If you’ve never personally experienced a group of teenage girls sobbing after an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, I’m going to write these next few lines under the assumption that you have a pretty good idea of what this hot mess looks like.

On August 17, 2010, seven hours before the take-off of my first flight from San Diego to Boston, I was standing in a garage, in a circle with my very best girlfriends. As we all strived to stay as classy as possible, we couldn’t hold back the streamlining tears that came concomitant with our hyperventilation. There was no denying that our lives would change drastically, our friendships would be challenged, and that we were drowning not only in our tears, but also in our profound fear of the unknown. Within this moment, we were sure that our worlds would ruthlessly collapse because we wouldn’t be sharing sandwiches or seeking shelter from the seagulls or comparing our carrot sticks at lunch anymore. Yes, these were indeed defining characteristics of our bestfriendship.

That’s why this time of the year is so exponentially imperative: two of my friends from home share a birthday on November 10. You can find me scrambling around Harvard Square attaching symbolism to each item purchased while reciting the nine steps of neuronal development (it’s midterms, round 2 season). With my birthday presents, however, I prefer to emphasize the importance of the birthday letter. So after I finished collaborating on a physics problem set (endearingly termed pset), I spent a few hours pouring my heart and cheesy humor into the lines of college-ruled loose leaf paper, until I realized I had a physics lecture in 4 hours and haven’t slept yet…whoops!

Sometimes on campus, it can seem like an ongoing challenge to get less sleep than all of your friends. This isn’t because Harvard students are obnoxiously competitive in all things related to life (did you notice I collaborated with other students to complete my physics homework??); it’s because we’re all trying to create marvelous memories of our college years. None of the stressful Math 55 psets will be distinguishable in the end and none of our organic chemistry exams will seem so pinnacle. What will be ingrained in our memories are the times when our friends in the Quad wanted to Skype about a pset because they live so far or the times you snorted because that nerdy joke just hit the spot. You’ll remember your friendships because it’s the friendships – not the psets or papers – that endure. So to all you current college applicants out there, don’t worry about losing touch with your friends because both, your memories and relationships, will last!

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