BFB #3: Thank You, My Friend

by Michele Dale

I’ve never been more grateful for my friends than I was this week.

It was one of those weeks where you look up at the sky and think, “If there is a God up there, they’ve really got it in for me.” I’ve said several times that my life is beginning to feel more like a sad comedy or soap opera than the comfy, happy way of living I had gotten used to. I’ve handled it as best I know but the real stars of this story are my friends, not me.

Friendships were not heavily emphasized in my household. I have a very large and very close family and it always felt like I had a huge group of friends that I just happened to be related to. I missed out on many a sleepover and birthday party to go to family weddings, anniversaries, and baby showers, and I didn’t even care. In my high school of over 3,000 kids, I identified about three that I wanted to spend time with outside of school (beyond just drinking) and always felt like as long as I had one or two close friends, that “friendship” box was checked.

It was when I got to Georgetown that my definitions of “friend” and “family” became more intertwined. Because I was so far away from my family, I unknowingly began to create my own. I picked out the people I met in classes, in clubs, in Lau (ha), and stitched them all together to recreate that similar smothering, dysfunctional, loving feeling I have with my family.

We all have our respective support systems here at school and create them in our own ways. Clubs are a great way to meet people with similar interests, and have a larger “family” to belong to and lean on when all you want is a familiar, welcoming environment. But I think it’s important to remember that when you join a club, you should still be looking for those stand-out individuals. You’re trying to find the people who click with you on every level; the ones who you can call in the middle of the night, who will be at your wedding, who you might even name your kids after. Georgetown culture can be a lot to handle, but if you find those people who become a part of your inner family, your friend family, it makes it a whole lot easier.

So to all of those people who are just oh so lucky to belong to my friend family, I love you. I never gave friendships the weight they deserved until meeting you. Even if I haven’t reached out to you during this hellish week, knowing you were there made all the difference.

I have some individual thank yous for you all, in no particular order:

  • Thank you for crawling into bed with me and making me mac n' cheese. You have long legs but you’re a good cuddler.

  • Thank you for insisting on sending me food and being my perpetual Jewish mother. I needed that.

  • Thank you for checking up on me and understanding that I didn’t want to talk about it.

  • Thank you for making cookies, drinking wine, and bitching with me.

  • Thank you for telling me it’s okay to cry.

  • Thank you for the chocolate panda snacks. Those are the bomb.  

  • Thank you for turning around on the way to the gym when you knew I needed a hug.

  • Thank you for letting us break our rules. Thank you for being there.

And to my real family, I love you too. Especially you, James.