From Knee Deep to Full Submergence in the Girl Gang

I was attracted to Saint Mike’s for several reasons, one of these being that everyone is inclusive, but seems to be thriving at their own pace and on their own level. It’s small so you get to live out that large fish in a small pond analogy, or I guess that is how I am swimming through these four years. It was hard for me when my friends who I’ve practically known since the womb, the “I showed up early so I let myself in and am chilling with your mom” friends became geographically far-ish friends. I’ve always loved meeting new people and bopping around here and there whilst keeping the social scene fresh. I don’t think a person can ever have “too many” friends, but I do think there's magic in having a close knit group, a core, the ride or dies, if you will. Freshman year I came to school missing my group of girls from home. I remember missing how we all knew each other since the very beginning, what I was like when I was in their company, and what we all liked to do together. Growing up in a small town my friends and I became friends by association. Our small coastal town brought us together and will keep us linked for infinite time. St. Mike’s being a smaller school- my initial thought process was “I want to befriend everyone! Get involved in it all! I I knew I’d meet friends and while I did just that I still wanted to meet THE college friends who’d be the game changers for me. 

On an irrelevant, but relevant note when I was touring colleges I heard many tour guides speak about Greek life, for this is a prominent aspect for larger universities. Most of my friends from home are active sisters in a sorority of some sort. I couldn’t tell you who is in which one, or why they theme parties and plan out eyeliner colors in advance, or any of the hush hush sister secrets, but I am sure if you asked me, I could recite some of their chants. I also think some of their merch is cool and I am trying to cop an alpha phi hat because it’s camo and cool, but more importantly to show that I support. Truth of the matter be… I do support the girl gangs, all of the girls! everywhere! Who runs the world? Girls. Yeah, I am totally all for it. Audrey Hepburn, yup she is my spirit animal. 

This week I remembered a conversation that took place in highschool where everyone at the lab table I-kid-you-not somehow agreed that I would be the last person to throw all my eggs in one basket and join a girl group or posse. Maybe this was because I was that friend who managed to somehow befriend almost everyone and didn’t want to limit myself or miss out on meeting more cool people (the world is full with them!!) Or maybe it was because these girl gangs were stigmatized to a certain type of girly girl that I didn’t fit into. Heck, maybe it was a combo of both reasons. I always have my share of guy friends in my corner in addition to my girl friends and I see value in this. I love my guy pals and my gal pals equally, but in very different ways. The idea of being in a girl gang(s)… I’ll admit… nervous swallows… intimidated me. Intimidated is past tense. It took me a while to not feel like the odd one out. What do I mean by this? Well I am not like most girls, or atleast most of the girls I am friends or am friendly with. I never have been. I didn’t really realize this until I got to college, where I had to start from square 1 and meet new friends. I falsely thought that the friends for me must be the ones really similar to me. I didn’t know who I would mesh well with. 

(some of my faves)

I like to wear adidas 3 stripe sweatpants out on Friday and Saturday nights and I prefer a cold beer over the box wine. I don’t love getting dolled up, I prefer the dress for comfort vibe. I can chat the tea, but some conversation topics are just too spicey or caffeinated for my liking, if you know what I mean. I love the stereotypical Nicholas Sparks films, seen them all… some even four times through. I like pretty flowers and pinterest and avocado toast and online shopping, but I don’t fancy shopping trips to Sephora and Victoria’s Secret and I can go without the iced vanilla grande latte and purse carrying. 

 

Most importantly I have come to learn that while I was feeling like the odd one out because I didn’t fancy some of things my friends do or like, none of them ever cared about any of this trivial nonsense-especially not how I dressed or that I have different hobbies and interests. It was all in my head and they have helped me learn that different is good and variety is fun. While I can’t say I care to “catch up with the Kardashians,” I love to catch up with my girls. To my surprise my college core holds a great variety of people that I am lucky enough to call my friends, every friend being unique from the others.

 

I am definitely a little late to the girl gang bus, but luckily it’s one that never runs out of seats. Prior to coming to college I would have never called my home friends my “sisters” because it seemed cheesey, but now I realize I have a bunch of sisters. My sisters from the Swamp. And, of course my sisters from smikes, some of who use the word “sister” at least three times a day and tell me things like you need 8 hugs a day… who knew? Definitely not me. 

(5/8 of my “women of the hour” featured in this pic)

 

Shoutout to my mountain mama’s squad & to my smike's sisters aka my women of the hour!!

 

I think it’s key to remember that you are as good as the company you keep. Lucky for me I’m with the best of company while at home and up here in VT.

 

Group hug later? lmk

Gabby