I met Alina in Montgomery, Alabama at a tennis tournament when we were both roughly seven years old. She lived in Tuscaloosa, I lived in Spanish Fort, but we saw each other nearly every weekend at tournaments across the country, and she was my doubles partner for all of those tournaments.

From the moment we met each other, I knew she would become special to me. We shared countless laughs, meals, secrets, etc. To this day she is one of the most important people in my life, but one thing has changed. When we were ten years old, she moved back to Germany.

From Facetime dates to ten-minute Snapchat videos updating the other on our lives, having a best friend who lives in Germany takes a lot of planning. The time difference between us is six hours, moving to Tallahassee brought me one hour closer to her, so thank you for that, college. Nonetheless, the time difference is our greatest communication barrier.

On top of the six-hour time difference, I am a full-time student and she works full-time, so neither of us has an abundance of free time. Even with all our obstacles, we routinely make time for each other each and every day. Whenever I have ever needed her, she has been there, despite the 4,814 miles separating us.

Ok while Alina living across the world is not exactly ideal, it does call for some pretty amazing trips. Three years ago, Alina came to visit me in Sweet Home Alabama. We made the most of the three weeks she was here: filling them with trips to the beach, making up for missed birthday and holidays, a weekend get-away to Disney's Magic Kingdom, and of course, all the girls night's in we had missed out on the last six years. But, as always, all good things must come to an end. I vividly remember the day I had to drive her to the Mobile Airport.

We stood outside my car at the drop-off for several painful minutes hugging each other as we hopelessly cried into the other's shoulders. I'm crying again just thinking back on it. I watched her walk into the airport and it has been three years since I've last seen her. I would give anything to have her at FSU with me, taking on this new phase of our lives together.

To all the girls out there whose best friends live close, please do not take that for granted. You are so blessed to have your person physically with you throughout your everyday life.

Oh, and Alina, I'll see you on May 8th. That's right, folks, I will be flying to Germany in a few months to once again spend a few, long-overdue weeks with my soul sister. Words cannot describe the overwhelming joy this upcoming trip has already brought me.

To Alina, thank you for being my person. Your friendship is priceless, and there are no words to describe how much you mean to me. I love you forever and always. The Atlantic Ocean ain't got nothing on us.