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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
The Observer

Copy of Falling in love for dummies - 1

The semester of suffering well

I wish someone told me it’s allowed to suck when you’re crying in front of CJ’s or at the Grotto or in LaFun or in a very public spot of North Dining Hall. 

It’s allowed to suck, and you’re allowed to hate everything, and yet, it’s also allowed to be a blast — when you’re dancing in someone else’s dress, flirting with a friend’s RA, going home with the girls and sleeping on their couch, calling it the best sleep of the semester. 

The truth is, it’s allowed to be whatever it needs to be. It’s allowed to be hard. It’s allowed to be great. It‘s allowed to be absurd. It’s allowed to be extremely boring. It’s also allowed to be negative 20 degrees, and you’re allowed to skate to class on the icy sidewalks, turning your brisk 10-minute stroll to DeBart into a 21-minute near-death experience.

I admit, this semester has sucked in many ways, but I’m sort of grateful — because even in the sucking, there was hope and lots of love, and I won’t forget it.

I won’t forget that time I swore I said something super profound when it was really just profoundly stupid — because “men aren’t really men until they act like men,” sort of sounds like a line from Socrates. 

I won’t forget when Clare and I ranked every single Keenan Revue skit. The news skit was unequivocally the best, but the submarine skit was a close second.

I won’t forget my walk of shame, which was really just me leaving my girlfriends’ apartment wearing the plastic safari hat I acquired from Lizzie’s birthday party. 

I won’t forget the groundhog not seeing his shadow, but Mother Nature somehow still blessing us with an extra long winter and no sunlight. I might never trust that groundhog again.

I won’t forget curling up with Emily and Caroline in my Twin XL bed, and all of us dozing off after a long girl talk.

I won’t forget my ex-talking phase pulling up to my friends’ party, and me high-fiving him because a side-hug simply didn’t feel appropriate.

I won’t forget my phone dying during the Holy Half and having to listen to myself breathe for six more miles. I also had to listen to the girls behind me, also breathing for six more miles.

I won’t forget the time I told a boy he looked like the Lorax and then DMed him later that night to reiterate that I sincerely meant it as a compliment. 

I won’t forget the FaceTime calls from Amelia and Emily, missing them and missing Rome and missing those places we’ll share forever, the language which floats in the streets, the wine which goes for three euro (my favorite part).

I won’t forget sitting outside of the reading room for three hours with a friend, talking about how we plan to embark on a period of singleness to “find ourselves.” Go Irish, stay single!

I won’t forget that first trip to Brooke and Haley’s apartment, how my friends welcomed me home to South Bend after my months abroad, and it feeling like no time had passed.

I won’t forget dancing the night away at Farley formal with Annelise, her twirling and dipping me, and feeling weightless on the Dahnke dance floor (also almost flashing 50 people when I felt weightless on the Dahnke dance floor).

I won’t forget showing up to my consumer behavior exam 30 minutes late. Don’t ask.

I won’t forget the early morning trips to O’Shag to keep Clare company and all those breakfast burritos from Charron Commons.

I won’t forget the time a guy told me I looked like a beluga whale, and all my friends yelled at him and told him, “That’s our friend, you can’t say that” and also “She doesn’t even look like a beluga whale.” 

I won’t forget sprinting to Irish Flats, clutching Helen’s hair straightener and then ripping my white leather pants on the way there. The white leather pants were one of many casualties during that weekend.

I won’t forget rolling around in the grass with Haley and then winding up in some random Sted’s off-campus house. They gave us pizza, and we all became friends, though I don’t remember most of their names.

I won’t forget the lake walks. So many lake walks. Good lake walks, bad lake walks, extra bad lake walks. 

I won’t forget crying over brunch with Molly and Sarah at Dainty Maid because life is so fleeting.

I won’t forget those frequent calls to Fife between classes and our spontaneous drives to coffee shops to “do homework” when we never have any real intentions of “doing homework.”

I won’t forget huddling around a big table in the jungle on a Sunday night with the senior girls doing homework, thinking about how this time next year, they’ll be elsewhere, and that’s terrifying but I’m also so so happy for them, and this article is dedicated to them. 

I won’t forget my sisters. My girls. The people who make this whole thing worth it. The people who make the sucking suck less. The people who help me suffer well. 

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.