With less than six weeks of the semester remaining, I figured it’s time to post about the family structure that’s been keeping me afloat at the University of Iowa: my friends. I talk a lot about the countless resources the university offers, and about how grateful I am for such a supportive home community and family, but my UIowa friends are often the true MVPs.
Coming from a class of about 100 students, making friends wasn’t always easy. In my home town, most of us grew up together, were distantly related, and weren’t exposed to much diversity. The intimate setting of our community fostered a culture where family names carried more influence than individual actions at times. And while most people were kind, the lack of diversity contributed to a sense of identity oppression. A large part of UIowa’s appeal, and most colleges, is the chance to discover, rediscover, and reinvent our individual identities in a setting where cultural variation, diversity, and opportunity abounds.
What has this meant for me?
I’ve found my new home through the individuals I’ve met.
Meet Emily, a journalism and political science major from Minnesota. Emily plays viola, is an avid bike rider, and is a dedicated reporter for the Daily Iowan. Emily is caring, intelligent, has a wicked music taste (excepting ska), and is always down for a good time. My favorite memory with Emily (so far) was when she jokingly told me to slap her with my quesadilla from Panch and I did. Everyone else in the room froze because the tortilla-meets-cheek noise sounded far more brutal than it actually was. We all died laughing.
Meet Katie, a creative writing and journalism major from Maryland. Katie is a talented dancer, focused student, and cautious eater. She has the biggest heart, a beautiful smile, and an almost Canadian-seeming tendency to unnecessarily say “I’m sorry.” My current fave memory with Katie is scheming a sock prank for my neighbor. It was unsuccessful, but that didn’t stop us from having a blast with it.
Meet Nate, a journalism major from Wisconsin. Nate is a skilled writer, an athletic Jimmy John’s delivery boy, and a group father figure. Nate is a “sty” (style) master, a dare-devil, and “not a nerd.” Fave memory thus far would have to be getting Taco Bell after the Hollywood Undead concert in Cedar Rapids. After midterms, the concert, good company, and sketchy food was the perfect form of stress-relief.
Meet Grace, a journalism major from South Korea. Grace is a Lady Ice Hawk, a passionate videographer, and wildly imaginative artist. She’s genuine, hilarious, and has the coolest fashion sense everrrrr. Fave memory so far? Kickin’ it at the tailgates with Grace. Frat tailgates involve meeting a lot of characters, so it’s insanely beneficial to have a chill friend like Grace to experience it all with.
Meet Kate, a physical therapy major from Illinois. Kate works hard in the Catlett Dining Hall, juggles a full class schedule, and tells a mean story. She’s literally the most iconic human I’ve met here, in that she’s incredibly beautiful, personable, and witty. My fave memory so far with Kate definitely goes to the evening Kate, Grace, and I spent meeting people on the old site Omegle. Never would I have expected to spend a weekday evening in 2017 on Omegle, chatting up people from across the world with my dorm friends. Hadn’t laughed that hard in a long time.
There’s a theory that a person’s personality is the aggregate of the personalities of the seven people they hang out with the most. If that’s true, I think I’m okay with that. I’m so incredibly blessed to have met and found the friends I have today, whether through classes, events, or simply by living on the same floor. The comfort of having a group to binge watch Stranger Things 2 with, or hit up Ragstock and Starbucks on a Saturday afternoon, or tailgate, or go out on a Friday night with is a huge part of what makes Iowa my home.
To all my friends I didn’t yet introduce: your post is coming! I’ve got too many procrastinated assignments to cover everything right now, so you’ll get your own post soon. 🙂 The important thing to get out this post is that making friends in college is scary. Spooky scary. No matter where you come from, you can never really know who you’ll meet coming to college. So, it’s scary. But, also amazing. Making friends in college is amazing because you meet so many people, from so many places with so many experiences. It’s exciting and fascinating and fun because people you’d probably never have met are suddenly the ones carrying you back to your room after a night out, or showing you their cool music, or stress-eating and cramming with you before a midterm. College sorta forces you to bond with people, and that makes for some really unexpected, yet amazing friendships.
Wishing you all a safe, happy, healthy week. Thanks for reading! 🙂