Friends Forever

“College is the best four years of your life, but enjoy it because it goes fast.” I can’t even begin to count the number of times I heard that at my high school graduation, but there’s a reason I heard it so many times: it’s true. There is no denying my years at Colgate have been the most tumultuous of my life. Each semester was its own roller coaster. From the hell that was Brain and Behavior, to living in central Stockholm, to my senior spring, there really was no typical semester for me. While my classes, professors and places of residence changed, one thing remained tried and true: my relationships.

When it comes to the friends I’ve made here, I lucked out. From the first friends I met at the Maroon-News Pre-Orientation to my three freshman year roommates, to my sorority sisters, friends abroad and PAC rats, I’ve met some truly incredible people.

To me, the diversity of people I’ve been able to meet is what has meant the most to me. Growing up in suburban Minnesota, the people I interacted with were all pretty much the same. College provided me an opportunity to learn from people from all walks of life and all parts of the world.

I have my Colgate friends to thank for a lot of reasons. They taught me how to say “no” (despite my passive Midwestern attitude), that the fourth floor carrels are the best spot in the library, that I’m a neat freak and most importantly that hummus is one of the greatest foods on the planet. As little and quirky as these things sound, they have all added up to shape my personality. It’s the smaller things that brought us closer and led to the bigger, more important things.

My friends have helped me learn that we all fail, we make mistakes and there are things in life we’ll inevitably regret. While these things can be hard to grapple with alone, I’ve never had to. My friends have always stood beside me. They’ve stayed up with me while I cried myself to sleep, they’ve taken me out for drives and walks because I needed to clear my head and they’ve stood up for me when I couldn’t stand up for myself.

My years at Colgate have taught me that there is nothing more important in life than having strong and meaningful relationships, there’s no such thing as a perfect relationship and that sometimes you need to go through the tough times to become closer.

I can honestly say my life would not be as meaningful without a select few people whom I have had the opportunity to grow with during my time here. They’ve helped me come to know myself and to love myself. They’ve given me confidence in who I am and what I want to accomplish in life.

When it comes down to it, I’ve made mistakes, and I’ve certainly had regrets. I’ve ruined some relationships, and I’ve salvaged others. Some remain unclear and some I know I will cherish for the rest of my life. But when I look back at what I remember and loved most about Colgate, it won’t be getting through my thesis or the drama that goes along with course registration and housing. It will be my friends.         

While I know that these friendships aren’t going to disappear on May 18, the thought of not seeing my best friends every day is terrifying. Maybe that’s why I’m so scared to graduate. It’s not because I’m still unemployed or because I might have to move back in with my parents.

It’s the simple fact that the people who mean the most to me are suddenly going to be spread throughout the world and I won’t know when I’ll get to see them next. But that itself is the ultimate test of friendship. It teaches us who we don’t want to live without and who we can’t live without.

To everyone who has made these last four years of my life so incredible, thank you. While I know these next few weeks are going to be amazing, and the following few months are going to be hard, we’re going to be together again somewhere, someway, somehow.

Contact Cambria Litsey at [email protected].