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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

A week before this semester started, I received an email that I would be doing clinical experience for my education major at Salamanca High School. While I was excited to start teaching and was thankful that I only had a twenty-five minute drive each morning to school, what made me smile most was the fact that three of my friends were on the same email. We were the only four placed at Salamanca, and whatever odds we had, they were most definitely in our favor. I truly cannot imagine this semester without the three of them, and while I know I would have been happy anywhere and carpooling with anyone, these people really made me smile the most at seven in the morning – even when none of us wanted to be there. 

Cassy, Carter and Aidan, here’s my love letter to you and our semester as Salamanca Warriors.

The first few weeks of clinical were a little rough; we were unfamiliar with our cooperating teachers and all of our students, and the days felt long and incredibly exhausting. I remember walking out of school on the first day and all four of us had visibly-heavy eyes and we barely spoke because we were too tired to talk. To be very honest, I was doubting my ability to get through the semester at this point. I simply did not believe that I had the energy or willpower to get through every school day, let alone take classes on top of that. 

I distinctly remember Carter telling us all that we could do this, as long as we leaned on each other. As cheesy as that sounds, I truly believe that he could not have been more right. On days where one of us was getting observed, we would all rally behind each other, sending encouraging texts throughout the day, giving hugs and high-fives after a successful lesson and playing great music with the windows rolled down all the way home to celebrate. When the day was over, we told funny stories about our classes and laughed in excitement that we had had another great day as teachers. We even got up extra early on Aidan’s birthday so that we could get breakfast together before school!

My favorite memory from this semester came from one of our many early morning car rides together. Aidan (in my opinion) plays the best music for each trip, and this particular time he was playing “The End of Beginning” by Djo. None of us were speaking, and I was looking out the window as we drove through the mountains and the sun was rising. The sky was a canvas of pinks and purples and the music was playing softly in the background as we all just admired the peace in the car. Make fun of me all you want, but this image plays through my head every single time we make the drive to school now. 

As we got in the car for our last day, we did not do anything special. But we didn’t need to. We piled in my car, chatted about what we would do on this final day, everyone wished me good luck on my observation, and we were off to our classrooms. Halfway through the day, I caught a glimpse of Aidan in his room, which coincidentally was right across from mine, and he gave me a thumbs up and thumbs down, asking me how my lesson had gone. I smiled and returned a thumbs up, thankful to have someone care enough to ask, and went back to my students. 

By the end of the day, all three of them were waiting outside my room and we walked to my car together. Cassy had brought candy for all her kids and was more than happy to share her leftovers with us, which I definitely took advantage of. I queued up “Red Wine Supernova” by Chappell Roan, a personal favorite of ours, and we drove through the mountains just like always. 

While I won’t miss the early mornings, I do have to admit, I’ll miss driving with them. We were able to grow together as teachers in our first experiences in classrooms and cheer each other up on days we were especially down or unmotivated. They became my rocks this semester – something I’ll be forever grateful for.

So, thanks guys. We did it. This semester was tough, but you all made it slightly more bearable. Go Warriors.

Riley Connors is a new member of the St. Bonaventure chapter of Her Campus and plans to write about college, careers, movies and just about anything that comes to her mind that week. She is a junior Adolescent Education and English double major. Outside of Her Campus, Riley is a member of the SBU Dance Team and is a part of SBU College Democrats. She also has a radio show with her roommates on St. Bonaventure's radio station, WSBU-FM. In her free time, Riley enjoys hanging out with her friends and girlfriend, spending time outside in the sun and listening to any song by Boygenius, Hozier or Lizzy McAlpine. She cherishes her time spent at home with her family and dog but loves her St. Bonaventure family that she has created in her three years of college.