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Make New Friends, But Keep the Old

Posted by on Saturday, November 29, 2014 in General Information, Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break.

Last night I found myself playing Just Dance 2015 at 11:45 pm with my best friend from back home, Tdog. (Her real name is Christina, but work with me here.) We had to turn the volume all the way down and stifle our laughter, as my grandparents were fast asleep in the adjacent room. A few nights ago, nine of my pals and I made a little fire in the woods and talked about college as we swung in hammocks. The first night of break, I called my friends Tdog and James, and they dropped what they were doing to go eat Mexican food and bake cookies with me. These are the Thanksgiving shenanigans I will choose to remember, and not the marketing project I procrastinated and had to work on at night once the relatives were sleeping. My excitement in seeing high school friends has not waned over the years because we share the special bond of having gone through adolescence together, and though there’s no denying that our relationships with one another are different, we still get each other. This is why you keep old friends.

Casual festive friend photoshoots.

A lot of the articles and blogs I’ve read during my time in college have been heavy-laced with the “let go of high school and high school friends” message. While there is a lot of wisdom in encouraging college freshmen to go into their first year of school with a clean slate, having a few peers cheering me on from back home definitely has kept me grounded in my college experience. Especially at a school like Vanderbilt, where most students are not from Tennessee and are taking a leap of faith by coming to the school, maintaining a few strong high school relationships can ease the transition to independence for students. This is why you keep old friends.

It’s also rather fun to be able to play tour guide when your high school friends are finally guilted into visiting you in Nashville. Now that I am an actual tour guide, I can amaze/bore them with real statistics! We have 510+ student organizations! Wow, now you know! Tdog came to visit me for a whole week my sophomore year, and 3-4 others have been persuaded to stop by for a day or two for a cup of coffee at Fido in the city of Nash. This is why you keep old friends.

Sweet Auburn friend takes Nashville!

Last semester, I had the pleasure of hosting my best friend Tdog in the Windy City when I was doing my HOD Internship there, and I can’t begin to tell you how comforting it was to have a familiar face in my temporary town. I like to think of myself as an adventure-seeking dabbler-in-all-things-new, but even I need a little break from that from time to time. Tdog and her sister, who lives in Chicago, both got tattoos at a tattoo parlor called Great Lakes Tattoo, and I got to be the cheerleader for this permanent marking of bodies. This is why you keep old friends.

Yes, you will find your gaggle of buddies at Vanderbilt with whom to do shenanigans and explore young adulthood, but it’s that small handful of high school friends that will give you perspective from outside the Vandy bubble and remind you where you came from. Holidays and breaks are much more adventure-filled when you have old friends with whom to do sketchy things.

Moral of the story: Keep a few old friends around. Maybe they’ll let you watch them get a tattoo.

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