Second Year Problems: My Best Friend Is Graduating And This Is How I'm Coping

I came to UCLA nearly two years ago as a scared and overwhelmed freshman with expectations higher than the pile of clothes on my move-in cart. I can tell you with great certainty that I had no idea what I was doing. That is, until I met the kind and brilliant Dylan, a transfer who was also new to UCLA. He was confident, adventurous and friendly to every soul who had the pleasure of meeting him. Dylan was a true star and king. He introduced me to the 18+ ~clubbing~ scene, watched cheesy kid movies with me (i.e. How To Train Your Dragon 3), and had deep conversations with me over cheeseburgers. First year me was absolutely shook that I could meet such a cool person my first year. Not only did he go to my school, but we began working together as well. To say Dylan is a big part of my life is an understatement. However, what has recently become apparent to me is that he is graduating this year and I am not. So, if you are in a similar position as me, here are a few ways I have come to cope with my best friend's impending graduation into a life that does not involve me…

On top of being one of the most influential and beautiful people I have met here at UCLA, Dylan has also introduced me to other equally amazing people. It is Dylan who I thank for introducing me to co-workers I would have otherwise never had the nerve to be friends with and it is Dylan who gave me a group of friends who make me feel safe, protected and loved. The amount of group outings he has planned and successfully executed all while taking care of over 15 wild college kids blows my mind. A true king and dad. So, when thinking of your best friend graduating without you, just think of all the amazing people they have left you with and how each one of them carries a little piece of your friend with them, as do you.

Also, think about how you have changed because of your friend. For me, Dylan made me confident. He reminded me that if people don’t like who I am, then I can just walk away because there will always be people out there who do like me for who I am. Dylan is one of those people and I am gladly a big fan of him myself. In high school, I shut my mouth and carried on if I wasn't sure if my opinions would be popular but now, I am outspoken and make sure people listen. Though Dylan and I may not always agree, we always listen and we never feel pressured to agree but rather encouraged to feel our own ways. My friendship with him has taught me what I should look for in others and what I deserve from others. In that way, I am happy. Even if Dylan is gone, the lessons I learned from being friends with him are not. 

Lastly, friends never truly leave. Not the good ones, at least. I believe that we have several loves of our lives and, no, they do not have to be romantic. Rather, these are the people who always have a hold on us no matter how long it has been since we’ve seen them, how badly we may fight or how far they are. You will always be tethered to them. If you have a friend who you always think about even when they are not there, never forget, would happily do anything for, be happy just getting gas with and ultimately love no matter how angry you get at them, you may have just found one of the few but very special loves of your life. They always say people meet the loves of their life in college. Who knew he’d have a lip ring, the same fashion sense as me and be into men amiright?

Don’t worry about losing your best friend after graduation. So long as you always think about them and them about you, they’ll always find their way back. Just be patient and keep the shotgun seat warm because you know they always have it even when they don’t call it. Dylan, you are a king, an inspiration, a muse, and the love of my life. Happy graduation bud.