The Story of How the Cool Girl became my First Best Friend

Let us call her – Brandy. Brandy is one of those girls that you see across the street and know she’s got some crazy stories to tell. Brandy is quite literally the polar opposite of me, but the friend I’ve always dreamed of having.

I met her pretty early on in the year – she was hooking up with another exchange student who lived in my halls. Let’s call him Orlando. Brandy and Orlando had something else going on – they were two extremely passionate people. But cheeky little Orlando had a girlfriend back home. Now I didn’t know Brandy too well at this point, just the odd hello on the walkway outside our halls, and I’m ashamed to say I judged her for hooking up with a taken lad. (Turns out she didn’t know, see? Cheeky Orlando.)

That was my first impression; stunning, rebellious, too cool for school and a little intimidating. So our conversations were short and polite – until I met Orlando’s friend. Now let’s call this guy Chris. Chris is another story. But when we hung out it would be the four of us and several other people who were mutual friends. Eventually it ended up being the coolest crew that I had been craving for the longest time. We studied together, drank together and got into trouble together. I got closer to Brandy throughout this whole process, and when we both got a bid for the same sorority it was pretty clear that we were similar on some levels. She even got the girl I wanted as my big originally – another story.

Something clicked – neither of us really fit that “srat” lifestyle. But boy we did have fun. Brandy was the girl that persuaded me to jump out of windows to run away from cops after a party got busted, steal wings, rave in ubers, dye my hair pink, she taught me to own my body and not let the judgement get to me. This girl is a whirlwind. And she’s made me say yes to the things I would’ve said no to before.

Brandy – the girl with the blue hair –  the dopest girl I’ve ever met and despite my failure at yicking, picking up lads and my very very little smarts compared to you. I’m so glad we met.


Making Friends

Bloody hell, this was a rough one for me. I can’t say I’m the most social all the time but I do have small bursts of confidence. Let’s just say, I forgot how much small talk comes before inside jokes, discussing toilet habits and crying on their shoulders.

Some advice I’d give? Throw yourself into it. Say YES to EVERYTHING. I met a girl out here that doesn’t drink but she’ll come out on nights out with us and make sure we all get home safely, and boy she’s got some moves of her own. I was terrified that I would end up getting out here and being so lonely throughout all of it, but the biggest lesson that I’ve learnt by going through this process, is that you just gotta do you. Yeah its cool to reinvent yourself, get over your ex and go a bit crazy, but at the end of the day, these people will become life long friends – and you’ve still got to head back to your home uni at the end of the year.

I faked being sick for the first social event of the year – and I regret that every time someone brings up a memory of that day/night. Yeah its silly awkward, and it’s a little embarrassing when you’re sat alone and everyone looks like they’re having a good time. But chances are – they’re feeling just as awkward as you are and they’ve just mustered up the courage to say hi.

I’ve made some really great friends out here and I’ve also met some interesting people that don’t see eye to eye with me and vice versa. But at the end of the day – you’re abroad! Most likely, most of the friends you make will be too! It’s awkward yes, but just wait it out – keep going and honestly you’ll end up with the best stories, the sweetest shoulders to cry on and people that bring you a golden red cup because they know it’ll cheer you up. These people that I’ve met have no idea how much they’ve influenced me, broadening my mind and given me some of the best memories I could have wished for.

I’d do it all over again if I could. Even the awkward parts.