Making new friends
Allie Tollaksen | Tuesday, February 18, 2014
When we get to Notre Dame, we’re told in some sort of knowing, dramatic voice to “look around” at the students in our halls and classes. “These people,” we’re told, “will be your friends forever. They’ll be in your wedding party.”
Hearing that news at Frosh-O, my heart was not warmed. Instead, it set me off on a path of anxiety that these four years represent our last chance to ever make friends in this world. Let it be known I have made wonderful, lasting friendships here, but to think this short stint in the collegiate world marks the end of friendship-making as I know it is a little scary and pretty sad.
I’m not the only one — 20-somethings are constantly lamenting their apprehension and confusion in the realm of post-collegiate friendship. To meet new friends in the adult world is a mysterious part of the great unknown before us, along with car maintenance and how bank accounts work.
However, my anxiety and sense of overall doom were put to rest a few days ago. In the midst of Junior Parents Weekend (JPW), while we juniors had the opportunity to show our parents exactly what we do on this fine campus and introduce them to our friends, I watched my parents form genuine friendships themselves.
I can’t exactly say I didn’t see it coming.
My close friend, Keri, and I were continually discovering the similarities between our parents for months leading up to JPW, and were thoroughly amused by the prospect of our parents meeting. Our moms were both animal lovers, taking in pets from near and far and saving poor creatures from oncoming traffic much to their daughters’ horror. Our fathers were both hilarious men named Terry. JPW, we thought, was going to be interesting.
What Keri and I didn’t see coming was the joy and hilarity that would ensue. As soon as we did our generic introductions, the parents hit it off instantly. Our moms laughed and high-fived over shared experiences despite having met that day; our dads, the Terrys, listened to the tales of animal rescue, exchanged knowing glances and enjoyed great conversation. Keri and I sat back in amazement as our two worlds, home and school, came together almost seamlessly.
Throughout the weekend, I was able to introduce my parents to many of my friends and their parents. Bonds continued to form. By the end, my mom left with plans to not only come back and visit me, but to reunite with the great people she met over the lweekend. Hearing about these newly-made connections was not surprising in some ways. After all, these people had one thing for certain in common — they are fantastic, caring parents.
Still, watching these bonds form was not only amusing and adorable, but reassured me that no matter what age, there’s always room and possibility for more friends.
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.