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Riley and Nolan – A UP Bromance

Meet Riley Walsh and Nolan Ripple, both seniors at UP, lax stars and best buds. Since freshman year, these fun-loving guys have spent quite a bit of time together, resulting in what can only be called, a bromance. Here, they reflect on their last 4 years at UP and what graduation will mean for their relationship.

Ok, let’s start off with the basics: How did you two meet? 

Nolan: Riley and I met awkwardly at freshman year move-in.  We both wielded our lax spoons while our Dad’s helped us move the rest of our stuff in.  As we intersected outside the doors of Schoenfeldt, I knew I had a bro in the making.  Riley was outgoing, sociable, and “seemingly” athletic.  Our dad’s also hit it off immediately, as they learned that they had gone to the same college (Saint Mary’s College of California) and reminisced of their glory days. This initial encounter started off the bromance. 

Riley: Nolan was actually the first person that I met at UP. I was moving into Schoenfeldt and Nolan’s dad yelled “Does anyone here play lacrosse?!” Trying to be super cool like all incoming freshmen do, I didn’t say anything. However, my dad was not interested in how cool I looked and responded by yelling “My son does!” We walked towards Nolan and his dad and introduced ourselves and Nolan and I exchanged phone numbers.
Was it bromance at first sight? 
Nolan: Absolutely. Riley’s luscious locks, bronzed Californian skin, and swagger made him an instant bro. Being a Niner fan was icing on the cake.
Riley: We initially bonded over lacrosse and our friendship developed over the year during our time walking to and from practice. We also bonded over the fact that we are both 49ers fans living in Seahawks territory.
Best college memory together?
Nolan: The best college memory has to be the time when Riley and I took a road trip down to Tahoe over spring break of Junior year.  This was the epitome of a BROtrip, as we shoved our faces with high carb/high sugar foods, went snowboarding at the mountain, hung out and watched movies, and may or may not have made a beer throne on the porch.
Riley: My top college memory of Nolan and I together would be when Nolan assisted me on the game-winning goal in overtime over Western Washington University. It was our biggest game of the year and at the end of a huge comeback. It couldn’t have ended better in my opinion.
Worst college memory together? 
Nolan: Lots of them.  But the worst has to be when we watched our 49ers lose to the Ravens in the Super Bowl.  I remember both being extremely deflated about the loss, and then I had to do inebriated calculus later that night.
Riley: I can’t think of any bad memories with Nolan. Maybe the honeymoon isn’t over. The only argument that we ever have is over who hates the Seahawks more.
What does your perfect bro night with each other look like?
Nolan: Honestly, the perfect night consists of lots of sports and food. The order doesn’t really matter either.  It would also be fun to integrate some late-night karaoke because that would bring us to a whole new level.
Riley: My perfect night out would be going to a pub, getting some burgers and fries and a couple of beers and watching the 49ers beat whoever they are playing and talking sports.
Misconceptions people might have about your relationship?
Nolan: People think we’re only a mild bromance. WRONG. This is the quintessential definition of bromance.
Riley: My girlfriend, Nicole, thinks the most common misconception would be that we are actually going out and our bond runs deeper than bromance.
Do your housemates ever get jealous of how close you are? 
Nolan: It’s kind of like the zoo actually.  A parent tells their child that they may only look at the animals, but cannot touch.  Then the child cries because the animals are super cute, fuzzy, and they want to feel them.  In a similar way,  the housemates want to include themselves in the bromance, but frequently I have to enforce the rules and restrict to simply “observing from afar.”
Riley: No, I don’t think they do. All of us each have friends that we have bromances with and we all are really tight. My roommates and Nolan are very close, so they enjoy spending time with him.
You are both graduating in May. How is this going to change your relationship?
Nolan:  I’ll be going to physical therapy school and Riley will be looking for a job. But, we are both committed to distance if that’s what has to happen!
Riley: The most obvious affect of us graduating is that we won’t live within a block of each other, but I think we will still remain close and stay updated on each other’s lives. Hopefully, we can be groomsmen for each other when one of us gets married.
Riley, how does your girlfriend feel about your bromance?
Nolan: From my perspective, she has finally reached the “acceptance stage” of the Kubler-Ross Model of grief.  She has gone through denial, anger, bargaining, and depression over the last few years.  
Riley: Nicole and Nolan are close friends that enjoy spending time together which is great! There is a constant joke about them fighting over me which I think is extremely funny.
What song best describes your relationship? 
Nolan: “I Would Walk 500 Miles” by The Proclaimers
Riley: The song that best describes our relationship is “Come To My Party” by Con Bro Chill. It’s a song written by a goofy lacrosse player about having fun with all his bros and not caring what people think, which Nolan and I are great at.
_______ makes me better, because _________________.
Nolan: Riley makes me better, because he’s always got my back.
Riley: Nolan makes me better, because he is able to keep me sane if I’m stressed out, whether it is with school, a fight with another friend or my family or in lacrosse.
I appreciate ___________ because ______________.
Nolan: I appreciate Riley because he manages a love triangle with his girlfriend and myself.  I like to think that I entertain the super-majority though (sorry Nicole!)
Riley: I appreciate Nolan because he is also someone I can talk to about anything in the world no matter how big or small and have his full attention.
Last thoughts?
Nolan: I gave Riley’s number out on the Justin Bieber instagram last week, and now he has 9 to eleven-year-old girls texting him, thinking he’s the Biebs. This is what our relationship looks like 50% of the time, all the time.


Hanna attends the University of Portland and is studying Marketing with a minor in Communication Studies. Getting lost, adventuring in the Pearl on a cloudy afternoon and eventually ending up in a local coffee shop are some of Hanna’s greatest pleasures in life. Hanna hopes to pursue a career in public relations upon graduation and plans to adopt the “City of Roses” as her new home. She is an avid writer and loves spending time with her favorite American authors, Ernest Hemingway and Kurt Vonnegut, with a good cup of coffee and a cozy blanket. Hanna is the Campus Correspondent and Editor-In-Chief for Her Campus Portland.
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