August 22, 2015 was move-in day. Long story short, I cried. A lot. Fast forwarding about a week, things started to feel a little more comfortable.
A couple weeks into the year, I had my squad; myself, two other girls and three guys. I had found my group – my Monica, Ross, Chandler, Phoebe, Rachel and Joey. We were inseparable.
One floor in Harper Hall was the only thing that stood between us. The little things like staying up late playing guitar in the lounge (I know how “college”) and laying on each other’s futons brought us closer together as the months went on.
We played on an intramural volleyball team together, went on spring break and met each other’s parents when move out day quickly came back around. As far as any of us were concerned, we would be friends forever.
Sophomore year, we tried to pretend like everything remained how it had always been, but it was hard to deny the difference. Casually strolling into each other’s rooms turned into only knocking for a specific reason or not visiting at all.
People say that even the closest friend groups can drift apart, but I never saw it happening with mine.
Then I went abroad; London fall 2017. Sure, it was hard to leave, but it was much harder coming back.
January 20, 2018, I moved back to Peoria. Long story short, I cried. A lot. I came back to a broken friend group that moved on without me. I gained so much while I was gone, but lost my Joey, Ross and Chandler when I returned.
I still wonder if it hurt them as much as it hurt me.
There isn’t much overlap between the people in my circle now and the people that were in it three years ago.
I met one of my very best friends early freshman year; we spent quite some time disliking each other because of the massive crush I had on her boyfriend. We moved past the awkwardness and moved in with each other a little over a year later. Her boyfriend since then has filled the role of my Chandler, Joey and Ross.
I started writing for The Scout my freshman year. I tried to play it safe with every article and sat in the back of the room during every Sunday critique meeting. Since then, I have become assistant editor of the Voice section; my editor quickly became one of my best friends.
I wandered into a Red Sea meeting early my freshman year and was taken anything but seriously. Over the years, I met some of the people I wouldn’t have been friends with otherwise and, (humble brag) got to be president of the largest student organization during a very exciting year of Bradley sports.
I met a girl through a mutual friend and we didn’t talk much the first six months we knew each other. We soon realized we were too similar to not be closer friends. She adopted me when the people I felt closest to weren’t there and for that, I’ll be forever thankful.
Then, there’s the girl that’s been with me since the beginning. She was an original member of my “Friends” cast and someone I’ve had the privilege of living with for three years. She has been my biggest “constant” at Bradley and I don’t think I’d be anywhere close to how happy I am without her.
May 19, 2019, I’ll graduate college. Long story short, I’ll cry. A lot. I’ll have made it, not at all the way I thought I would; let’s just say I took the scenic route. The people I’ll have after Bradley haven’t all been with me since the beginning, but this time around, I’m sure they’ll be with me until the end.