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My first semester at Penn State taught me a lot. As a sophomore, it is safe to say I have mastered the social, academic (at times), and extracurricular scene. While I may have it all down now, there was a time when I was nowhere close to being this confident. There is one person who got me through it all. Although we may not be friends anymore, I remember the semester we were attached at the hip, navigating it all for the first time. For better or worse, we’ve gone down separate paths, but I’m still so grateful for the times we’ve shared.

I’ve always been told I’m a social butterfly, but when I first got here, I wasn’t exactly able to instantly find those lifelong friends everyone says you’ll make in college. I was patient. I didn’t desperately try to conform and find a group for the sake of it. It feels like I went months without you before we met, but in reality, we met a week into school. I was hesitant at first because I wasn’t going to throw myself into a meaningless friendship if there was no real connection. After our first night together attempting to get into the frats and failing miserably, we sort of just…got each other.

Slowly we began to hangout more and more. Whenever I needed something, all I had to do was walk up two flights of stairs. Soon, those quick trips upstairs for a piece of tape or some Advil would unintentionally become hours long. We would talk on and on about things I didn’t even know I cared about. I opened up to you about those moments in high school that shaped me, or the small ones I always thought I’d leave in the past. You made it okay to spend a night in every once in a while. A night to order Insomnia and talk about how stressful our weeks were. We had a group but it was you and I always at the end of the day. Investing all my time in our friendship made me so happy, it made it so easy to get by because at least I had you 

Then second semester came. Our schedules were different, I joined a sorority and you visited home more. Something changed. On the surface we were so similar, but suddenly, our attitudes changed. Spending every spare moment with you was different. There was less to say, so many less trips up and down those two flights of stairs.

Despite the distance created between us you made me realize amazing things about myself and I thank you for that. I learned what type of person I was, and how maybe our strengths just weren’t compatible. But the thing was, there were more people out there like me. Having one friend guided me in so many ways. I saw our strengths and weaknesses as a pair and on our own. There was never a falling out or one big fight…it just happened.

There are certain times I still want to text you just to make fun of a professor or talk about the guy I talked to at a party that one time. But I don’t. It seems crazy to me that once we were so inseparable and now we’re strangers. So I wish the best to you. I hope you’ve found your people, the ones who give you what I couldn’t. Thank you for making my first few months in this crazy place the most fun and unforgettable times of my life. Thank you.

Katie Hinkle is currently a sophomore at Penn State studying Public Relations. She is actively involved in Greek life on campus as well as Penn State THON. In her spare time, she also works part time as a photographer and enjoys participating in local community service.
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