Fake it, Sometimes: Authentic Friendships (The 8th Thing I learned Sophomore Year)
It’s definitely true what I said in the “Be Very Real” post, so don’t discount that! This will be a short post, I think, but basically what I have to say is:
1. Giving someone a big smile and acting really happy to see them can make their day, even when you’re not feeling happy yourself
2. Doing something out of your way for someone else can unexpectedly bring joy to your day as well as definitely bringing joy to yours
What I’m saying here is that so many friendships are based on either just enjoying each other’s company (“the friends you go out with,” “the people you study with,” etc) or that y’all are both in a class together so you can trade notes (“Your math study group”). Those type of friendships are great, but if you want to be a really good friend, sacrifice for your friends. Real sacrifice is doing something for someone when it costs you something (energy, time, sleep, etc). And goodness, real sacrifice can be so, so hard.
A lot of this ties in with my faith, too — St. John Paul II calls this third type of friendship “Authentic friendship.” Those are the type of friendships I wanted to have in college as an incoming student, the ones I wanted to graduate with. There have been so many times this year when I’ve just felt so tired and not wanted to talk with anyone, but I’ve forced myself to ‘fake it’ and just to say “Yes, I’m up!” or “Of course I can stay” and those have led into the most fruitful conversations. Some of them have been about how to get through it when you just feel like your grades are the most terrible thing that have ever happened to you. Some of them have been about faith, others about deciding whether to keep friends or not. I’m so thankful for learning and continuing to learn this lesson – that sacrifice is so important for real friendships. So sometimes, yes, fake it. Text back “yes,” be really excited to see someone, give someone a hug even when you’re so tired, stressed or, (this has been me before), really hungry. It will definitely be worth it. :)
I have had so many friends this semester who have meant so much to me – Maureen, for our joint persevering through premed; Somto, for the fact that we are basically sisters and can talk to each other whenever; Peter Kim, who plans and plots with me as well as just makes me laugh SO hard; Kiana, for being so nice and helpful and sweet; Jen ., for being so incredibly kind all the time and for baking me cookies when my oven burned down; Megala, for listening and just understanding me; Veronica, for always being excited about what I’m excited about and being so kind to me; Rita, for our long conversations at random moments through the last almost three years; Adriana, for our joy over how awesome people are and how awesome God is; Sophia, for our laughing about losing commodore cards to deeper conversations about life; Arianna, for inspiring me with her constant dedication and kindness, Emilie, for cups of hot chocolate tea and fun conversations late at night… just so, so many. I know I’ve probably forgotten at least ten. They are definitely the people I hoped to meet at Vanderbilt and did, and I wish I had more pictures to tell you how much they mean to me!
Let me know if you have anything you want me to add or any advice you have! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and I would love to hear from you!