Why I'm Grateful for "My Group"

Why I'm Grateful for "My Group"

A letter to my core group of friends.
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Everyone always says that you never talk to your high school friends after you graduate. That may be true, and I wouldn't know because I'm currently a junior in high school. But even if, after June of 2017, I never speak to my group of best friends again, I will always be grateful for them.

In middle school, everyone said the same thing: your group of friends changes when you get to high school. You never talk to your best friends again. And while high school has definitely weeded out the bad friends from my life, it has also been an opportunity for my core group of friends to get closer and to be there for each other no matter what, even if we attend different schools or don't get around to seeing each other as often.

Friendship is something that everyone needs and that every person should value highly in their life. Being a good friend is just as important as having good friends, and we always have to strive to be there for those we hold close and for those we consider our friends, no matter if we've known them since kindergarten or if we met them two months ago. Friends help us to feel included, loved, and like we belong.

I am eternally grateful for my friends. They have helped me through so much in my life, and half of the things they've helped me with, they don't even know about. They've simply been there for me through it all, and they have never once uttered a single word that wasn't in my defense or "on my side". They have given me the stern, honest truth when I'm emotional, and they have been there for me to confide in no matter what. Gender plays no role in whether or not my friends have been there for me; over half of my closest friends are guys, and they have been there for me just as much as the girls. Anyone who says that guys are incapable of being caring shoulders to cry on or trustworthy people to confide in has certainly never met my friends.

So, to my friends, thank you. Thank you for always being there for me and for never ceasing to make me laugh, especially when times are rough and when I just need a pick-me-up. Thank you for laughing with me, not at me, and for helping me to see the light in every situation. Thank you for sticking with me through middle school, through the awkward phases (there were many) and through all the different other "friends" who came along the way. Thank you for always being there to comfort me and love me, and for always knowing what I need and when I need it. I can only hope that I have made some sort of difference in your lives, as you have in mine.

If we never see each other again after high school-- which I hope will not be the case--then I will still be able to tell stories to my college friends about all of our wild adventures and stories that have come along our paths and that we've gotten ourselves into. I will be able to trust those around me with more ease because I will always remember how much I love and trust you. I will be able to tell my kids about my fun high school experiences with you guys and how you made these past three (and on to the next) years enjoyable. Thank you for always being my friends, and for being people I am always proud to call my best friends.

Cover Image Credit: Scoop Empire

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10 Reasons Your Big Sister Is The Best Person In Your Life

"There is no better friend than a sister, and there is no better sister than you."
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As much as I hate to admit it, my big sister might be sort-of, slightly, cooler than I am.

Sometimes. She's the one I call when I can't call mom and the only one in the family who can properly handle my attitude. Big sisters are the people you'd choose if they weren't already family, and here's why.

1. She is your first and truest friend.

Big sisters are (literally) there from day one. They see every dirty diaper, every bad haircut, and every melodramatic breakup. They deal with every bad day and drama queen attitude and still love you in the most unconditional way.

2. Her closet is your closet.

For some reason, her clothes always look better on you. Funny how that works, huh? With a big sister comes a big closet, and who doesn't love having a double wardrobe? I'd also like to take this opportunity to apologize for the clothes I will never give back (but I'm not really that sorry).

3. She knows what it's like to deal with your parents.

Anything you could possibly be going through, they went through it first. It's kind of like having an instruction manual or a key to the future. Either way, it's always nice to have someone who will always understand the struggle.

4. There are no boundaries.

Wanna dance around in your underwear all day? Cool. Life talks while she's on the toilet? Also cool. There's no awkward moments or changing in the bathroom with the door locked. There's just the kind of freedom that only comes with siblings.

5. Thanks to her, you know about all of the cool movies/music/fashion trends from years back.

Thanks to my sister, I have every Too $hort and Ludacris song you could ever think of downloaded on my phone. I've seen every cheesy '90s movie, and when a fad from 10 years ago comes back in, I already have the hookup.

6. She tells you like it is.

We all have those friends who tend to sugarcoat everything. Yeah, sisters don't do that. She's the first person to tell me when I'm making a terrible decision and that I really shouldn't triple text that boy again. She keeps it real with me and deals with my attitude, and that's why she's the best.

7. Her home is always open.

Sometimes you just need to get away from life and binge watch Netflix, and sometimes you need all of that plus your sister. She always has her door open when you're two seconds away from losing your mind, and she also has good takeout and a dog.

8. She knows what you're capable of.

My sister knows exactly who I am and what I can do. She knows when I'm not doing my best, and when I need to be set straight. She's always there to remind me who I am and what I'm capable of accomplishing. She's always been my biggest fan.

9. She's a lot cheaper than therapy.

For some reason, my sister always knows just what to say. Even if I don't see it at the time, she's usually right (don't tell her I said that). Big sisters are like wizards, somehow they always magically make you feel like life's gonna turn out alright in the end. If she wasn't already awesome at everything else, I'd suggest she be a therapist.

10. She will always be your go-to gal.

No matter the situation, she will always be by your side. There is nothing you could say or do to make a big sister leave, and that's why they're the best. Whether it's a speeding ticket, a mean girl or you just need to laugh, big sisters are always going to be there to lift your spirits and set you straight.

I couldn't make it without ya sis, I'm sorry for ratting you out on Thanksgiving that one time, and for running away at the zoo. Thanks for taking me to see Aaron Carter even though he's way too old to still be singing "I want Candy," and thank you always for being the best role model, sister and friend I could ask for.

Cover Image Credit: teaser-trailer.com

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What Rescuing a Dog Taught Me About My Future

She was a real pain to begin with, but I wouldn't give her up for the world now.

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My first dog came from a breeder to us when he was just a puppy. I was in third grade so we were both young together. I remember stepping off of the bus and seeing him curled up in my mom's arms. His breed, a Cavalier King Charles, is a highly sought after dog for their small size and beautiful markings. However, dog breeding can lead to medical complications down the line. Heart murmurs are very frequent as cavaliers get older. When he turned 9 years old, they were already detecting the beginning of a heart murmur in him. But my second dog didn't come to us in quite the same way.

Willow was about a year old. She was rescued from an abusive home where she had to fight for her food from many other dogs. This made her guard resources and distrustful of us. My mom and I begged the rest of our family for the ability to adopt her, and they finally agreed. Being not potty trained, we had to teach her with a lot of positive encouragement when she went pee in the right place (not our carpet). It took her a while to realize that we weren't going to take her food away and she gradually became less resource guarding. She started to trust my other dog more and play with him. A lot of the time, they even snuggle together now.

At the time, I was in my junior year of high school and still thinking about the idea of becoming a veterinarian. She helped me decide to go for it, and now I'm in college and getting ready to apply for veterinary school. Willow has become part of our family, and her funny and unique personality fit right in with us.

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