Growing up, I didn’t have friends. I had classmates, I had teammates, I had a strong associate or two, but nobody that fit into what I now define as a “great friend”. My freshman year of college I gained true friends. The “I will sing to you and be silly on your birthday to cheer you up friends,” the I’ll go to class for you when you’re sick and take your notes so you won’t miss anything important friends” “the I call your mom, mom” friends and most importantly the “I will hold you accountable for your actions and let you know when you’re tripping” friends. Not only that, they care (sometimes to a fault). We are vested in one another. We don’t always agree, we don’t have the same taste in men, and we all love tequila. We all come from very different middle class American homes and span the board in the areas of social justice, politics, entertainment, and being a decent human being, yet somehow we make it work. I think most of this stems from respecting that people you love may have different opinions than you, but you should take that opportunity to get a new perspective. It’s humbling at times because you can be so against something and never realize that that very things can work wonders for another person’s situation. I’ve come to terms with so many things that I was “morally against” in the past few years and I’m glad that I have. Coming into college I had very conservative views on abortion, the female body, politics, etc. and it never occurred to me that I could be wrong. Boy, was I wrong. I would describe my views as moderate now, and that would not have happened had it not been for my friends. I’m grateful for great friends, not only because I actually have friends, but also because of how much they’ve taught me. I guess those years I spent friendless were the years that helped me cultivate myself and make sure that I could be a great friend to the great friends that would come into my life. I’m glad I had that time to prepare myself because because of my friends, I feel as though I am more of a decent human being, and at the end of the day that’s what counts.