The best night ever (or the night my BFF visited me at college)
Welcome to Besties Week! We’re kicking off the release of our first HelloGiggles book, A Tale of Two Besties, with an epic celebration of friendship and stories about friendship. Read an excerpt of the book, buy a copy, catch us on our cross-country book tour, and share your photos from our events by tagging us @hellogiggles #ATaleofTwoBesties.
In the meantime, join the party right here. All week long, our contributors will be sharing stories, essays and odes to their very own partners-in-crime. Read, laugh, cry (because you’re laughing so hard) and share with your bestie!
In the summer of 2011, at the end of high school, I learned that you can’t stop time. While most of my classmates were thrilled to escape the four-year institution that had showered them with busy work and standardized tests, I was distraught. Not only would I be leaving the only home I’d ever known, but I’d also have to say goodbye to the one person that didn’t nervously back out of the room when I made a nerdy book reference or cackled like a hyena: my best friend. Though we’d both decided to go to college in Massachusetts, we would still be over two hours away from each other starting in September. The prospect of not being able to rush over to the other’s house for a gossip session or a thrilling night of video games and eating cookie dough was daunting. When our last day at school together finally rolled around, we exchanged sad smiles and went our separate ways, but not before vowing that we’d find a way to visit each other, even if that meant meeting up halfway at some shabby Massachusetts town we’d never heard of.
Over the next few months, we Skyped each other obsessively, usually after a bad romantic encounter or a particularly stressful Walking Dead episode. We invented a new holiday, Best Friend Weekend, as an excuse to journey to each other’s schools. After a few failed attempts, we finally planned a time for her to visit. By the time she stepped foot on my miniscule college campus, most of my friends had returned home for the weekend, giving us the freedom to do whatever we wanted. The college was our oyster.
At least, it was for a few hours. After an aggressive dance party and an exciting round of “How Many Classmates Can We Stalk On Facebook?,” we were out of ideas. Hoping to sneak her into the dining hall, we laced up our shoes and ventured outside into the cool autumn air. At 7 p.m., the campus was already dark and I began to worry about our weekend plans. What if we can’t find anything to do? What if she grows so bored that she never comes back to visit? What if she’s so disappointed that she cuts me off entirely and never speaks to me again?
My irrational train of thought was interrupted when we entered the dining hall to find not a bustling food paradise but what looked like an impromptu game show. There were tables filled with chatty college students, banners dangling from the doorways, and a mountain of prizes sitting on the other side of the room. We both approached the table of one of my classmates and asked for an explanation. “Oh, this a Quiz Bowl!” he explained, “It’s basically a really intense form of trivia. We actually need two more people to join our team! Want to play?” My friend and I turned to each other, pursing our lips in the same way that you might if a stranger offered you free ice cream, as if to say “Hey, why not?,”and agreed.
The rest of the night was spent racking our brains for science and math facts and celebrating the occasional pop culture and literature questions that we were more qualified to answer. (Like “Who is Mark Twain?” and “What sound do cats make?” The questions were a bit more complicated than that, of course, but compared to the biochemistry answers our teammates were providing, our contributions seemed pretty trivial.) When the host announced at the end of the night that we had won the tournament, my friend and I turned to each other and erupted in laughter, thinking the same thing: that night, we had set out to find some quality French fries and pizza slices, only to end up entering a Quiz Bowl, winning some prizes, and landing our picture on the front of the school paper. (It took “you don’t even go here” to a whole new level.)
I learned that night something I had really known all along: you never know what opportunity is lying around the next corner. But honestly, you don’t really need to. You just need to have the right person to seize that opportunity with, someone that will roll with the punches and accept you for all of your mistakes, your silly cat puns, and your terrible, terrible dance moves. You need someone that will yell “Carpe diem!” at ridiculous situations (no matter how nerve-racking they are), someone that you can call your bestie. I found mine and I wouldn’t trade her for all the time in the world.