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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Berkeley chapter.

My first fall semester of college was a tumultuous time, as I’m sure is true for many. I had the quintessential college break up, gained and then lost a best friend, and spent a lot of lonely nights in my dorm room. At the time it all happened, the raw emotions and intensity of it all occurring at once consumed me. But as I moved away from that moment in time, the pain that stuck with me was more…philosophical.

How is it that someone can go from knowing every part of you, every secret, quirk, and flaw, to regarding you as an acquaintance or stranger? That the same person who might sit by your side in the hospital one summer could decide to essentially never see you again one month later? And why are we then expected to start the entire process over again, the awkward flattery, vulnerability, conflict, everything with someone new?

I think Taylor Swift said it best when she wrote, “all we are is skin and bone, trained to get along” (“Treacherous,” Red). The entire world is a tapestry of people weaving in and out of each other’s lives, for a few seconds, months, years, and sometimes a lifetime.

I don’t know what to make of all these thoughts, and I’m not sure you will either. Though this contemplation led me to heartbreak at one point, my biggest takeaway is that there is no time to waste on being anything but yourself. To let every part of your unique personality soar, even those you think are flawed.

There are pictures of people on my wall who I probably talk to about once a month, yet would still open my door to in a heartbeat. There’s one of a person I once shared every free moment with, who has become a version I don’t recognize, that I don’t know if I will ever talk to or see again. There are pictures of people who have passed on but live forever in my heart. But the overwhelming majority are moments with those who love me for every part of me and continue to stand by my side through every up and down.

I hope you, too, can surround yourself with those kinds of people.

Penelope is a second-year Comparative Literature/Theatre and Performance studies Undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley. She currently serves as a Digital Editor for Berkeley’s Her Campus chapter. Having experience with writing, design, performance, and communications, Penelope hopes to merge her creative pursuits and expand accessibility and representation in the artistic world. She enjoys writing articles about emotional experiences/milestones, pop culture, and Jewish life; she also has a newly-discovered passion for reading and editing others’ writing. She is looking towards publishing, nonprofit, or media/film work following graduation. Apart from her studies, she loves to play music (especially in Cal Band!), watch rom-coms and sitcoms, immerse herself in books and creative activities, and enjoy good meals with friends.