I need to post about my travels from the other week. I really need to get off my butt and go to the gym. I really really need to stop procrastinating and start writing a paper that is due on Thursday. More important than all of this, though, is the need and the desire to tell my story. Especially in light of the recent events (both around the world and at my dear Wofford College), I think that it is important to talk about my personal experiences and how I am perceiving this crazy thing called life. As I was mindlessly scrolling through Pinterest earlier today, I stumbled upon a quote that read, “You own everything that has happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better”. I am a shy person and I like to keep my emotions to myself, but as I read that quote, I realized that I have every single right to say what is on my mind and tell some people that they absolutely suck while I tell others how important they are to me.
It will come as no surprise to some of the people that read this post to hear that last year, I was the definition of the sophomore slump. To put it mildly, I was having issues with friendships at home, my college roommate was dealing with demons that nobody could help make better, and I got involved with two boys who have no idea what it means to love a woman and treat her with respect. I spent the majority of my time crying about how unhappy I was. At the time, it seemed like nothing would ever get better. Somehow, with the help of my amazing mother who was never phased by my breakdowns, I made it through the year and things finally began to look up.
When I got to Copenhagen, I was so worried that I had made a mistake. My first encounter with the majority of my housemates was an awkward silence where I spoke and they all stared at me like I was some hick from the boondocks. However, it did not take long for the yearning for home to dissipate. I love Columbia and I love Wofford, but living in Copenhagen for the past four months has given me a new perspective of the world and I am forever grateful for that. The friends that I have made challenge me every single day to be a better person and to go outside my comfort zone. For that, they deserve the world.
Sondra, I don’t think it’s possible to describe how much you mean to me. You were the first person to give me a hug after a hectic day of traveling, and that is such a testament to who you are as a person. An even better showing of your character is when you helped me lug three overweight suitcases up four flights of stairs without any questioning. I could not have asked for a better person to live with this past semester, and I am just going to leave it at that because I don’t feel like ugly crying again. Remember that one agreement you and I made when signing our roommate contract? Sorry for breaking that. All the pinches you gave me make up for that.
Emma, I was terrified of you when I first met you. I didn’t understand how someone with such a scary RBF could have such an understanding soul. I quickly learned that you protect the people you care about and you do everything in your power to make them feel safe and comfortable. The life challenges that you have endured have not stopped you from being honest and vulnerable, and I am constantly amazed by your strong-willed nature.
Maddie, I applaud you for your honesty. You never held back from speaking your mind and that takes a lot of guts. Your sarcasm always kept our floor on our toes and taught us to expect the unexpected. I felt at home the minute I found out you were from Virginia and appreciated fried food just as much (if not more) as I do.
Avid, your anxiety gives me anxiety. Never in my life have I met someone so dedicated and passionate about their interests. Every single day, you pushed me to not be afraid of life. You held me accountable and called me out on my mistakes, but you did it in such a kind way. Remember when we barely knew each other and you said “I think you’re a piece of shit, but we aren’t talking about that right now”? Obviously some people need to know the context of that conversation to realize that it’s not offensive, but I’m glad you were never afraid to be mean to me. You and I both know that it’s only easy to be a jerk to the people that you actually care about.
Anna, you always accepted the fact that sometimes absurd amounts of unhealthy food is all it takes to make a bad day better (even if you still refuse to admit that you eat unhealthy food). Spending a week traveling through Portugal, Barcelona, and Amsterdam with you taught me that you have to be able to laugh at yourself in order to survive in this world and that mistakes just lead to a good story.
Kaela, the amount of information that your brain holds fascinates me. Over the semester, I learned so much about your passions and I always felt as if you were genuinely interested in what I had to say. Your generosity is never ending and your gifts show that you pay attention to people – like when you gave me a stuffed pig for my birthday or when you gave me lotion just for sewing one of your shirts. It’ll take me awhile to realize that I won’t always smell your cooking at random hours of the day.
Sean, sometimes it still blows my mind how fast you came into my life and how quickly you became someone that means so much to me. You showed me how to love myself, even when I felt like I was not someone worthy of affection. Nothing can compare to your sharp intellect and heart of gold. I love the way that you care for me, but even more than that, I love the way you care for everyone else. It makes me so happy to sit back and watch you listen to other people talk because you never seem to lose focus on them. I don’t know how you do it, but you make me feel like a rambunctious child and a wise old woman all at the same time. Even with greasy hair and hairy legs, you make me feel like the most beautiful and intelligent girl in the world. “When our eyes met, invisible hands tied delicate threads and bound our hearts together.”
Store Kannikestræde 13 brought so much joy to my life. But without these people, it would have meant absolutely nothing. What makes a place your home is never the physical area in which you reside. What makes a place a home is the people that you share it with, and I could not have asked for a more amazing group of people to live with.
Tusind tak for the most unforgettable semester of my life, København!