Foundations of Friendship: To the Girls Who Walked into My Life This Year

Most times when I hear the phrase “the house that built me,” I think of the ballad by Miranda Lambert. Or if I’m not singing along to that song, houses that come to mind that “built” me would be the lakehouse, my own childhood home, and my other grandparent’s house. The act of turning a house into a home is one that’s also very prevalent, even if it’s just amongst the Hallmark card aisle. For me, this house I’m talking about is our best friend’s house in Winona.


Last year, it was a topic of many discussions amongst the squad I had established very earlier that same year (click here if you want to know a little more about them) on where we all wanted to live next school year. Even though some of us decided to do the dorms again, Sarah and Emma from our core squad found a house. In that, we found a haven.


Initially, we didn’t really grasp how great this decision would be. We were aware that we’d have places to be with friends outside the res halls, but the extent to which the house has brought us together is bonkers. Reflecting back on one year ago when I wrote my living alone article to now, I can truthfully say that the majority of the amazing people who have walked into my life this year have done so via the doors of that house. And because our circle keeps growing and evolving, just like I do, I thought it’s only right to revamp the list of ladies who make this town feel like a home for me.  


  • To “The Mom”... Katie, who we so fondly call Mom, is genuinely one of the purest souls on the planet. It’s a common theme in my friend group for me to be called Miss Dictionary, so I think it’s only fair to declare that Katie Adams’ photo should be next to the words dependability, positivity, and encouragement. Whether you’re in need of some really good advice or a little bit of bad influence, she’s your girl. Katie finds herself wearing many hats in our friend group, but she manages her busy work and school schedule while continuing to be 100% consistent in prioritizing her friendships. In this life, it’s important to recognize inner beauty as the true mark of a person… but Katie truly matches the inner beauty to her outward appearance, whether or not she knew or believed it before I wrote this. I cannot count the number of times I’ve run to her with open arms and she’s already standing, physically and metaphorically, waiting to embrace me. Finding a college mom was definitely a WIN(ona).


  • To “The Legal One”... As a transfer student to WSU last semester, Maddi has become another irreplaceable part of the squad. It’s not uncommon for a night with the girls to contain many different questions of “Hey, where’s Maddi?” And the answer, my friends, is that she’s typically coming from work where she exhibits such dedication and passion as a future social worker. And when she’s taking a reprieve from being a social superheroine, she remains at the ready to belt out any tune at the top of her lungs… although if she had to pick, it’d probably be “The Climb.” She’s also the first one of the bunch to turn 21, so watch out world. She is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to killer shoe game and she is infallible when it comes to her friendships. I’m forever grateful that Mom brought Miss Peart in tow with her from back home so she could become properly a part of what I consider my second home.


  • To “The Gamer”...  Paigealicious, UNIT. They say “good things come in threes” and that definitely stands true as Paige completes the terrific trio alongside Katie and Maddi, who all hail from the same hometown. And you might think having three friends that closely-knit before coming to college would make it hard to wedge yourself in… but Paige truly lives by a “the more, the merrier” type of mentality. Without fail, she can provide you with game suggestions and proves to be a laugh-riot. If you try to say no to her requests to dance around, you’ll be on your feet—10 seconds flat—regretting ever trying to deny a chance to bop around with the dancing queen. She makes you feel like you’re the only one in the room when she talks to you with blue eyes as clear as swimming pools. Another thing you could swim in? Her sass. I ADORE her confidence, and two semesters with her has slowly helped her attitude rub off on me. A world without this crazyyy Paige is just one that doesn’t sound like the place for me.


  • To “The Newbie”... Big thanks to Sarah for integrating Sydney into the bunch. Sydney may be the youngest of the group, but she’s definitely wisened me up and taught me some things about how to cut loose. Cute as a button, it’s been quite the ride thus far seeing how she’s managed to find her way at this school, with some guidance from the girls. If you’ve known me for awhile, it’s a known fact that my most common nickname is Hannah Hipps. While at a homecoming get-together—before she had even met me, might I add—Sydney defended my name when she thought the group was mocking me. Just that moment alone told me much of her kind heart and ability to stand up for people she cares about… I consider myself lucky to be one of those people for her. And now? We laugh when “Hips Don’t Lie” comes on because it serves as a little reminder of our “first encounter.” Her smile could and does light up most rooms she enters, and I love that I’m able to be the source of that sometimes.


  • To “The RA”... If there’s one thing people should know about Kelly, besides the fact that she’s my only Illinois ally in a group of Minnesotans, is that she seems to have made it her unintentional life mission to make everyone smile with her bubbly personality. You’d be hard-pressed to walk to any part of campus without her brightening someone’s day with their short interaction. We don’t see each other enough, truly, but it’s always a good time when we do. She is a born-leader for the res halls and a genuine gal-pal. Love you, Swanny.


  • To “The New Faces” … To all the new members of Her Campus (Allie, Grace, Katie, Bryn, Haruka, Bailey, Xandra, and Hannah P.), every one of you have incredible individual qualities, and I love getting to gab and be expressive with you every week!


The past two years have been full of time spent creating foundations in friendship; this house serves as a little slice of heaven. I truly have some of the greatest friends in the entire world, and I’m open to the possibility of more people walking into my life to make it even better.