Why my phone is the most important member of my squad

Your friends from college are the people who will most likely stick with you after all the exams and tuition fees are forgotten; these people will know about your first adult love and will very likely be the witnesses to your first job hunt, engagement, wedding, and kids. I am fortunate enough to have four wonderful friends like this and I am grateful they’ve stuck by me through even the worst (and weirdest) of times. The catch? The five of us live in four cities, three countries, and two continents. I know, I know. You might be wondering how we manage. The answer? Lots of time on our phones, on apps like Facebook and Whatsapp. The truth is, there is not much of a difference in our relationship these days, except for the get-together part of our friendship — we have the same deep conversations late at night, offer each other the same words of encouragement, and we share the same tears and laughter that I have with my friends who live in the same town as I do. It’s all of these things that makes missing them worthwhile, and that makes our time together (virtually and in real life) so much sweeter. I love these friends deeply — they are my sisters, my cheer squad, and the anchor that keeps me grounded when life refuses to let me back up to the surface to breathe. These are women I relate to for so many reasons and on so many deep levels. I admire and look up to my friends; they are entrepreneurs, mothers, wives, and career women. I’d be incomplete without them. There is no difference between the love I feel for them and the love I feel for the friends I share a zip code with, except that I have known my long distance college friends longer. It’s possible that they know a more complete version of me; they know the me that was stressed out about exams and grades, or landing my first job. They know the me that cried a river over that awful break up with my college sweetheart, and they helped me through depression and other terrible chapters in my life. My friends from previous workplaces and those I’ve met under other circumstances don’t always understand where I’m coming from, but my friends from college? They do. There are many essays these days being written about how we’re losing touch with each other in this “digital era” — how we make plans with our friends only to stare at our phones. To me, though, my phone contains not only the contact information of my family and friends but the deepest conversations I’ve ever had. My phone contains the most wonderful words of encouragement I have ever been given by my best friends, and pictures of our times together and apart. My phone is not my lifeline — the people I can reach thanks to it are. Lily Villafana is a coffee lover, Sherlock (ahem! Benedict Cumberbatch) and Doctor Who fan, who loves rainy days, subscription boxes, books and who is a proud and self proclaimed Microsoft Excel nerd.

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