As the semester is coming to an end, it is with a heavy heart that I write my final article for this season. But- I will be back in the Fall as the Roger Williams Campus Coordinator and Editor in Chief! With all of this being said, the last article I will be writing is all about what I have learned thus far, and they are all things that I wish I had known sooner, that I will be passing on to you to hopefully help you out on your journey through life.
My freshman year I barged into a room looking for someone, but instead, I came face to face with this tall blonde girl who I never imagined to be friends with. Now, as I end my junior year, she is one of the greatest best friends I have ever had. She taught me lessons that I will remember forever, and will only benefit anyone who reads them. Aside from teaching me that you can’t use an eyeshadow brush to also apply blush, she also taught me these next five lessons that you should pay close attention to.
Number one, they know when you view their LinkedIn profile. Yup. If you knew that, good for you… but I did not. The amount of people I probably scared off because they saw a notification saying “Emily Marshall viewed your profile” is probably very high. So if you fall under that category, I’m sorry, I didn’t know. She told me so many times and I didn’t believe her until I became more active on the site and saw that an acquaintance viewed mine.
I often find myself sad or discouraged because I realized that someone may not have been who I thought they were. I was heartbroken from this, by all kinds of relationships, too many times, and it took me a long time to believe her when she said that “even though you’re a good person, you can’t expect everyone to be a good person back.” It wasn’t until this spring semester of my junior year that I finally realized how true that really was. I lost faith in all kinds of people over time, and in the moment of each loss I was so sad I thought the world was going to end. But I realize now that I truly do get back what I put out. All of the people that I lost weren’t people that I needed in my life because deep down they weren’t like me; and eventually their true colors showed.
You cannot go forward if you compare yourself to people around you. It took me four semesters to learn this. It didn’t take me as long as it took others, but it took long enough to see how true this lesson is. Before college, I went to a small private K-8 school where I could count the only boys that I had ever gone to school with before college on two hands, and then I went to an all girls school. I never had anything to worry about when it came to making connections and new friends because of my small familiar circles. Then, I came to college and I started to lose myself because I tried to be like other people that I surrounded myself with- I made a bad decision doing this- and I believe it truly held me back from achieving all that I could have done if I didn’t waste time comparing myself to them. Once my friend and I stopped trying to be like the people around us and compare ourselves to them, overtime we saw a gradual improvement in ourselves. Our conversations stopped being about other people and they started to be about our futures and moving forward after college. Goals became more clear and the old conversations and hobbies became a blur in the background that has not been missed.
I never had to worry about losing friends. Before college I really didn’t experience any true losses, and if I had friends that I wasn’t friends with anymore- it was never for any serious reason, we just grew apart. When I came to college, I started to see and feel serious loss. Deaths, a breakup, and ending friendships with best friends. With each goodbye that was said, (and I hate goodbyes, hate hate hate, hate hate hate, double hate, loathe entirely) I noticed the people that were always there for me during each parting, even if I wanted to shut them out. Looking back, I realized that I would have never gotten this far without those people that stuck around and were always there. Through her stubborn presence and desire to always make sure her friends are happy, that same friend taught me that you can’t go through life alone, no matter how badly you want to.
It is very okay to be yourself. I’ll admit it, I’m a nerd. I am convinced if I believe it enough I will successfully do a spell from Harry Potter, graph paper is my favorite kind of paper, I love pi, showtunes, I love to pray, Cephalopods are the coolest organisms, I’d rather read the book than watching the movie, and flashcards are one of my favorite hobbies. As opposite as my friend and I are, she still answers all of my facetimes and will still hang out with me (in public too!) even if I say Sheldon-like comments. These differences are overlooked and our similarities are even stronger when we are together. One of our strongest similarities is that when it comes to each other we have an increasingly high ignorance to judgement. We listen to each other and don’t show signs of disapproval, secrets are always safe, our minds are always open to the other, and we’re always on each other’s side. Being yourself will transcend differences and will point you towards the right people, so don’t try to change yourself for the approval of others.
It is my most sincere wish to everyone reading this that you find yourself a friend like the one that I have written about today. Someone who teaches you how to be a better person, who makes sure that you feel important, who always has your back, and who gives you tips and advice to help you sail through the ups and downs of life. If you’ve already found yourself one, don’t let them go, because I promise you that if you do you will regret it.