Friends in high places

Published 3:50 pm Friday, February 2, 2018

was blessed with three great friends in high school: Ashley, Ansley and Kate.  We referred to ourselves as the “fab four.” Our friendship started when we were freshmen, and it only grew. No boyfriend or after school activity could keep us apart; the fab four just added new people, who later deemed us a family.

When senior year approached, it seemed scary to think we would be going three different directions. I would be the farthest away in Tuscaloosa, while Ashley would go to Kennesaw and Ansley and Kate settled in Athens.

It wasn’t long into first semester when I started making trips up to Athens to see Ansley and Kate. They were living in the same dorm and already seemed to have multiple friends. I was not having that same luck at school. I felt a little out of place and unsure why I wasn’t fitting in with everyone else. After a fun weekend with my friends, I realized I was maybe sabotaging my own ability to make friends at my new school. I was comparing everyone to the friendships that I had made over a four-year period. I returned to school determined to try and make connections in the way Ansley and Kate had.

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It was the week of homecoming, and there we were in the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority house working on our homecoming float. Some girls invited me to sit with them and before we knew it, it was 2 a.m. and we were ordering pizza, laughing and exchanging numbers so we could all hang out. It felt so awesome to have friends again.

Some of the girls I exchanged numbers with became my best friends at school. One of them is Madison. If Madison had lived in Albany, she would’ve been a part of our group. She was always there for me whenever anything happened. When her parents came to visit, they treated me like I was their own daughter. It felt so normal; like we had been friends our whole lives.

Upon graduation, I realized how special each one of my friends really is. They have all decided on an occupation that really gives back to others and helps shape their future. I knew they would all go far, but I am thrilled now, that they have the ability to make an impact on someone’s life in the same way they had an impact on mine.

Kate is an assistant to a pastor and leads a small group Bible study. She is truly doing the Lord’s work, and I can’t imagine anyone better for the job. During my times at school where I felt lonely, she always offered to pray for me. It takes a special friend to pray for you instead of just saying, “it’ll be alright.” Others noticed her love for life and for God too, and she is engaged to be married in May.

Ansley is in graduate school to become a speech pathologist. She will be giving children the ability to fully express themselves, which is something she does every day. She never forgets to call you back and tell you how much she loves you and misses you.

Ashley is well on her way to becoming a psychologist. She had a fair share of struggles during her first few years at school, and now she wants to make sure everyone always has someone to open up to whenever they are struggling. She does a great job; she always lets me vent to her for hours on end about whatever it may be. Last is Madison. She became a special education teacher, and is helping her students develop skills they may have otherwise never learned. She taught me so much about myself and showed me how to love the way her students loved. I really do have a great set of friends and I realize that even more now. I have a group of girls, who are making sure each person has the ability to love their life and verbalize it the way we did growing up, and for that I am so blessed.