To The Friends I’ve Made In College, You’ve Done So Much More For Me Than You Could Ever Know

To The Friends I’ve Made In College, You’ve Done So Much More For Me Than You Could Ever Know

They say the friends you make in college will be your friends for life, but I never thought it could be true.

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Walking onto campus the first day of my freshman year of college — I was terrified. I knew absolutely no one, I was in a brand new city, and I was an hour away from my family.

I'm sure everyone can relate to the intimidating first-day-of-college experience. It's pretty common, and it makes sense that people would be nervous in a situation like this. But even the stories I've heard that start like mine, scared and alone, usually don't take long to get to the point where those people make friends and join clubs a couple weeks into the year and start to have the time of their lives.

For me, it didn't happen quite as quickly. In fact, it took about three months into my first semester of college before I finally formed any friendships. I think this is partly because I was afraid any new friendships would somehow replace my best friend’s from home, as if I had a limited number of spots in my life.

But finally, I realized that making new friends doesn’t mean I don’t love my hometown friends any less, just that they can’t always be there with me and that it’s okay to let new people in.

And I'm still extremely close to the first friend I made in college, which tells me that maybe the torturous, friendless months were worth it.

To the amazing people that I've met in college, the ones I've formed irreplaceable bonds with thank you for being you, and more importantly, embracing me for who I am. I never imagined I would feel so comfortable around a group of people I've known for less than a year. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I'd add more human beings into the "best friend" category of my personal relationships.

But then again, I never could have pictured meeting people like you guys. People that I have so much in common with it's actually kind of scary. People who not only understand my sense of humor but share it and add to it. People who push me and celebrate my achievements.

You turned my college experience upside down, in the best way possible. You made it easier to breathe in a city I knew nothing about. My homesickness fades so far into the background when I'm around you guys that sometimes I forget it's there at all.

Thank you for sharing my love of insane TLC reality shows, of the “19 Kids and Counting" and “Sister Wives" variety. Thank you for sharing my deep appreciation for artists on both ends of the musical spectrum, from Amy Winehouse to One Direction. Thank you for not giving me weird looks when every other sentence out of my mouth is a vine quote. Thank you for somehow sharing both my love of Broadway musicals and the “Twilight" saga movies.

For a while, during my first month or so away at school, I genuinely thought I'd never make a single friend. And when I finally did, I never thought those friendships would be meaningful or last longer than a semester. But the fact that I have such great connections with you all, the fact that some of my favorite memories took place alongside you, shows me that the universe had plans for me all along.

To my emotionally unstable, emo-music loving, lush-obsessed, musically gifted Cleveland friends who are capable of making me laugh harder than I ever have: words can't describe how thankful I am for you. You made what should have been one of the scariest years of my life, my first year of college, easier than I ever could have done on my own. And more importantly, because of you, I have more people in my life that I know I'll be friends with for years to come.

While we may be apart for the holidays, we'll be back in the same zip code soon enough, and I can't wait for all of the amazing memories we're bound to make this year.

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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To The College Girl Who Doesn't Know Where She Fits In

I'm right there with you, but we will find our place. I promise.

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Finding my place in this great big world hasn't been easy in the slightest. In fact, I am still growing and trying to see where exactly I belong. Coming to college seemed like it would be the perfect time to discover where I fit in, but it's still extremely difficult to find my place. With everything being on my time now, it's hard to find the groups, organizations, or friends that I mesh with the most. While I have friends, both old and new, part of me still doesn't see the bigger picture. Where do I truly fit in?

To you, the person reading this who may feel the exact same way, this is normal.

Not knowing exactly which direction your life is going toward, on top of feeling like you don't quite fit in anywhere yet, sucks to no end. I never really understood why people expressed feeling so lonely in college, but the truth is that it does happen. More time on your hands leads to more time alone with your thoughts, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming. Sometimes you really just want to be home because at least you fit in there. Sometimes you just want to be alone in your room because it feels better that way. Sometimes you feel so alone surrounded by so many loving people who care about you. And that's okay. You're allowed to feel, but don't let those feelings dictate everything you do. Don't fall victim to your thoughts, don't let the loneliness swallow you whole. Because you're not alone.

You don't have to find your place right away. Give it time and I swear it will happen.

I'm a firm believer that everything falls into place just as it should. Not knowing how things are going to work out is scary at times, but it always happens for the best. Go looking for things that interest you, do what makes you incredibly happy, and live without regret. People who see the light in your heart will radiate toward you. We will find our place, and we will look back and wonder why we ever spent so much time worrying about where we fit in. Open your mind to new opportunities and allow yourself to let others in. You have so much talent and worth to offer the world, and it's only a matter of time before you find that one group that recognizes what you have to give.

Express yourself to someone, anyone. I promise there is at least one person willing to listen.

Let people in. Talking out your emotions and thoughts truly does wonders and will help you feel a million times better. It could be a stranger, friend, relative, anyone you think will listen. Let them know that you don't feel as though you have a place in your new surroundings yet. Confessing your worries doesn't make you weak, it shows your strength. Becoming part of something new is scary yet exciting, so it's okay to be slightly worried about the unknown. Trial and error is a good test for most things, so allow yourself a chance to test the waters.

I know not feeling part of anything is brutal on your mental state right now, but I promise there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. You just have to open your heart to new experiences.

Sincerely,

The girl who's in the exact same boat.

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