|Lo and me :)|
|Katie and me - smiling's our favorite! SISSSSSY!|
|Love my roomie :)|
|Katie and me - Summer after senior year (2006)|
|girls out for my 22nd birthday|
(L-R) Leen, me, Ali, Lo, and Katie
|my babes :)|
(L-R) Katie, Lo, Beef, me
|summer 2006 - the most fun EVER!|
|some of my very most favorite Chi Omegas at my wedding reception|
July 26, 2008
|Ali, Katie, me|
|Kings of Leon Concert at Rupp Arena|
Yes, folks...these are my girls. My friends, my sisters, my soulmates. I love them dearly!
Many a night back in the early 2000s, I'd glance at my clock and it'd say 5, 6, even 7 A.M...not nighttime anymore! I'd finally decide it was time to go to sleep—having been up since the day before. Although I had pulled my fair share of all-nighters to finish assignments, most times I was still up because I had stayed up talking with my girlfriends, living in the sorority dorm...and these were not isolated incidents. They were the best days of my life.
My roommates/ best friends and I shared many late nights, for reasons ranging from nothing at all, beverage consumption, to classwork, to our inability to stop talking to each other. As a result of all our bonding, we could often communicate without speaking, creating our own version of the old-married-couple dynamic. In fact, my college roommates/ girlfriends became part of my extended family, us even visiting their families and becoming just as close to them. These girls were not just temporary surrogates, there for me during my years away from home; I'm confident they will forever be a part of my life...we'll always be there for each other.
I am positive that the similarly close relationships I have formed with these so very dear friends can also be found in various incarnations across our age group. There is just something about taking a group of young people, putting them in the same place for four years (give or take a few), and telling them to work, live, and play together that facilitates connections unlike the relationships formed in any other parts of life.
AS A RESULT, when I began reflecting on the singular strength of my college friendships, I initially attributed it simply to the length of time I’d spent in one place, in close quarters...living on my own whims and regards, solidifying my relationships. But after talking with other friends, just like me, who were born and raised in the same city, but went away to college—who went from elementary school through high school with the same group of classmates and friends—I realized that something else might be at work in fostering college bonds. The friendships thosefriends had made at college were also special, even though they’d existed in the same location a mere four years—or less.
Regardless of how we grew up and the nature of the friendships we made before college, many of us left home to live away from our families for the first time. We left not only to get a college education, but also to grow into the independent adults we are expected to be after graduation. We left to learn about ourselves, to discover who we are, and who we want to be—whether we realized it or not as we arrived on campus freshman year.
Although I am fundamentally the same person I have always been, I grew up a lot in my four years plus at college. For me and many others, college is a time of exponential growth, at a pace substantially different from that in middle school or high school. All of the discoveries and struggles for those four years, I made with my friends. We were there for each other during those late nights, boyfriend issues, and grown-up situations... when shoes (stilettos, of course) might have been thrown and loud, inappropriate exclamations about our frustrations might have been uttered...okay, most definitely WERE uttered. On those days when getting an assignment done before it was time to hit up "a girl's night out" seemed impossible, we were there for each other, preparing dinners, hanging out, and helping one another through the tough and the rough. My friends encouraged my ever-changing mind about my majors, and were just as excited as I was when I started my studies in the field of education junior year, and have lovingly endured listening to me analyze every student's successes and failures and what else I could have done. It’s these shared experiences that will forever link us together.
My college career ended almost 6 years ago, so you may be wondering why I'm reflecting on this, or what brought it to my mind in the first place...
Well, two of these special girls from college came to visit me this past weekend. Katie and Lauren ("Lo" to us). My girls. While we are too close to 30 and all more than settled into our "big kid" lives and careers, having all spread out and moved to different cities, we still pick up right where we left off, like no time has passed. Without question, when we get together, we have a blast...and we don't even have to do a thing! Case in point...I am 7 months pregnant. There is not too much I feel like doing or can get out and do...which is a far cry from the Abby Banker I was in college, but these girls made it clear that all they wanted to do was 'veg-out' on the couch and enjoy each other's company which is exactly what we did and it was so much fun. We joked, we laughed, we reminisced, and we watched movies in our PJs all day. It was perfect. I just feel so very blessed to have Katie and Lo in my life...they are truly AMAZING women and AMAZING friends. I love my college girlfriends!
PS, they even brought Jackbaby some goodies!!! Take a look...
|"Aunt Lo-Lo" brought Jack the cutest robe I have EVER seen! It's a shark!|
|"Aunt Lo-Lo" also brought him this for his room and the ducky for bathtime!|
|Look at ALL this preciousness from Aunt Katie!|
see the monster houseshoes?!? Um, AMAZING! So precious!
|Katie, Lo, Beth ("Beef") and me at Leenie's wedding|
|Our first sorority formal - December 2002|
|Leenie's bachelorette party - summer 2010|
|We don't need anything else...just us :)|
|(L-R) Me, Lo, Beef, and Leenie|
|(L-R) Leenie, me, Katie, Beef|
Colleen's bachelorette party
|VIPs in the stretch Hummer for Leen's bachelorette|
|Katie and me - summer 2004|
|Beef and me|
Kristen's wedding - September 2006
|White Trash Bash 2005|
|Chi Omegas :)|
|in the VIP Lounge for Leen's bachelorette|
|The night Katie and I FINALLY graduated college!|
|my bridal shower thrown by these 3 bridesmaids (Lo, Katie, and Beef) at Katie's dad's house|
|like I said, we only need each other to make a night fun|
|a night out with my roomie!|
|Senior Formal - Winter 2005|
|a night out with the ladies :)|
|Ali, me, Katie - Summer 2004, I think|
|Phi Delta Theta house - Spring 2003|
(L-R) Stephanie, Lauren, Beef, Leen, me, Lo
|"Hot Hoots n' Harleys" theme dance|
|Lo, me, Katie|
|Lo, me, Leen|
|Long story, but absolutely hysterical.|