I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends
A huge part of the college experience is the friends you make. Some of them are the long-term kind that will eventually lead distant relatives in the Macarena at your wedding reception. There are also the kind of friends that you had a statistics class with once, so you awkwardly smile at them whenever you walk past them on the way to class. Regardless, all of the people you invest in and engage with during your college experience are important, and I thought I was done making friends by the end of freshman year.
Though I do live on a hall with a handful of my closest friends, the friend-making process is not limited to your first-year living on Commons. As your schedule changes each semester, there are new friends to have study parties with and to worry about tests with! One of my closest friends, Monica (Big Money), organizes ultimate frisbee and soccer pick-up games every now and then, and we invite the boys that live on the floor beneath us to participate. There’s nothing quite like making new friends by chucking discs of cheap plastic at them.
My comrades at the BCM at Vanderbilt Place (Baptist Collegiate Ministry) have recently begun reaching out to international students on campus to engage them in conversations over lunch and invite them to international and BCM events, so I’ve met a few new friends from this outreach team, too! A handful of students from the BCM went to a “Friends Around the World Party” at a local church a few weeks ago, where international adults living in Nashville met to share food from their culture, and a few international professionals shared PowerPoint presentations with interesting information about their native countries. Here, I connected with a girl I had met at Rand once before, and now we follow each other on Instagram. And we are friends in real life; it’s casual.
Last semester, I had the opportunity to befriend some transfer students when they were still brand new to Vanderbilt and I could see that crazed “Please be my friend” look in their wide and overwhelmed eyes. A few of my crazy friends and I ate dinner with our transfer pal Alex soon after meeting him, but we were afraid that we had scared him off with all of our tales of matching each other’s clothes 14 days in a row and eating breakfast together every morning at “Breakfast Buddies” or “Bbuds” (our favorite part of the day). To this day, though, Alex and Josh are some of our closest friends, so we must be doing something right!
Tomorrow (at 5 in the morning I might add), I will embark on Alternative Spring Break, round 2, to Green Cove Springs, Florida, with my ASBallin’ group of 10 participants and one co-site leader! If this year’s ASB is anything like last year, I will return to Vandy with 11 new best friends and more sassy inside jokes than I can count on both hands. More on ASB later, of course. Alternative Spring Break is friend-breeding grounds, and I like it that way.
I’d like to leave you with a touching quote by Linda Grayson: “There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
Linda Grayson gets me.