Old and New Friends

Old and New Friends

Some of my closest friends are the ones who I meant while I was in college. I made most of them during this summer bridge program that I was a part of called TLC. Many of my fondest memories from my university years come from this program, and the friends that I made there are the stars of these memories. During TLC, three weeks before school started, a group of incoming Black freshmen were selected to be a part of this opportunity that allowed for us to see the ins and outs of our university, while also exploring the city that our school was in. We literally spent most of our time together. The only time when you didn’t see everyone was when you were in your room sleeping (which we did very little of). The rest of the time, we were surrounded by the rest of the TLCers.

The leader of this program made it a point that we spent time with everyone in the program. We would travel to different locations on a bus, and it was mandatory that we sat next to different people each time we got on it. He was so serious about this rule that if he saw people trying to sit next to somebody that they had already sat next to he would force one of them to get up and move. The same thing was true at our meals. When we were sitting down for breakfast, lunch, or dinner we had to make sure that we were eating with people that we didn’t eat with on a regular basis. He also had a rule that forbade anyone from sitting with somebody or hanging out with someone that they went to school with in high school or that they were related to. That meant that I couldn’t spend much time with my sister. That being said, we did hang out a little bit. We tried to be discreet, but we didn’t always end up getting away with being together. One specific time that I remember getting into trouble was when we had a nighttime outing to The Santa Monica Pier. My sister and I were spending time with two other girls (one of whom I’m still friends with), when we happened to run into our program director. Needless to say, he wasn’t very happy. He gave us one of those looks that could freeze hell, so my sister and I parted ways and made sure not to hang out with each other after that. If it wasn’t for these rules, I probably never would’ve befriended the people that I did from this program. I would’ve stayed in my cocoon and just spent the three weeks hanging out exclusively with my sister instead of getting to know new people. So even though I didn’t like this rule to begin with, it ended up benefiting me in the long run.

To this day, I’m still really good friends with three of the people from the program. I may not have known them for as long as I’ve known some of my friends from high school and elementary school, but they’re just as important to me as those individuals who I’ve known for a really long time.

We have memories that we can look back on and laugh at, just like I do with my childhood friends.   

We spend time with each other when we can, and even though we’re all busy, I know that I can count on these people when I’m in a tough spot, just like with my friends from childhood.

We’re there for the important moments in each other’s life, just like I am with the people I’ve been friends with since I was a kid.

All of these things are important aspects about a friendship, and for me, I find them in the friends that I’ve had since I was five and the friends that I made when I was 25. And you should be able to see these things in all of your friends too. Positive thinker, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve known your friend. You can have just as solid of a relationship with someone that you met a year ago as with somebody that you met when you were one. They’re both your friends, and that’s all that matters!