This blog is a collection of a young woman's random thoughts, many tangents, and occasional
short stories and novel excerpts. Stay tuned for plenty of bull and brief moments of brilliance.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Junior Year Reflections

The night before the start of finals week, I feel I can give an accurate summary of my junior year. Last year was probably the most eventful of my college days what with joining a sorority and studying abroad. This year though has been a test of friendships and relationships.

Two relationships in this school year, both similar in that they've made me happy but very different. The first taught me what I wanted and didn't in a relationship and what it felt like to be loved. I learned how to care about someone besides myself and invest in something stronger than a friend. I discovered heartbreak is sudden and while not permanent, will always sting a little upon reminiscing.

My boyfriend, Alex, and me at my sorority formal
The second is moving slower which I appreciate and feels more relaxed, more comfortable, and there's far less pressure. There's a panic you feel in some relationships, ones that can eat away at your sanity and make you wonder what's wrong with you, but this one doesn't feel that way. I don't feel like my identity is wrapped up in being with him or that without him, I'd be nothing. Granted, he means the world to me and I don't know what I'd do if he weren't in my life, but losing someone you once loved has made it easier to stay grounded.

Me and Michelle, at midnight on my 21st
       I've learned maintaining certain friendships are harder than others. You become closer-er-ish with thirty girls when you live with them in a sorority house. Plus, you don't have to put the effort in of leaving the house or putting on pants. However, there are those people you've met over the years and say you should hang with who seem to disappear.

It's not that you don't care about them; it's that there are too many of them with which to mingle. You meet so many people in college and it becomes impossible to stay in contact with everyone. Eventually it got to the point that I was having three or four coffee dates a week and now at the end of this year, I'm addicted. That's what friendship does: creates addictions.

Kidding (sorta) aside, I've found the true friends are the ones you don't feel obligated to spend time with at all. My best friend Michelle and I are quite busy, so we have a set date every Wednesday between classes. Sure, we've missed it a couple times, but I look forward to it on Wednesday morning and I know she does too. I see Gianna all the time and we spend plenty of time together outside of the house.

Me and my darling Gianna
Feeling obligated to spend time with people makes me feel antsy, so I gravitate toward those who being with comes effortlessly. I used to think friends were the people you like to be around but I've realized it's much more than that: it's people you can stand being with for more than five hours at a time. You may get annoyed with each other but never bored, that's the key.

Me, Cass, Alicia, and NatNat in Ireland
It's been harder to stay in contact with my sister regularly since she's off at college as well now and has her own crazy schedule to keep organized. It's been hard to stay in contact with Alicia, Cassie, and Natalie since we're all so far apart from each other and/or insanely busy. So how does it work? I lived with all these girls, Stephie for sixteen years and the other three for five months, and that struggle of living together for so long creates a bond that time and distance does not break.

Stephie and me Christmas morning
My beautiful friends back home--Brittany, Jamie, Kailey, Kaitlin, Dana, Michelle, Carrie--and I stay connected via the wonders of Facebook and we all make a concerted effort to see the gang or at least a couple of the girls during breaks. I saw a few of them during Thanksgiving, almost all of them over Winter Break, and a few during Spring Break. It's a lot of work, yes, but we're all dedicated to staying friends. Seven years strong!

Michelle, Carrie, Dana, Kaitlin, and me in Milwaukee at Alterra on the Lake
School is challenging, thinking about the future is stressful, work is aggravating, but your significant other and friends are harder than anything. Unlike the other things though, they're much more fun at the end of the day. And of course they don't make you take stupid mother fucking finals.

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