Over the past 12 years, you and your best friend survived braces, your first beers and slobbery fist kisses with boys half your height.
It doesn’t even come as a surprise that one night mid-ordering your chicken and broccoli at a Chinese restaurant, your friend’s dad asks you two if you’re “lipstick lesbians.”
You’re fifteen and the word lipstick lesbian is as foreign to you as size H, (Heidi-MTV reference) breast implants.
He says he knows you two are best friends and all, but at the end of the day if you fell in love with each other, he just wants to know you’ll adopt and make him a grandpa.
You roll your eyes, laugh, and respond with “NO WAY! WE’RE JUST BFFAEAEAEA x 1,000!!”
Well now it’s time for college, and you two have enrolled into the same university. Now what?
When everyone else is excited about making new friends and a new name for themselves, you’re struggling with the thought of adapting to a new environment while readjusting your friendship from home into your friendship at school.
Whoever said that old and new can’t mix must be missing a chromosome because transitioning my dearest friend from home (and hopefully one day FUTURE maid of honor), Olivia, into my closest friend at school has truly been an uncomplicated and a genuinely wonderful experience.
Because so many of us attend schools with a friend from home, and maybe even best friend, I’ve decided to give some pointers on how to make your transition fun, smooth, and easy (that description sounds more like a cheap hooker, my apologies).
1. Do Not Room Together Your Freshman Year.
Living with someone you’ve never met is a bazaar concept. You move in and you realize that in quarters the size of an early 18th century out-house you really have no choice, but to like this potential snoring klepto.
As tempting as it is to avoid the unknown and simply fill out that roommate request form, living with your BFF from home your freshman year is a big “no,no.”
College is all about independence and independent thinking, so give yourselves the chance to figure things out on your own. Don’t feed into each other’s opinions; do your own thing in the beginning and see how it goes.
After all, distance makes the heart grow fonder.
2. It’s OK to still spend time together-BFF time is a must
Olivia has been my go-to gal since N’SYNC’s 90’s debut in matcing pleather, and I wasn’t about to have Jonathan the Husky (UConn’s mascot) come between that.
The two of us made a point to get lunch or dinner together, introduce one another to the new friends we had made, and do our best to integrate our separate school lives. Although you and your best friend from home do not by any means HAVE to run in the same social circle, if you can make it work it’s a wonderful thing.
Despite the craziness of freshman year and the emotional roller coaster it took us on, Olivia and I made sure that we made time for one another. Most importantly was that despite all of the changes around us, I knew no one on campus had my back like Liv did.
And because of that simple fact, I knew we would make college adjust to us.
3. What Happens if you DO decide to live together?
Sometimes your best friend doesn’t always make the best roommate. Before you two decide to share a room, make sure you have the relationship to withstand the test.
After joining the same sorority (not on purpose though, I swear,) Olivia and I thought living together sounded like a slammin’ idea. And lucky for us, our theory was proven correct.
It’s important to be honest with yourself about the friendship.
After vacationing with your family at the beach for the weekend, are you ready for time apart or do you plan a sleepover for the returning evening? After a big exam or interview, do you walk out with a text from your BFF asking you to call the moment it’s over, or do they get jealous in the event of your successes?
I knew going into my sophomore year that living with Liv was going to be perfect. Sure, I had my moments where I worried that the living quarters would change our flawless friendship, but I knew in my heart things would work out.
We’re honest with each other when one annoys the other and we always ask before we try on each other’s clothing and jewelry. The key to a successful living situation is honesty and respect.
Sure enough, with some TLC, honesty, and respect for one another, two years later we’re still living together with plans to share an apartment next year.
4. Support, not Jealousy
This year I decided to try some new things. I got a job as a campus tour guide and started writing for the school news paper. Olivia could not have been any more supportive of my new endeavors.
Although I know she doesn’t want to read each and everyone of my articles, she reads them with a smile. And even though I’m sure she doesn’t love them all, she tells me they’re fantastic and that she’s proud of me.
Simply stated: Make new friends but keep the old, one is silver while the other is gold. Lucky for me I was able to mix gold and silver, all while keeping my gold looking shiny and “new.”
I know that if we’re 50, unmarried and fat, I can count on Olivia to share an apartment with me and some stray dogs (she gets congested around cats).
All that’s left to say is thanks Olivia, you’re truly the best. Cheers to our friendship at home, at school, and wherever it may take us.