Hello, and welcome to my latest post in which I ramble about the painstaking reality of being the baby of a friend group.
Before I explain what the heck a baby of a friend group is, I want to give context to the importance of this post. Early this morning, I was doing my regular A.M. routine (i.e. brushing my teeth and dancing in the mirror, because why not) when BAM a sudden realization, epiphany if you will, hit me so hard that I had to make a note of it on the palm of my hand. Thus, sparking the inspiration to write this very blog post.
Alright, back to the matter at hand. Wow, was that pun intended? Yes, yes it was.
Simply put, the baby is the youngest person among the friends–usually a grade or two below the majority. What is the function of the baby? Well, since I am the self-appointed friend group baby aficionado, I think I have a solid grasp on this concept since I myself am usually the baby. Being the baby means you become friends with people who have been where you’re at, they understand your struggles as a college student, and help guide you in the right direction. It means you’re given a leg up on the competition by receiving quality tips and tricks on how to pass courses, land internships, and stay alive during finals week. It means everyone outside your friend group mistakes you for being older than you really are, resulting in compliments on maturity levels. It also means that they accept you despite the age difference.
But there are two sides to every story, my dear readers. A darkness in the seemingly endless light that is a friend group.
Being the baby also means you have to endure the grotesque, and borderline scarring, event that is graduation. You must watch all your friends walk to receive their diploma and start their new adult lives, as you sit alone on the cold, unforgiving sidelines cheering them on. Woe is the friend group baby.
When I transferred to Penn State Harrisburg in Fall 2014, I commuted to and from school, which enabled me to establish friendships with fellow commuters who were in communications classes with me. Since we were on similar schedules, driving all over creation and such, we spent quality time together in between classes. Ironically enough, they were all juniors preparing for senior year, and I was but a wee sophomore; experienced enough to know the challenges of course registration, but yet still unscathed by the terrors of grad-required classes and 20-page term papers. Fast forward one year later and now I live on campus, no longer commuting, and oh yeah, all those friends from last year are graduating leaving me hopelessly behind.
All dramatics aside, thank you for all the times spent in the library waiting for classes to start, complaining about traffic en route to school, and never once treating me like I was younger than you, despite the age difference. My college experience wouldn’t have been the same without you.
Congratulations to the elders* on achieving your goals, and I’ll see you at graduation!
P.S.–If you fall I will never let you live it down.
P.S.S.–I will also most likely have it on video.
*Elders=friends who are a year or more older than myself. Sorry, I don’t make the rules.