It’s funny how you change so much from the beginning of college, and especially after I’ve come back from studying abroad… I’ve noticed that while I’ve become a lot more open-minded and tolerant of people I wouldn’t have liked before, I also do not wait around for people to make up their minds. Yes, this is may sound a bit pushy, but it’s a conscious choice I’m making to live life to the fullest and to not let anyone hold me back from enjoying my (limited) youth.

I used to get so stressed over how people perceived me (& still often do!) and while I’ve never been the type to try to ‘win’ people over into being my friend, I had conformed. I wouldn’t call myself a fake or anything, I was just not openly voicing my opinion, which ended up causing me stress.

I came to realize though, this kind of behavior is internally destructive. I felt like I was keeping so many of my opinions to myself that it was eating at me. I would get annoyed with someone, but instead of voicing it, I internalized it and it would only stress me out more by not saying anything!!

I’ve come to accept the differences that make my friends who they are and ultimately the reason I love being friends with them, because we challenge each other! And those friends who I disagree with and in a way that conflicts with my personal values, I still talk to and hang out with, but I make sure that our conversations are never in-depth to the point that my values are put in jeopardy.

It may seem wrong of me to choose friends based on the similarities and differences in our values, but my mother’s always told me, “Choose your friends wisely.” And until recently I took it as a grain of sand, but it really make sense! Why wouldn’t I want to surround myself with friends who support me in all my endeavors, who believe in honesty and integrity, and who strive for success in all that they do? I’ve come to embrace the fact that I have the power to control who I chose to be in my life, and who I’d rather only have lunch with once in a while.

A final quote on friendship….
“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” – Jim Morrison

On a much less serious note: last night I had the pleasure of accompanying my friend Cody to a jazz concert where they do a ‘pick out of a hat’ kind of ordeal and end up mixing and matching bands to do an impromptu ensemble. It was amazing! Even though the impromptu band members didn’t know each other, they performed as if they had played together for ages! Whether it was their ability to adapt or their creative impromptu skills they played wonderfully and it was such a great experience to try something new in Baltimore!

Have a great week ’Hounds,
Victoria :)

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