I dealt with a lot of drama growing up. I was best friends with a girl from preschool all the way up until my sophomore year of high school. She was my sister, my ride-or-die, and the only person I trusted with my entire life. However, it was a toxic relationship; she constantly made me feel bad about myself, started petty arguments, stole the boys I liked with no shame, and would always get jealous if I hung out with other people. On top of that, her cousin, the other girl she considered her best friend, absolutely hated me. Needless to say, it was a relationship that I was better off without. I know I should’ve moved on from her sooner, but it was an extremely difficult thing to do given how long she had been my friend. Plus, most of the other people I considered my friends, I was only friends with because of her.
Leaving her behind was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself, although it was hard at first. I had no other friends at school, and being the popular girl she was, my ex best-friend was trying to make other people not want to be my friend. I struggled with depression and cried to my dad all the time about how I had no friends and I didn’t want to be at school. He would wipe my tears and tell me, “You only have a couple years of high school left ahead of you. You’ll make new friends, but after that, you’re off to college; you’ll meet your real friends there.” I hated hearing that. What if I didn’t make friends in college? I couldn’t even make friends in high school. But then I did. My cousin began dating a girl my junior year of high school, and I became friends with her. She became my next best friend. After a year of being friends, we had a fall out. There was just too much drama between us. Then during my senior year, at a point in my life when I realized I didn’t have anybody, I reached out to her and we became friends again. However, it wasn’t the ideal friendship. I constantly felt like I was putting way more effort into us than she was. I had more friends at school, as I was doing early college and made more friends there, but I only ever hung out with them there. There were only two girls in my life who I actually spent my free time with. That’s one of the main reasons I left my home state for college; as skeptical as I was to leave my two friends behind and take such a large risk, I had faith in my dad’s advice.
My dad also told me many times growing up that I may hate the advice he gives me, but I’ll realize one day that he was right. And, well, he was right. I picked a random for my roommate (I purposely picked a college where nobody I knew was going) and crossed my fingers I would like her. We seemed to hit it off pretty well; she didn’t know anyone either, so we were in the same boat together with trying to get comfortable and make friends. We made friends with two other girls on our floor, and within a couple of days of being in school, we asked a group of guys who were playing cards in our study room if we could join them. Next thing we know, we had a group chat with everyone in it and we all hung out almost every day. In just one semester, we create a family. I went home twice this semester, and both times I couldn’t wait to go back to school so that I could be with my friends again.
There are many different reasons why I say these people are my family, but there’s a few that really stick out. I got sick the second weekend I was here. I just had no energy, my whole body hurt, and I was exhausted for no reason. I bailed on my friends and just laid in bed all day, alternating between sleeping and trying to get some homework done. One of my friends came in to check on me, and next thing I knew he had convinced me to go with him to get food because I hadn’t had the energy to go eat all day and he could hear my stomach growling. That’s when I knew someone really had my back.
Though that was just a story of one of my friends, they’re all here for me when I need them. One time my tire popped at a gas station at night. I was freaking out because I had never changed a tire before. I texted the group chat and asked if I should go in and ask for help or try to do it on my own through the help of a YouTube video. Next thing I knew, my friend checked my location and found a ride to come help me out. I was so happy, I wanted to cry.
All of my college friends are amazing. Every single one of them is there for me when I need someone to talk to, someone to hang out with me, or literally anything else I could possibly need. I’m especially grateful for my roommate. She went from a randomly assigned girl in my room, to someone I consider my sister. We do a lot together. In the beginning of the semester, we did things together because we didn’t know anyone else. Now we try to match up our schedules to do fun things together, including grabbing food, going shopping, or having a movie night. I’ve never even done a face mask before I met her, but now she has me hooked. I always wanted a sister growing up, someone to tell everything to, share clothes with, and take hilarious candid Snapchats of. I have all of that with her, and more. She’s witnessed me have breakdowns in our room before, and she always asks what she can do to help. Whenever I have a rough day or week, she always takes extra time to make me feel better.
So as much as I hate to admit it, my dad was 100% right. I love and miss my friends from home, but I absolutely love what I have here. I’m even getting an apartment with my friends next year. I’m so glad I chose UMaine because I never would have met my real friends.