From the Patio: Lessons Learned from Late Friendships

As seniors in college we still have a lot to learn, but there’s also a lot we’ve learned since we’ve been here. We would tell you all about these lessons learned, but then you wouldn’t experience them yourself. However, there is one thing we would like to share with you—not because you can’t figure it out yourself, but because there’s a part of both of us that wishes someone had told us sooner.

With our final fall semester well past the half-way mark, we’ve realized that there are so many people we’ve walked past everyday, seen studying two cubbies down and maybe even taken a class with but are only now taking the time to get to know. You know those awkward introductions that happen at parties? Where a mutual friend will say, “Oh, hey do you know my friend So-and-So?” And you both kind of shrug and say, “Yeah, I think we had a class together a couple semesters ago.” You definitely knew who the person was and they know who you were but you really didn’t know each other. Then after the formal introduction, you end up spending half the night talking, laughing and wondering why you didn’t hang out before.

While St. Mary’s doesn’t have traditional cliques, we still have our group of friends that we stick with.  It wasn’t until that group of friends started drifting apart after graduations, transferring, etc. that we looked outside the circle.  Over the weekend, our group of friends were talking about relationships and we found that it was only this year that many of us had become close. It was sad that our close friendships were only forming in our last year at school. Though we all knew each other from former classes, club meetings, or of course Facebook, it had only been this semester that we were finally becoming good friends.

It seems strange that in our final year, when we should feel so comfortable and established in our friendships, we find ourselves going back and reconnecting with first-year roommates and forming new friendships, with fellow seniors and juniors, sophomores, and first-years.

While there are very few regrets we have over the past four years, if there was one thing we could have changed about our college experience, it would have been to be more open to getting to know the people around us. This week, we ask that you invite your old roommate over to catch up, and go to the party next door that your neighbors are always inviting you to. Make a new friend, as we will, from our trusted seats on the patio.

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