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Photos by: Oscar Herrera

College can be extremely difficult with all the changes happening in your life. It doesn’t matter if you’re an international student, freshman or a transfer student, it’s always interesting to navigate. 

It’s easy to feel lost and afraid in this new environment. You have to navigate in a new place, with new schedules, new professors and even new people. But you know what makes it easier? Having friends by your side. 

College friendships aren’t easy, especially with your different schedules. But college friendships definitely make your life and school experience memorable.

Think of it this way: all the stars in the sky are random different points. But, when connected together, these shapes have meaning as we call them constellations. In the same way every person you meet in your college journey are those random points that you need to find every day until it comes into shape.

The ones that resonate the most with you, you start getting attached to them. These people usually have the same hobbies, personalities or they in some way light up your path.

These bonds, in my experience, are created especially over stress. You suddenly are comfortable enough to rant with them about a professor, a course or just how difficult a commuter’s life is!

One day you don’t even know their name but the next day, you’re giving them cute nicknames and calling them, “Pookie.”

As a person who was not just a transfer student but also an international student, finding new friends was the most difficult part for me. It was not just a new college but also a new country. 

I won’t lie how the first few months, the first semester to be honest, were extremely difficult. I felt out of place and trusting someone felt like climbing Mount Everest. 

But I gave myself time, made the effort and started engaging with my coworkers and classmates. It definitely helped.

Looking back today, my first semester is a blur. Why? It had no light or colors in it. It has nothing memorable because memories are created by the people involved in your journey. 

I made friends with a close group of people through organizations like The Cougar and Cooglife, and a lot of them will be graduating soon. But I will always share an unbreakable bond with them.

We went out together, cried together, had rant sessions, shared hugs, smiles and achievements, problems and solutions and so many memories.

Twenty years from today, going through the faded memories and pictures, I will not remember walking in the heat, how much my GPA was in my sophomore year or the well-known UH parking issues. 

But I will for sure remember these friends I made and the fun we had together. We’ll probably meet at each other’s weddings or 50th birthday parties. We might not meet at all because of life circumstances, but I will never forget them.

These people, my people will always be an integral part of my college journey because it’s their friendship that made it memorable.

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