues from another side. They've shown me that girls can be just as mean to guys as guys can be to girls. I've seen my friends coping with problems with tears and anger and emotion and all those things men aren't supposed to have. They've hugged me and told me they're glad of my help, sometimes.

People seem to think that when you’re friends with mostly guys, you’re one of the guys. But I’d like to think being friends with guys just makes me a more personable person.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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When You Give A Girl A Pair Of Cleats

It's more than a pair of shoes.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her far more than a new pair of shoes. You are giving her new friends and new challenges and so many lessons and some of her best memories.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a team. You are giving her a group of girls that she might not have ever talked to if it wasn’t for these common cleats. A group of girls who will teach her how to be a teammate. A group of girls who will laugh with her and yell at her and train with her and win with her and lose with her. With a pair of cleats comes a group of mismatched people with a common goal who are learning from each other and working together.

SEE ALSO: To The Coach That Took My Confidence Away

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a coach. This coach is going to play an instrumental role in her love or hate for the sport. This coach will work her hard. This coach will train her and teach her and encourage her and yell at her and make her cry and hug her and cheer her on. This coach wants to see her succeed. This coach knows what these cleats mean, what this sport means. And this coach will be someone that she will watch. She will watch the way that her coach talks to her and talks to her teammates and talks to the other team and she will see her coach’s responses to games that are won and games that are lost. This pair of cleats comes with a role model, for better or for worse.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her team practices. You are giving her practice that will instill discipline and dedication and commitment. You are teaching her that she is on a team and she is expected to put in time. You are teaching her that her presence is important and that people are relying on her. You are teaching her how to balance her time, because, now, she has school and practice and games and teammates and friends and family. And for the first time in her life, she has to establish priorities. With this practice time comes some of the hardest conditioning and training. With this practice time comes some of her favorite memories as she bonds with her teammates and laughs with them and works hard with them. This pair of cleats comes with quite the time commitment.

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her game days. You are giving her bus rides and warm up playlists and team matching hair ribbons and orange slices at half-time and constantly looking for your water bottle on the sidelines. You are giving her a competitiveness that can only come out on the field. You are giving her the cheers from the sidelines and the screams of her coach and the exhaustion in her legs at the end of the game. You are giving her handshakes with opponents and a winning attitude even when she loses. With a pair of cleats comes pasta dinners and game days; These will become her favorite days.

SEE ALSO: My First Semester As A College Athlete

When you give a girl a pair of cleats, you are giving her a challenge. She is going to grow and learn, and she’s going to want to quit at times, but she is going to look down at her feet and remember why she’s doing this. She’s going to remember her teammates and her coaches and the amount of time she’s poured into this sport, and she’s going to realize that it’s worth it. She’s going to be covered in bruises and her socks are going to stink, and she’s always going to be looking for a sock or needing a hair elastic. She’s going to be tired, and she’s going to get hurt. But those cleats are going to establish lessons that she’s going to remember for the rest of her life, friends that she is going to learn to love, and discipline that she is going to be thankful for. If you’re the girl with the cleats, soak it in. Love the long practices and the exhaustion and the sound of the whistle that starts the game. If you’re the girl without the cleats, go get some. Try something new. Take the risk. Sign up for the team, the musical, the club. You will regret it if you don’t. Even if you fail, few things can teach you the lessons that those cleats will.


The Girl Who Hung Up Her Cleats

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Cook

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As A Soccer Fan, I'm Still Salty  The United States Didn't Qualify​ For The World Cup

There's nothing I love more than watching the U.S. men's national team play.


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