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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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A portrait of Chancellor Joan Gabel.
Senate Council holds final meeting of semester, recaps recent events
By Anna Kuntz, Senior Staff Writer • May 14, 2024
Column | A thank you to student journalists
By Betul Tuncer, Editor-in-Chief • April 27, 2024

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A portrait of Chancellor Joan Gabel.
Senate Council holds final meeting of semester, recaps recent events
By Anna Kuntz, Senior Staff Writer • May 14, 2024
Column | A thank you to student journalists
By Betul Tuncer, Editor-in-Chief • April 27, 2024

Opinion | I graduate in two weeks — a thank-you to my best friend

Opinion+%7C+I+graduate+in+two+weeks+%E2%80%94+a+thank-you+to+my+best+friend
Joy Zhang | Staff Illustrator

On picturesque sunny days in Pittsburgh strolling past Cathy Lawn, I often witness groups of friends playing volleyball, sunbathing or enjoying picnics. While the scene exudes joy, it once stirred an inexplicable pang within me. Whether stemming from envy or a tinge of melancholy, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I might never experience having a large group of friends. Over time, that sadness went away. 

During my freshman year, I found myself in a single room in Tower C, with all my classes conducted via Zoom and my friendships existing solely through a camera lens. On the first day of move-in, I became a member of a sizable friend circle of over 20 individuals — a friendship that never made it past the first week of college. Subsequently, I spent the entirety of the fall semester in 2020 dining alone, buried in studies and simply navigating life in solitude.

As winter break approached, I decided to complete the remainder of my first year from the familiarity of home, as the college dormitory had become a source of relentless depression. My strategy was to transfer to a community college in my hometown after finishing my freshman year — there, I could at least find solace in the presence of my siblings and high school friendships.

You see, the college experience we were promised during our high school years hinges on friendships. And forming those connections demands a certain finesse in socializing, even if it’s just a bit. For those of us who summon the courage to speak up in class, only to battle shaky hands for the rest of the lecture, socializing proves to be more challenging than anticipated. 

Clearly, I’m still here, counting down to graduation in just under two weeks. It all started back in my Zoom English class, where my professor introduced me to a classmate she believed I’d hit it off with. Now, over three years later, I’m profoundly thankful for that connection because that very classmate is the reason I’ll stride across the Pitt stage in two weeks.

What began as a simple text for help with an essay soon evolved into a routine of FaceTiming for every class. As the spring semester unfolded, that classmate transitioned into a friend, and before I knew it, they became my best friend. We meticulously planned our class schedules together, eagerly anticipating the day we could finally meet in person during our sophomore year. And so we did. 

With each coffee run, study session and even the occasional argument over assignments, the friendship grew. Now, as I stroll past Cathy Lawn, the envy I once felt toward friend groups has vanished. I’ve come to realize that in having one true friend, I possess something infinitely more valuable than any large group could offer.

I consider myself one of the very lucky ones who experienced college for what it was meant to be. But for many, luck has not been sufficient — so, I decided to research the art of making and maintaining friendships for all of us. 

The initial challenge lies in grasping why forging friendships seems unreachable. Many connections appear to thrive within a prevalent drinking culture or through affiliations with fraternities and sororities. Meanwhile, some bonds naturally form among extroverts. But what if you don’t fit into any of these categories?

Allow me to present a challenge to my fellow introverts, the shy, or those who are simply quiet. Choose your current absolute favorite class and select one person who intrigues you. If the decision feels daunting, perhaps opt to sit next to someone who seems to be alone. Turn towards them, offer a smile, and initiate a conversation with a simple “Hey! How are you finding the class so far?” I understand it may feel awkward and nerve-wracking — just the thought makes my palms sweat — but give it a chance.

Alternatively, consider a student club on or off campus. If you like to read, join a book club. If you’re seeking a new hobby, explore options like crochet or knitting clubs — or perhaps even a dancing club if you’re feeling adventurous. Remember, you don’t have to be best friends with everyone in the club. Trust me when I say that one friend who truly understands you holds far more value.

Once you find yourself engaging in enjoyable conversations with someone and sense a friendship beginning to blossom, acknowledge that maintaining friendships requires effort. If you desire genuine connections, invest in them. My best friend and I share dinner every day, ride bikes, visit movie theaters and explore new hobbies — all it takes is asking. 

As I approach graduation, the reality of being separated by many miles from my best friend fills my eyes with tears. Not because I fear losing touch — we’ve placed far too much effort into the friendship to ever let it go — but because I’ll no longer have the person who makes each day fly by with me by my side. 

While it’s undeniable that I’m graduating with a diploma and knowledge I’ll never lose, the most invaluable aspect of it all is the treasure trove of memories shared with the best friend I could ever ask for. So, I implore you to seek out such a friend as well. 

With that being said, I’d like to end my college experience with a thank-you. To my dearest best friend — Nertil, thank you for the past four years of my life.

About the Contributor
Nada Abdulaziz, Senior Staff Writer
Nada Abdulaziz is a senior majoring in Philosophy and Biological Sciences. She loves spending her free time reading, hiking, and watching Studio Ghibli films.