I was never much of a party person. Most weekends I would watch girls dressed in almost nothing walk to the frat houses as I walked home from work in my oversized sweatshirt. I knew they were going to have fun, and I hoped that everyone would stay safe. As I was ending my night, everyone else's seemed to be just beginning. In high school, I knew many girls that went to parties and got drunk in the middle of the week; we went to an all-girls catholic school so they'd just get together with the boys' school down the way. I wasn't like that, I never had any interest or curiosity. My big group of friends (about 13 of us) would sit in the basement watching stupid movies and making compliment papers to each other.
We would write our names really big in the middle of the paper and pass it around so everyone could write what we loved about each other. There was only one rule: we couldn't compliment physical features, it had to come from within. I loved my friends, but once college came around, we sort of broke up. Most of us still talk, but only a few girls hang out every once in a while. Which is fine, we are growing up and going on different paths.
I still don't have any interest in parties, but my high school friends seem to love it now. I see pictures and videos of them playing games in dingy basements or sending a quick text to say how much fun they're having with their new college friends. I've been to parties, I won't lie about that, and they're fun; yet, when I go home, go to sleep and get up the next morning- all I'm looking forward to is going back to work or jumping back into my homework. No one else seems to feel that way.
During my freshman year of college, my friends would beg me to go out with them. I did twice that year. I would sit with them as they got ready, and sit in one of their dorms watching her Netflix until they all came back. They never forced me to go or made me feel bad about not wanting to go. I soon realized how important that was to have in a friend and how I took it for granted. The only bad part was when they got home and had too much to drink; I had to deal with their consequences.
I always took care of my friends, whether it was from the aftermath of a party, difficult homework, or from a bad day. I was known as the mom friend for as long as I can remember. The first time someone called me 'mom' was in the 6th grade when we went ice skating, and I held everyone's stuff when they went on the ice. (I didn't want to get on because I have weak ankles.) I've been the mom ever since, and I genuinely love it. It makes me feel needed and loved the way I love others.
Even now, as a fresh graduate, I love being the mom. I've learned when to turn it on and when to keep it on the 'down-low', but it's always there. My sweet little freshmen are now sophomores, and my adorable sophomores are now juniors! I was afraid that when I graduated they wouldn't need me anymore, but I quickly learned that wasn't the case.
Move-in day for a few of them was yesterday, and guess who got a call at midnight: me. It was fantastic to see some of them and talk about how move-in went, how much we miss each other, and when I can visit. It's good to know they still want me around, even though I can't always be around.
It hurts me that things in my life are changing so drastically. I've been in school for almost 22 years, and now I'm done- just like that. I feel so unprepared, I feel very alone at times, but I know I can figure it out. I still think about middle school and how I wish I could see those guys again. I still think about life when I was really young, didn't make stupid mistakes, and had the whole world ahead of me.
But I realize that my whole life is still ahead of me, life is just starting. No matter where you are in life- it's all just starting. Every day is a new chance to make a difference. Be the change you wish to see in the world. Just take a breath and let the world slow down for a minute, you'll be just fine.