swiss semester

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You know when small periods of your life seem to have a theme?  Like your life is just one giant theme party that no one told you about, and you’re looking around thinking, “Can this really be happening?”  That was my weekend.

I mean, it was Halloweekend, so I was already all tee’ed up to see crazy people running around in cool costumes.  That much I expected.  What I didn’t expect was who those crazy people would be.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

My sophomore year of high school I decided to take a break from my lifestyle in Sewickley, PA and go on a semester abroad in Zermatt, Switzerland with a program called Swiss Semester.  On this program thirty other high school sophomores and I hiked, biked, mountain climbed, and skied our way around the Alps all the while having a break taking view of the Matterhorn.  Literally all of my pictures from that trip look like they should be in a travel magazine, and I can assure you that it’s not due to my photography skills.  This is where I made some really life-changing friendships.  These other kids became my family, but because we all live in different parts of the United States, I have only been able to see them here and there, and often by chance.

So, back to this weekend.

On Thursday night, I said, “See ya!” to my roommates and headed down on the shuttle in the pouring rain/snow to Harvard Square.  I was super stoked because I was picking up my friend Jenny from Swiss Semester who I hadn’t seen in four years, and who was in town for the weekend.  Seeing her walk down the ramp from the T and into my arms was the most amazing experience in the world!  Back in my room, we laughed and talked and shared stories about our lives, but what was the most amazing part was that even though we hadn’t done a particularly good job of keeping in touch and even though we hadn’t seen each other in forever, we were able to dive right back into where we had left off in the JFK airport four years ago.

Friday morning I woke up bright and early (9:30 a.m.) to have breakfast with Jenny (Side note:  I know that breakfast is the most valuable meal of the day… but you know, they also say that sleep is valuable, and sometimes breakfast just doesn’t happen for me.  Ok, let’s be honest, breakfast NEVER happens for me, so getting up early on my first day of the weekend to eat with Jenny was a big deal.  What can I say?  I love my friends).  Joining us was our other friend from Swiss Semester Renée who now goes to Harvard.  So the whole thing was a giant Swiss-fest (or Swiss-fast, you know cause it was breakfast… ha… ha… no? I need to stop it with these terrible puns).

After again being struck by how easily we fell back into our friendship and talking and laughing some more, I bid them both adieus.  I had to go get dressed so that my Swiss Semester friend- themed day could continue.  After dropping off a paper that was due at noon for my Literature and Sexuality class, I took the T to MIT, and got on a bus to Wellesley College.  I know I’ve mentioned this before, but my best friend in the world Heather goes to Wellesley.  What I might not have mentioned is that I also met her at Swiss Semester.  Because she and I both go to school in the Boston area, we get to see each other a lot more than we did in post-Swiss Semester high school where she lived in Minneapolis and I lived in Pittsburgh.  After we spent the beautiful New England day hanging out by the lake, she returned with me to Harvard for a Harvard Model Congress Halloween Party!

Heather and me dressed up for Halloween in the year 2007 (Zermatt, Switzerland)

Heather and me dressed up for Halloween in the year 2011 (Cambridge, MA)

Saturday I woke up super early (7:45 am) to go to an all day Harvard University Women in Business conference at the Westin Hotel downtown for most of the day.  I will have to devote an entirely different blog post to Women in Business sometime because it is SO COOL!  But I’m getting distracted.  After the conference (during which it had started to freezing rain), I came back to Harvard to layer up – I was going to the Harvard vs. Dartmouth football game, where my friend Todd (who is ALSO from Swiss Semester) was coming down with his frat TDX to mix with my sorority Theta!

Suffice to say, this weekend was all about seeing old friends.  While my old friends in this case may have all coincidentally been from a super awesome program I did in high school, I have found by and large that while making new friends is part of what college is all about, staying close with your old friends isn’t so hard either.  Yes, you may not keep in contact as regularly, as long as your friendships are long-lasting they will be… well, long in their lasting, and will last through all sorts of separation.  So don’t worry too much about going off to school and losing touch.  If you want the friendship to still be there when you return home, it will be.

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