Why I'll Always Appreciate My Friends From College

Why I'll Always Appreciate My Friends From College

You will forever be indebted to the relationships you built in college.

Dartmouth has this way of taking an image you once thought was crystal clear and making it blurry. I know I’m blind, so arguably my picture has always been a little blurry, but I am for sure not the only student at Dartmouth that all too often loses sight of what is really important and the core character traits that comprise that picture. Dartmouth students always seem to have on this façade that everything is picturesque, when in reality most are just trying to piece together their life in a way that has at least some resemblance of clarity. College is a really interesting time because, while on the surface it’s about getting an education, it is arguably, more so, about personal growth and exploration. It is a time to crash through the expectations you thought were set in stone, and a time to push the limits so much that inevitably you will end up flat on your face. No one likes the uncertainty of that blurry picture, because that uncertainty comes with a crippling fear of failure that all Dartmouth students are petrified to face.

The only way to conquer fear is to tackle it head on. At some point in college every student will experience it, that moment when there doesn’t even seem to be an image anymore, let alone a perfect picture of clarity. And in that defining moment instead of having your family to help refocus, there are only those relationships built at school for you to fall back on. College relationships are so unique because falling is unavoidable and students rely solely on their friends to help clear up the picture.

I seriously could not have gotten through my first two years at Dartmouth without the amazing group of people I am lucky enough to call my friends. There are so many great opportunities at Dartmouth, but what can often be overshadowed is the opportunity to surround yourself with people who challenge you to be the best version of yourself. The people who make the picture clear yet always make you question if the resolution could be better. These are the people who will undoubtedly make a positive impact on the world; passion spills out of them and their enthusiasm makes you passionate too.

It is scary to think about where everyone will be in five or 10 years down the road. Even throughout college relationships are always changing. Undoubtedly there probably won’t be a time in your life when you are as close to your friends as you are in college. While losing touch is a scary thought, regardless of proximity you will forever be indebted to the relationships you built in college because those are the people that got you through a crucial building block in your life, a time where you had to figure out what that picture meant to you and unavoidably the people around you had a say in that. When I started at Dartmouth my picture was for sure a little blurry. At first I just thought that was because I’m blind and things are hard to see, but I’ve realized the people I surround myself with at school have shown me successful relationships are as important, if not more, than success defined by Dartmouth standards.

Cover Image Credit: Adam Couitt

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To My Best Friend, We Can't Be Separated By Time Or Distance

Thank God I never have to experience that.

To my best friend:

We were seven years old when my family moved into your neighborhood. You and your mom brought over a dessert to welcome us; we were both intrigued by each other, itching to know more. From the first moment I met you I wanted to be your friend, and eleven years later I'm so glad I was.

Summer after sixth grade I mysteriously left. I didn't get to say goodbye, I wasn't expecting it, and I wouldn't be close to you. You were there for all my good, and all my bad, you were without a doubt my best friend.

I'm not going to lie, keeping up a friendship where we only saw each other once every three years was hard. BUT MAN, it's so worth it. Every birthday text, or random I miss you. The random love, or the reminiscing. There's nothing that compares.

Your family is my family, and I'd never trade them for the world. Even when we're all broken and messy, I wouldn't change a thing. Your tears are my tears, your victories are my victories. My failures are yours, and my pain aches through you. You're the best friend who gushes over my love life, and never judges.

Some points in our friendship were definitely easier than others. Holding you as we sobbed into each other's arms uncontrollably was not easy, but if I only knew the time it was going to be until I saw you again. Sometimes I doubted whether I'd hold the same place in your heart. We didn't have much to share except for memories. I wasn't there every day, yet every time I saw you again we picked back up like it was nothing.

As if I never left.

You're my best friend through it all. You're my encouragement, my rock, and the one I will always call on. You will be my maid of honor, and we will become doctors together. Our kids will play together as we reminisce while drinking wine. We will laugh through the good, and cry through the bad.

You're my best friend. No matter what, you will always have me. No matter the distance, no matter the season, you will always have a place in my heart. Life without you sucks, and I thank God I never have to experience that. Thank you for the last eleven years of friendship, here's to at least eighty more.

Cover Image Credit: Sarah Stofel

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An Open Letter To The Friends I Made While Studying Abroad

We are a family now.

Dear Family,

I am writing this from my home in East Lansing, while watching snow fall outside my window – and that makes me sad because it means that I am not walking the sunny streets of Barcelona with all of you. There are very few things I wouldn’t do to be back there again, touring the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and then heading to Madrid for some Spanish cider and chocolate con churros.

I was intimated to go to Spain with a group of people I didn’t know. After having only seen your faces four times before we boarded that 10-hour flight together, I was anxious – to say the least – about what the next week was going to hold. But meeting you all, as we sat at our gate and discussed that night’s plans, reassured me that the trip would be one of the best of my life.

We made some pretty odd memories together. From getting drenched in Toledo, to reuniting Marlin and Nemo at Espit Chupitos, to crying while giving toasts at dinner – our adventures in Spain will be some I will never forget.

Spain is an amazing country; the culture is entertaining, the architecture is spectacular, the history is strong. But Spain would not have been the same without all of you.

I want to thank you all for existing. Our little group – Mi Sagrada Familia – made Spain that much more beautiful. Getting to experience everything with you, to share in each excursion and have people to laugh with, made the journey that much better. I am so grateful to have met each one of you, to have gotten to know you personally, and to share with you each of you a piece of myself. It was an honor to be a part of our little family.

Now that we are back home, know that nothing has changed. I still want to hear about your lives, laugh about your failures and your poor decisions, applaud your successes, and videotape those moments that you may (or may not) want to remember years from now. I want our little family to remain close. We need each other now, more than ever, because reality in East Lansing is so much more painful than in Spain.

I raise a glass of cava to each one of you and your amazing personalities. You are wonderful human beings who deserve the whole world. Thank you for making my study abroad that much more impactful. You are some of the best friends a girl could ask for.

I look forward to our next journey – whether it be to Prague, or to speak English in an Italian accent at that couple’s wedding, or to visit our favorite tour guide in The Netherlands. Wherever we go, and whatever we do, I know that the time spent with all of you will be an adventure of a lifetime.

Know that I will think of you every time I hear "God's Plan" come on the radio, or smell garlic, or call sunglasses 'Sunnys.'

With all of my love,


Cover Image Credit: Allia McDowell

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