A final year worth spending with friends

A year ago, the prospect of beginning my senior year sent cold chills up my spine. The daunting questions about my future and where I would end up after college haunted my spirit and clouded my vision.

Yet, at the same time, I knew that senior year would be special — it would be one of the last times I would get to live around all of my best friends.

The close friends that I have today are the same ones that I met through a spring break service trip in New Jersey in 2012.

Maybe it was all the spackle on our clothes, the smell of paint climbing up our noses and the sleep our bodies yearned for that bonded me with my current roommates. While getting close to people on service trips is not uncommon — the friendships I made on this trip were unique.

After we returned to campus, it felt as if we had never left New Jersey. We found ourselves hanging out every chance we got and making long-term plans over the summer. Our friendship grew and blossomed and when it came time to sign leases for our year, we knew we wanted to live together.

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But it was the decision to live near our three guy friends, whom we also met on the trip, that completed our housing riddle.

Living in the same apartment building with all of your best friends is great, especially when every one is preoccupied with their own lives. From Monday night Bachelor viewing parties to random talks in the afternoon, we never have to schedule a time to see each other. Hanging out becomes natural. I reflect on the days when I had to call my friends in advance to schedule lunch or to catch up. When you live this close to your friends, finding moments to share with each other becomes normal.

But there are downfalls.

Constantly being around your friends can mean that sometimes you have to miss out on things that you really don’t want to miss out on. Going home for the weekend can mean missing out on the big and small moments that occur in passing.

But it is important to pick and choose the things to miss and to not miss. This test is the first real taste of the real world. This conflict is prevalent — everlasting, especially when there are distractions around you at every corner.

Ultimately, living around friends solidifies the friendship, and it doesn’t take long for them to start to feel like family. Having this support system readily available for me when I come home makes my apartment actually feel like home. I know I can count on them no matter what — and it’s not just my two roommates I can turn to. I have a whole other line of support, in the same apartment building, waiting with open arms to laugh at life’s misfortunes with me.

As the countdown to graduation begins, I relish in the small moments my friends and I have together and cherish every laugh, joke and obstacle that comes our way.

Because before you know it, the timer will go off — and these moments will be gone.

Darrah is a senior in LAS. She can be reached at [email protected].