There are a few things I’ve learned to really appreciate since graduating from high school. For most of us, while we’re still living at home life is simple and if you’re lucky you don’t have to go through any hard lessons. Or if you do, you have the support of your parents and hometown friends.
College is where things get hard. You meet so many new people and you think life couldn’t be better because you have so many new friends. Then…those friends start to fall away. This is normal for your first year. You meet so many there are bound to be some that you just won’t keep up a relationship with. The ones left behind are your support system and your rock when life has turned upside down and you’re not home to rely on those who have known you the longest.
I’ve learned to appreciate and thank my lucky stars for the people I’ve met since coming to OU. They’ve been there for me in my highest and lowest of points and I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.
I am thankful for when they tell me I’m messing up or making a bad decision even if I can’t see it at the moment. On the flip side, I love when they encourage me to maybe do something I wouldn’t on my own. Everyone needs someone to encourage them to step outside their comfort zone. For every late night 7/11 run, spontaneous burrito bowl night, and movie nights that last until the wee hours of the morning there is a memory attached that I’ll hold near and dear long after we all leave and see each other far less frequently.
If you’ve ever seen the show Friends, then hopefully you know that the underlying theme of the show is that in your 20s, and maybe 30s, your friends are your family. My friends here in Norman and the few sprinkled around the state are my family when I’m away from my own. Someone has to be brutally honest with you like a mom would. Someone has to tell the lame, not funny jokes that a dad would. Someone has to pester you like a younger sibling or guide you as an older sibling would.
I’ve also learned that friendship isn’t always easy and empty of disagreements. Like any relationship, people clash but that doesn’t have to mean it’s bad. Opposites attract (or so I hear) but when they do there might be tension. Bringing in new people into my life who I may not completely agree with all the time has broadened my view of the world. My friends (whether they knew it or not) have taught me to be more empathetic. I’m pretty stubborn so kudos to them for getting me to be able to change my mind.
The hardest part about all of this is knowing everything comes to an end and knowing that end is near. I’m not really a sappy person, but leaving friends as great as these will be hard. So here’s to more snow cones, Ted’s setups, and good memories.