Thursday, May 2, 2013


The friends you make your freshman year of college have the potential to shape your entire college experience. I was fortunate enough to make friends that shaped not only my college experience, but my life. There were 6 of us and we were inseparable. Sure we had our little fights, but we were 6 girls who moved away from home and lived, ate, drank, breathed, laughed, cried, and learned together. It’d be weird if we didn’t have our off moments. Moving away from home and leaving for college is a very big transition, and can be very overwhelming, especially alone. So the 6 of us bonded together and functioned as a unit throughout the year. By the end of spring, we knew things were going to change and we clung to everyday like it was special. Unfortunately the year ended, and as we packed up our rooms, we went out on one last adventure. A group of six 19 year olds went to Build-A-Bear and agonized over which bear we would stuff. We decided on a plain tan bear with little patches, we painstakingly picked out a nice outfit, and argued over a name. But most importantly, we gave our bear, Lilly, 6 hearts- one for each of us. And we decided that as we went our separate ways, Lilly would become the traveling bear who kept us all connected. The next year, 2 of the girls transferred to UNC, one left for Maryland, and the other 3 of us stayed at Elon. Sophomore year was rough on everyone. Lilly made her rounds, collecting letters and notes that were passed around to all of us to keep us all in touch in some way. By junior year, everyone but me had left for UNC. And while that was miserable for me, I think I realized that Lilly was not what was keeping us together. We had a friendship that could tolerate the distance, with or without a bear. And so Lilly stopped traveling and took up permanent residence with me. (However, she sometimes made appearances when we all got together). As we continued to grow up, our friendships evolved and changed. We became more than friends, we became a sisterhood. And I’d like to say that just like in the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (which is what we were going for with the bear), each one of us fit a role, like the rebel or the nurturer. But truth is, we all step in whenever necessary. I only keep in touch with 3 of the girls now, but they are 3 of my absolute best friends. They have been there for some of the best and worst moments of my life, and they will continue to be a big part of my life. I am truly myself when I am with them. However, time marches on and we have all grown up. Lindsey will be moving out and moving in with her boyfriend and their new puppy. Kelsey will be moving to DC with her boyfriend. And Katie is in grad school in Florida. And I’m here. And sometimes I feel stuck. I feel like I’m standing still while everyone around me is moving so fast. And so on nights like tonight, when I feel stuck and alone, I grab Lilly. Yes, as a 23/almost 24 year old, I grab a stuffed bear. I grab her and I hold her and I remember that she has 6 hearts that represent a little piece of each of my best friends. And I’m reminded that no matter how much we grow or change, and no matter how much distance comes between us, these girls will always be my sisterhood. We will always be there, for the good and the bad. And although we may be apart, we will always find a way to stay with each other. So tonight, I am sitting in my bed with Lilly; and for tonight, as silly as this may seem, I don’t feel so alone.

PS- I’m the one who has Lilly because I’m the sentimental one. And if any of them read this, they would laugh and laugh and laugh about me posting about a bear. And yet they love me anyway J