Four years seems like such an insignificant amount of time in the grand scheme of things. But these four years have been the most formative years of my life. The strangers sleeping in bunk beds next to me have become my second family. My home.
Friendship affects growth drastically, especially those made in college. At this age, we are still trying to find ourselves and this so-called ‘purpose’ to our lives. Leaving high school at age 18, away from the people who you grew up with into a new, foreign atmosphere can be daunting to say the least. The friends you meet freshman year could quite possibly become your friends for life. Or they could not.
I have been reflecting on how much I have grown since freshman year, reminding myself that everyone has a different definition of ‘friendship.’ The experiences made along the way have helped me appreciate the journey and be grateful for it.
There is a stereotypical college mindset of friend ‘groups’ and those being the only people you spend time with while also living together. But college is not the same experience for everyone. I have created bonds very different from traditional friendships like these. These people I have around me as a graduating senior are unique in the importance of my life.
I had expectations of finding a lot of friends when coming to college, as my friend group of eight girls from high school was very, very close. From freshman to sophomore year, these expectations started to fade away, as I wanted to live in the moment. I learned that cliques are never going to be escapable, no matter what age.
What makes a friendship unique? What makes a lasting friendship? What is the difference between an acquaintance and a genuine friend? Questions like these cross my mind often.
My college experience with friends began through the eighth floor of Roncalli hall freshman year. My roommate/best friend and I have lived together all four years, and we have been through A LOT together. We stick together because we are now more resilient and empathetic than ever.
I know that I wanted to be involved coming to college. I have joined a variety of clubs through the years, making connections with so many people. Also, the SCMA has brought me closer to so many people through classes and overall camaraderie. I have always loved connecting with people genuinely. I have friends through my student government board, the Spectrum board, Chi Omega and my work-study at WSHU. The bonds I’ve made at SHU and the circles of friends I have will be a lasting memory I will hold dear to my heart forever.
There is something familial about my friendships and connections I want to make. My ‘work-mom’ at WSHU Public Radio (also named Jacqie) has become a person I am dreading to lose after graduation. She impacted my growth in so many ways. Having been a work study at the station all four years of college, we got to know each other on a deeper level.
Chi Omega brought me to the sister I have never had as my ‘little.’ We know that we will always be in each others’ lives, and we are there for each other through the hardest times.
You know that saying your mom always said growing up?: “Quality is better than quantity.” Well this actually proved itself to be true in my eyes most of the time.
Friends come and go, and friendships ebb and flow. Each person now holds significant meaning to me and affects how I think about the future.
I am a very sentimental person (if you can’t tell already), and leaving this place feeling fulfilled is something that I have been striving for. I can say confidently that I do feel fulfilled in every aspect of my college career. Everytime I think about walking across the stage I get flashes of the people who affected me so positively. I hope these flashes never disappear.