From watching television shows and movies to listening to my parents’ stories, I always had a preconceived idea of what I thought college was going to be like. My mom found some of her closest friends in college; they were in each other’s weddings, and are still very close, two decades later. The idea of starting some of the closest and most meaningful friendships in college was amazing.

I wanted to find my very own group of friends, that we could be in each other’s weddings and still keep in touch years later. Sacred Heart University seemed like a good, diverse place to find them at.

For some people, all four years of college are great, while others have their ups and downs. It helps to have a support system to help get you through the late nights, finals, and extracurricular activities. I was lucky enough to already come into college with a few friends, but I still wanted to branch out and find more like-minded people.

Living in Seton Hall my freshman year helped me to find some of my closest friends, one of which I lived with all four years of college. When picking roommates, some people say not live with your close friends because those friendships won’t last. Some friendships will break, while others will flourish, but I think it definitely depends on personalities, bonds, morals and values. My friendship with senior Gianna Nutile is one that I know will continue to grow for many years because of these key aspects.

Sacred Heart is full of many different people, from different backgrounds with different personalities. I have formed great friendships with people whose personalities I thought I would have never connected with. My friendship with my quirky pineapple-loving housemate, senior Emily Gallagher, is one that helped me to remember to not judge a book by its cover.

Don’t be afraid to push yourself and branch out of your shell. Sacred Heat offers an abundance of clubs, organizations, services, groups and teams to help make everyone feel like they have a place they belong. During my years at SHU, I joined the Multicultural Council, the Black Student Union, the Dance Ensemble, the Student Union, and, of course, the Spectrum, making great friends in each. The Dance Ensemble and its semester showcases, with the help of some of my dancer friends like juniors Tabatha Maxime and Sarah Capela and senior Aliyah Muhammad helped me do so.

I wanted to become a better me beyond the four years, so I immersed myself in Volunteer Programs and Service Learning. I am so grateful for the many friends I have made doing service around the world, in Oaxaca, Mexico, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. They have all magnified my college experience and helped me see the bigger picture to friendship.

With all of the hard work and dedication put in, it’s also good to remember to have fun and live a little. I was always happy to catch a football game and support some of my friends like seniors Aaron Thompson and Aliem Shaw. If that still wasn’t enough, seniors Sidney Choothesa and Dafne Franco weren’t afraid to drag me down to Red’s to take a load off.

Of course, like any school full of young adults, there is bound to be some drama. Friends do come and go, bonds are broken, trust is lost, but the friendships that do make it, flourish.

The littlest things and the greatest friends can help you get through college. One of my best friends that I made at SHU, senior Brandon Rickets, always says, “Just Keep Swimming.” I will continue to say that quote as I leave Sacred Heart and embark on a new journey of life as it has helped me through many situations.

Even after I leave SHU, I know my friends like sophomore Natalie Paz will continue to motivate and help me reach more goals. It is important to stay connected with the people you have made solid and genuine friendships with because you never know what the future holds.

I would like to extend a very big thank you to my friends.

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Public Relations Manager

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