If I was to give one piece of advice to anyone coming into college for the first time, it would be to make one really good best friend. In the years leading up to my departure to college, I had this idea in my head that I’d meet a ton of new people and make a shit ton of new friends in my new life. I remember my senior year, when dreaming of that wonderful place called college land, I told my best friend in high school I knew I’d make, at the very least, fifty friends. Little did I know, that wouldn’t be the case. For a lot of people in college, they find it unexpectedly difficult to meet people and make long, lasting friendships with their peers. This in part due to college “oneness”, or the feeling of being one fish and a very large pond while struggling to maintain that state of being an independent. For me, my pond was a rather very large ocean with over 20,000 fish and I was swimming in it. I tried clubs, joining a sorority, everything. Everyone seemed to always be doing their own thing in college and had no interest in maintaining a friendship outside of loose chitchat in lecture halls or social gatherings. Unlike the dream I had of my thousands of college friendships, I ended up with a very small number of close friends who I could now call my sisters.
I’ve always said, you go to college to find your bridesmaids, not your husband. The friendships you make in college are the ones you should hold on to and cherish more than anything. College is a place where you are discovering who you truly are, and the friends you make during this time are more important than you could imagine. Now is the time to make those mistakes you’ll regret a year or two from now, and if your friends are still there after that time you ran half-naked across the intramural fields, then you know they are your friends for life.
The truth is, you can’t do this alone. In order to thrive and blossom in college, you need a strong support system. You need to lay the foundation for a strong and vibrant friendship that can push you through finals week, stay up with you all night studying flashcards, and be your shoulder to cry on when that upperclassman boy finds another girl. College is going to be the first hardest fight you’ve ever had to face. It’s going to kick your ass. It’s going to leave you feeling battered and broken. But it’s going to be an amazing ride. You’re going to meet so many people who are going to mold you, shape you, and give you strength. And if you can find those people who love you for all your faults and all of your weaknesses, who see only potential and magnificent beauty in you, then you’re already half way there. Hold on to them, love them, and thank them.
1. Thank you for being my partner in crime.
In just a few short months, we’ve basically become the actual definition of “sisters from other misters”. It’s like something in the universe drew us together like magnets because we were supposed to find one another. You accepted my weirdness, you loved me for all of my quirks, you always stood by my side no matter what, and for that I couldn’t be more grateful.
2. Thank you for taking time out of your day to be interested in mine.
I know you’re probably sick of hearing the same story about the same guy every single day for the past few months, but you listen. At least you pretend to. Thank you for staying up all night to hear me out about this guy or that guy or how much I hate a class. Thank you for having an interest in my life and for actually caring about what I have to say.
3. Thank you for showing me my worth as a woman.
I’ll never forget those nights we’ve spent lying on the scratchy carpets of the residence hall, crying over some guy who didn’t love us back, listening to Hozier. Who found someone more interesting, with bigger tits, or a prettier face. Thank you for reminding me not to define my worth on the attention of a man. Thank you for reminding me that I am strong, I am independent, and I am worthy of everything and all of the love in the universe. Thank you for for not letting me fall to deep and for picking me up after every heartbreak.
4. Thank you for being unapologetically honest no matter what.
If it wasn’t for you, I would have gone to class with my entire ass and jellybean underwear showing through my leggings. That’s why I love you. Thank you for telling me everything straight up and for always being open and honest with me.
5. Thank you for not judging me and for being there with me as I make bad decisions.
I know some of the things I do are questionable. Thank you for not thinking I’m a weirdo. Thank you for not judging me when I thought about having sex with that guy that one time. Instead of thinking I was a freak or hitting me, you made sure I was ready and asked what kind of lingerie I was going to wear and then we both laughed about it for an hour. Thank you for letting me use your shaving cream, so I wouldn’t leave without silky dolphin legs. Thank you for not judging me after all of the stuff I tell you, like how I loved the feeling after drinking too much Bacardi or how I had that thing with that guy that one night. Thank you for sharing this weird, crazy, messed up experience with me and for giving me Tylenol when I experience my first hangover.
6. Thank you for daily pep talks.
Whether it be before a huge exam, or before a hot date, thank you for always pumping me up and keeping me in check.
7. Thank you for always being up for food.
No matter what time of day, or what you’re doing, thank you for always being up to grabbing food with me. Whether it be 7 p.m. and a not-so-delicious dinner at PCB or ordering a pizza at midnight, or calling in some Insomnia Cookies at three a.m, you’re always game for food.
8. Thank you for taking road trips with me.
Thank you for always being cool with going on random, spontaneous road trips and for helping me navigate the GPS that can’t seem to stay on my car dashboard.
9. Thank you for always accepting me the way I am.
There’s a lot of pressure today to be perfect in all aspects of life. Thank you for always reminding how utterly boring the word ‘pretty’ is. Instead, we shouldn’t strive to be just perfectly pretty, but rather ‘pretty amazing’, ‘pretty talented’ and ‘pretty smart’. Thank you for always always always loving me and accepting me for the way I am. Thank you for not making fun of me when I’m stretched out in pajamas with no bra or makeup on. Thank you for showing me that it’s okay to be totally and completely vulnerable. Thank you for making me feel comfortable in my own skin and for reassuring me that I am and always will be beautiful, and life is beautiful, and everything will be okay.
10. Thank you for showing me there’s nothing I can’t do.
Thank you for encouraging me everyday to do everything I ever wanted to do. Thank you for encouraging me to apply for that study abroad program in some foreign country or that internship nobody thought I’d get. Thank you for showing me how to live with a full, loving heart. Thank you for keeping me sane during exams, breakups, hookups, crazy nights, and pillow fights. Thank you for listening to me ramble and being my designated crying buddy and drinking pal. Thank you for being my other half. Thank you for making this huge college not seem so big after all. Thank you for being my lifevest when I felt like I was sinking in this giant ocean called college.