This weekend I had a birthday, and even though the week is already halfway over, I’m still feeling happy. My friends threw a sorta-surprise birthday party at midnight, which included this groovy cake with psychedelic colors:
When I first came to Harvard as a fresh freshman, I had no idea if I would find real friends and relationships in college. I was hoping for the best, but that first year of college is pretty socially demanding and hard to navigate, as any college-kid you know can probably confirm, and we were all more concerned with making friends than with keeping them. During those first months of school, everyone had a ton of “friends.” But while we were bouncing between room parties and study groups and sports practices and formals, the substance and mettle of those relationships hadn’t been tested yet.
The last three and a half years have been full of fluctuations for me. I studied abroad in Paris last fall, and I felt like a freshman all over again when I came back to campus in the spring. Then there are the natural ebbs and flows of friend-groups; for example, in field hockey off-seasons, I don’t see my teammates nearly as often. Even though most of us long for relational consistency, I think that friend fluxes are a natural (and sometimes inevitable) part of life. But on Saturday night, as I looked around at my closest friends, I felt so blessed and full to the brim. To the casual onlooker, I was just shoveling rainbow cake into my mouth, but on the inside, I was thinking: the people in this room are all people I love.
I’m so grateful I can write that sentence before I graduate, and mean it.