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Graduation: An Open Letter to My Best Friend

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Dear Amanda,

When I first began drafting this letter to you, I found my writing riddled with clichés about college and friendship, discovering how difficult it truly is to describe how much you mean to me. I've sat down countless times at my computer, hands hovering over the keyboard and frustrated, trying so hard to break through this writer's block. Part of this is because I'm scared to admit how truly sad I am to know this will be our last month living together, while another part of me has so much trouble finding the right words to explain how beautiful of a human being you truly are.

As we prepare for graduation, with you going to law school like Elle Woods (as Elle in the second half of Legally Blonde that is) and with me hoping to move to a city far from our hometown, it's nerve-wracking to imagine what life will be like not always having you by my side. We've spent four years together, from lofting in a cramped dorm room freshman year to transitioning to a big girl apartment and generally spending every waking moment together. As in... I have woken up to your alarm clock numerous times and we've gotten ready for the exact same classes together. Yet despite the fact that we were practically attached to the hip throughout college, there's no one I would have rather spent my time here with than you.

Getting lost around Blacksburg together, taking 2 a.m. 7-Eleven trips for those all-nighters, dancing our little hearts out with a drink in hand at TOTS, and generally learning what it means to be a Hokie at Virginia Tech, are only a few of the things that make up our memories together. Although it feels as if we were just unpacking our boxes of clothing and high school mementos, laying down our dorm rugs and unfolding those Target and/or Walmart oval chairs so typical of a college freshman, the big day is almost here. So, with May sneaking up around the corner, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you have done to make my college career.

There are so many things I will miss about you next year, from how much of an angel you are with that heart of gold and contagious smile, to some of your completely bizarre tendencies that only occur behind closed doors.

There's no one else who can make me laugh so hard that my sides actually begin to writhe with pain, and never will I meet someone with such superb dance skills or enough spunk to challenge complete strangers to Teach Me How To Dougie dance battles. Because that actually happens. I'm going to miss the countless hours we spend together attempting to do our homework -- only for one of us to break into song belting out A Thousand Miles -- and the numerous times you have sat at the kitchen table randomly impersonating Forrest Gump or challenging me to "maniacal laughing contests."

While you may be one the quirkiest individuals that I have ever met in my 21 years of life, there's no doubt that it works for you because you always manage to light up a room. You'll forever be the life of the party and you never fail at making things interesting. Despite typically running off several pots of coffee and zero hours of sleep, you always seem to know how to make the best of every situation and have a smile on your face 24/7.

It's going to be hard being unable to share all of our future experiences together, and I know there will be times after a long day of work when I wish I could just plop down on your bedroom floor to talk about our day. Yet I want you to know that whatever happens, whether you become a Supreme Court Justice or I'm still living in a box eating fast food as a starving journalist, I'll always be here for you. Whether a short drive or a plane ride away, you'll always be my number one and the Benson to my Stabler. We may not be able to spend the next several years together, but I know that you will make a huge impact on all those who meet you in the time to come.

These past four years of college have been fantastic, and I want to thank you for simply being the person you are and for letting me have the honor of being your best friend. I'll see you in the chair next to mine when we sit in Lane Stadium for the last time as undergrads, and I'll be the first one out of my seat when you walk across the stage to get your diploma in Cassell Coliseum. Here's to an amazing future and to a lifelong friendship.

Love always,