When I left for college in January of 2017, I didn’t expect to find great friends right away. In fact, coming from a school so small that I’d known everybody since kindergarten, I thought it would be really difficult to find friends who I really loved. Much to my surprise, almost four months later, I’ve never been happier. I’ve found friends who put me first, and I’ve discovered that friendship is something a person is very lucky to find.
They’ve done so much for me, and I know I’ll always be indebted to them. I showed up four months ago from a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota scared and nervous. I met my first real friend, my roommate, on a Sunday. I felt so young. The next night, her sister took us to a party at Boston College. That was my first college party, and I think that’s when Sophie and I really became friends. Everything was easy with her, and we clicked.
The next day, we met our neighbors, Isa and Olivia. They were cool and from Miami. Olivia was so tall and interesting, and she had the best cheekbones. Isa was so friendly, hip, and magnetic, and I think the first time we actually talked she had just come from Trader Joe’s with a yoga matt under her arm. I’m not really sure how our friendship of four came to be, but it was the most natural evolution I can remember.
The Thursday after school began, we went to my first frat party. I was shocked and energized. I could feel it was the beginning of something fantastic, and that my life would be interesting with these three around. All my worries about college melted away when I was with them. Sometimes I think they probably saved me.
We’ve all picked up each other’s personality traits and little sayings. I’ll walk my friends to classes so we can talk more because we never seem to be done talking. And I thought the transition from home to college would be hard, but my friends have kindly given me another home to which I’m excited to return.
Throughout these weird, weird first four months of college, they’ve done so much for me. If you have friends like mine, I’m sure they’ve done variations of these things for you, and I’m sure you’ve done the same for them. If you have a good friend, you’ll know these next lines all too well:
They’ll talk to you on the phone while you’re walking down Comm Ave at two AM crying about a boy who won’t even matter in the morning.
They’ll make your first birthday away from home extra special.
They’ll think of clever responses to boys over text while you scream on the floor out of excitement and nervousness and dread and laughter.
They’ll sacrifice themselves for a selfie that you want to send to a guy.
They’ll hop a fence with you and help you fix your tights after they rip from getting caught in the wiring (Thanks Sophie).
They’ll tell you that zit you’ve been agonizing over is unnoticeable to the naked eye.
They’ll stay up and have random dance parties with you.
They’ll encourage you to see that boy.
Then, if that boy ghosts you, they’ll tell you he never deserved you, and you’ll actually believe them because they’re always right.
And here’s the thing. I would, and have done, the same things for them, and I’ve never questioned it. I’ve learned a lot about friendship within the past few months, and one of the most important lessons is that friendship is about being selfless; however, friendship is also about being selfish. To clarify, I do favors for my friends all the time, but when I need something, I ask selfishly, and they’re there. Sometimes friendship is making your friend a bomb toga when she’s panicking and must be at the party in twenty minutes.
And I want to say this, especially, to all the girls reading: put your friends first. Let boys be an afterthought right now. Because boys come and go with seasons, but your real friends stay all year long and listen. Years from now when I’m old and look back at who I was and who I became, I’ll think of them as the people who introduced me to my new life. Without them, I would be different. And that is worth more than I can ever repay because I love who I am with them.