Last night I kept thinking about one of my favorite nights of this entire summer. I got to catch up with two of my really close friends, (hi Sara + Rach) over late night (decaf) lattes. After about a week-long heat wave, the lower 80s weather at 9pm felt almost chilly, and sitting out on a patio with two gals I hold close to my heart was just what I’ve been needing. We sat and chatted about typical 19 year old girl topics: the best new stores with the best new sales, the boys we shouldn’t have kissed but did anyways, and would it even be a girly late night chat if talks us all getting married one day didn’t occur? It was during my last sip of my hazelnut latte and listening to one of my friends go on to the other while giggling about setting her up with some guy, that I realized how amazing life’s seasons of growth truly are and how thankful I was to be in that exact place in that exact time.
That night was about a month ago. Rachel goes to KU with me as I’m sure you’ve read on here before, we still tackle each other when seen in campus, and figuring out life while sipping on coffee and convincing each other we “totally need the shoes” honestly doesn’t get better. Sara is just a ways away down in KC, and don’t worry, Rachel and I are making our way down quicker than ya know. We are all in different sororities, different majors, different places in our lives, but we’re all able to help each other grow.
While going through recruitment last week, I found it to be the most draining and emotional thing I’ve literally ever endured, like, ever. I’m not one for small talk usually, so that wasn’t always the easiest. However, there came a point during the second to last day when I realized what I really wanted to tell these girls. I was sitting one of the potential new members down in my roommate’s desk chair and about to ask her what she was looking for in a sisterhood when I realized going through the same process a year ago, that’s not what was on my mind. Sure I wanted to get into a chapter that wanted me, that was filled with people that loved and appreciated me, and all that stuff. But at the same time, I was an 18 year old gal just wanting to know how the heck I was supposed to figure out college on my own. So I did a lil improv (luckily it worked, the girl went alpha chi and is my little house tour prodigy may I admit.) I took a deep breath and got out of my mode where I was worried if my hair looked good, my posture perfect, and if I was saying all the right things. As I relaxed, I watched her do the same and I broke out the “you’re nervous aren’t you?” question. She immediately laughed and said something along the lines of thank goodness you asked I’ve been holding it in all day. After that, I left the convincing axo side of me (don’t tell my recruitment chair…) and focused on her. She went to an all-girls school like I did and was worried about figuring out friends, boys, her major, money, all of it. I’m gonna tell you all what I told her, and what I believe to be the most important lesson I learned my freshman year, and quite honestly am still learning:
Nothing is gonna change unless you do.
Freshman year is going to be hard. You’re going to have moments where you’re on top of the world, and moments where you think there are actually no chances you could ever get lower. You’re gonna doubt yourself a billion and one times, and you’re gonna tell your parents you’re positive you know what you’re doing. You’re gonna stay out too late when you shouldn’t, you’re gonna learn to stay in when you should. You’re gonna make friends you probably shouldn’t, and you’re gonna make friends you feel like you don’t deserve. You’re gonna get hurt, and you’re gonna learn that healing takes its own pace and that you’re allowed to take your time. You’re gonna miss home, and when you finally go home, you’re going to realize you miss school. You’re gonna spend too much money on food, and you’re gonna learn that the best of friends share closets because they spent all their money on food. You’re gonna fail a quiz or two, and you’re gonna laugh one day because of it. You’re going to grow. You’re gonna grow so much that next year when you’re sitting in my chair talking to a girl in your position, you’re not even gonna realize how much you grew until right then.
I am so stinkin’ thankful I got to share those things with that girl, but I’ve been wanting to write them out here for you as well. My cousin that I love to bits is a freshman as well, and I’m writing them for her. I have so many freshmen friends that I want to take every bit of it to heart. & on top of all of it, I want them to know they’re allowed to be terrified of the growth, but that at the end of this year, they’re going to not even remember how they were scared in the first place.
Finding your people in college is SO important. I probably have that written in every single blog post on here. Finding and loving yourself, also so important and also on every single blog post on this website. But finding your people that encourage and support you finding and loving yourself, those are the ones you need to keep. I learned the hard way that the process of finding those friends doesn’t always come easy. Sometimes they’re constantly putting themselves out there for you and you’re too focused on a friend that isn’t good for you to notice. Sometimes you’re too scared of it going wrong to try. Trying is the scary part. Finding the people that won’t ever make you doubt that again, that’s the good stuff. I’m not promising sunshine and rainbows forever once you find these people. There are some things in life you’re never gonna get over, some people you’re always gonna miss, and some pains that you’re gonna deal with forever. But, there’s also the people that will remind you that those spots in your life aren’t your whole life. They’ll take you under their wing and be by you forever.
My group of friends in alpha chi is just one big group of STEM majors. I’m not kidding, there’s talk of biology all the time, and then there’s my elementary education and english loving self. I love them to death for it, and make fun of my friend Katie for how much she literally LOVES mitochondria, but I think I knew I had found my people through this. We were all at KU’s bible study and a leader was asking our majors. They all replied their fancy science stuff, and myself, feeling a little less smart and whole lot out of place, stayed quiet. Literally three of them at the same time proceeded to introduce myself for me and brag about how good of a teacher I was one day going to be. That’s when I knew, these people. That’s when it clicked: college is gonna bring you people that choose you, choose them too.
I will admit that the transition from high school friends to college friends is weird. As bad as it sounds and as weird as it is to admit, in high school, sometimes we are friends with people because its convenient. We see them every day, we have class with them, etc. In college, chances are you aren’t gonna be best friends with someone just because you’re in the same class. It’s a crazy big maturity jump as well, and I remember the moment that my friends wanted to sit down and genuinely ask how I was doing and what my dreams and aspirations were is when I realized this. It’s the best thing that one gets to experience, finding these friends, I’m so sure of it. I think it’s why I want all the freshmen I know to find them too. It’s why I want them to have a few rough patches (only a few) solely to see who they’ve found that picks them up again. You’re gonna grow kids, I promise ya, it’s gonna scare ya, but I’m so excited for you.
Lengthy and rambling yet again, but wouldn’t be a post from Ally if it wasn’t now would it? Thanks once again for reading my witty words and hopefully gaining a piece of insight or two. Until next time, love big, show up for people, be unselfish, offer what you can, be a healer, be kind, and be brave.