Now, I’ve heard people say that high school was the best years of their lives. They clearly never went to college and made the kind of friends I did. The kind that stick with you though all your bad moods, your homesickness, your panics, your joys, your craziness, everything. College was miles ahead of my experiences in high school. I can easily say that in high school, I only had one real friend. In college, I had at least four, two in my year, two in the year below. Though they shifted around a bit, my friends were always there for me. It took until Thanksgiving break that first semester to realize it, but they were there.
The weeks leading up to break were some of the worst of my life. I didn’t really hang out with anyone, didn’t have any solid friends yet. I was homesick. Classes were hard. Work sucked. I wanted to go home. Mom said I had to stick it out until Christmas and then she wouldn’t make me go back; I could transfer to another school if I wanted. But Thanksgiving changed some things. I went home with a friend and spent the weekend in a family environment. Though I wasn’t one of the six siblings running around, it still felt like a home. I think that’s what I needed. I went back to school in better spirits and finished the semester on a high note. I had a true friend and was getting to know her friends; friends that soon became some of my best friends.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but sitting in chemistry at eight o’clock in the morning that first semester, I met two of my best friends. One who would come through immediately; she’s the one I spent Thanksgiving with. The other I would spend a lot longer getting to know, not really calling her my best friend until our junior year. But I will never forget how I actually got to know her.
We were walking down to our first day of lab. I was quiet, shy, and nervous. Doubts plagued my mind. What if I fail? My high school chemistry was more theoretical and less experimental. What do I do? And then there she was. Very enthusiastically asking if I had a partner. It was all I could really do to shake my head before she had my arm and we were walking into lab together. I knew nothing of this crazy person except she had reached out to me. Reflecting back on it, that was probably one of the best decisions I ever made, being her partner that day.