I started college with the same fears that most freshmen do. How will I make friends? What happens if I get lost? What if my roommate is the evil girl you see in all the movies?

Being away from the people who you’ve known your whole life brings up a bunch of fears and challenges. When I chose to go to a school that was out of state, I knew that these fears were logical, but I also knew that there were so many opportunities heading my way. I knew I would no longer be required to put up with certain people due to a lack of other options. I had heard that college friends were unique because the only reason they would keep up with you was because they wanted to, not because they sit next to you in four classes. So, here I am, three semesters into college realizing that coming here was probably the best decision I could have made both academically and socially. With that being said, I need to thank quite a few of my first college friends.

Dearest Friends,

Thank you for being the first people to welcome me into a new place. Thank you for exploring a new city with me and always checking to make sure I found my way back home. Thank you for being there with a GPS for an adventure.

Thank you for always eating with me when I was too timid to go to the caf alone. No matter the time of day (or night) you were always there. Thank you for not judging the amount of food I ate and for always being down for Cookout, regardless of the ungodly hour that I request we go. Thank you for joining me in complaining about the quality of caf food as we continue to eat it and for always encouraging desserts of any type.

Thank you for listening to me vent about how much life sucks sometimes and for not allowing me to give up. Thank you for bringing me Starbucks and surprising me with food when you know that things aren’t going my way. Thank you for genuinely caring about my feelings and for dealing with my whiny moments. Thank you for reminding me that, although it doesn’t always feel like it, we are adults and we will get through this together.

Thank you for being there for me to rant about my obsessions with and for finding new obsessions with me. From Lilo and Stitch and interior design to Hunter Hayes and baseball, I have discovered a love for so many things through all of you. Thank you for putting up with my love for Christmas and all things musical. Thank you for always being there to watch Elf with me and for not being afraid to tell me when we’ve watched it too much.

Thank you for reminding me that the real reason we’re here is to learn. Thank you for helping me study when I can’t force myself to do it on my own and for always being there to walk me through a question. Thank you for never allowing me to throw in the towel and drop out and for helping me find the major that was right for me. Thank you for knocking some sense into me when I needed it most. Thank you for sharing your motivation with me when I left mine at home. If it weren’t for you, I’d probably still be a math major with no sanity remaining.

Thank you for being my partners in crime. Our late-night adventures will always be some of my favorite memories. Thank you for always being there to accompany me to Walmart, Target, and Michaels. Thank you for always being up for a road trip and for supplying us with great music when my playlist gets a little too Christmasy. Thank you for feeding into my mischief and never saying no. You helped me open up to being more spontaneous and helped me to leave my planner behind every once in a while.

Most importantly, thank you for loving me. Thank you for helping me to realize that my fears would not become a reality. You embraced me for who I truly am and I will always love you because of that. You have watched me grow faster than I have ever before in my life and you grew with me. We found our place here, together, and I am so thankful for that.

Here’s to two and a half more years.

Love,

Cassidi

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