College is a unique experience for every person. To me, it was one filled with “what ifs.” To others, it may have been worse. And to others still, it could have been the best four+ years of their lives. But no matter how college may have been to you, we can all agree on one thing: college gave us the best set of friends we could ever ask for.
In some ways, I could say that it didn’t take much for me to find mine; they were the people I naturally gravitated towards because of shared interests and matching personalities. But it did take an enduring struggle to balance academics, extra-curricular activities, a social life, and my sanity to find the ones who were true — those who stuck by me through thick and thin.
For someone who grew up without a best friend during my formative childhood years, it was difficult for me to maintain friendships during my first semesters in college. I was constantly on my toes around people and couldn’t dare open myself up to those I’ve drawn close to. And yet, I was so lonely.
Eventually, I realized how blinded I was by my own self-deprecation, and how it was stopping me from spending time with the people who honestly cared about me — the ones who would never think twice about inviting me to eat siomai rice or pancit canton in between classes, the ones who never dropped me even if I never came to inuman nights, the ones who never judged me for getting failing grades or couldn’t contribute to a group paper, and most especially the ones who still maintained contact after we all parted ways post-graduation.
Among all the faces you meet and the friends you thought you’d keep forever, you find the real ones — those who have seen you at your best and at your worst — and chose to love you anyway.
So thank you, college, for all the all-nighters and drunken weekends that I spent with friends who worked hard but partied harder.
Thank you for all the arguments and achievements that made us strong.
Thank you for the heartbreak I’ve experienced from loves I’ve lost, without which I would not have treasured the unconditional comfort of my friendships.
Thank you for all the 1.0s and 4.0s, the ups and downs, and the tears and laughter, because I have found those who’ve stuck by my side through it all.
Nothing about the future is certain; we’re young and learning and growing still, and we may never know for sure who stays until the very end. But nothing can ever change the fact that I have found a support system that will help me in every step of the way through this adult life.
So to my college friends: if you’re reading this, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you all!
What do you want to say to all the friends you’ve made in college? Share this post and tag them!
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