~For the Doghouse Boys- Chris, Dru, Evan, Flip, Harris, JC, Kealand, Reese, Sean, and Tuck~
Thanks for being my new home.
Hey, friends! I hope you’re all doing well. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how incredibly thankful I am that I ended up going to school at Furman, even though it wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I’ve gotten to know the absolute best people, and nothing could ever compare to that.
One of my largest complaints with Furman was that my older brother, Dru, also goes to school here. I was really tired of being “Dru’s little sister” for my whole life, and I thought that if I had to spend one more year being identified by his name and not mine, I might (1) explode or (2) lose all sense of myself as an independent being. (That seems a tad melodramatic, but you don’t know what it’s like to have your friends stand up and applaud when your brother enters the room.) I have three brothers, but he’s the only one that I’ve never experienced life without. In what can only be described as an act of sheer grace, Dru has become one of my dearest friends, and I have grown to love being his little sister. I’ve also become friends with all of his friends…and they are so much greater than New York City could have ever been.
I’m one of those people who is very much influenced by the people in my life. I think people are a living example of love, and I think that true friendship—the kind that shows up for you and loves you right where you are—is just a string of moments of really pure love and life experienced alongside someone who gets you. I also think that I tend to make homes out of people rather than places, and at various stages of my life, they help make me into who I am. The idea of “home” is so comforting. There’s plenty of room to grow, but you can rest in who you are, knowing that there’s love there no matter what. For me, that feeling could never be confined to certain places; I get it when I’m with certain people, wherever we are.
I don’t even get homesick for my bed, my room, or my house. I get homesick for people, though, and one of the only things I don’t like about college is that so many of my “homes” are far away. Missing people is hard, but I think the home I’ve found here is exactly what I need.
Last week, I read a paper as part of a small session during Furman Engaged, which is a day we get off class and present research. Somehow, my brother and his friends found the time in the middle of their football meetings, other friends’ presentations, and one of their only real days off to come listen to my paper. They made signs, and stood in the back corner, even though there wasn’t enough room for all of them to sit. I don’t think I’ll ever get over how much love I felt as I looked up from my paper and saw all of them.
They live in the on-campus apartments, right next door to each other: Dru, Chris, Sean, and Evan in one and Harris, Kealand, Jon Croft, and Tucker in the other, with Flip and Reese as honorary roommates. They’re the most fun people I know, and they make me laugh more than anyone. They’re as messy as you would expect; they believe very strongly in pushing each other’s buttons as a love language.
Reese and I study together and vent to each other. He’s my pal forever. Flip is the essence of a good time, and seeing him always brightens my day. I have a huge soft spot for Tuck, even though he has better hair than me. JC has mad kicking skills, and I feel so cool when I get to hang out with him. Kealand is sweeter than he is strong, which says quite a lot. I’ve never met someone as intelligent and just purely good as Harris. One of my favorite parts of existing is seeing Evan around campus. Sean always takes time to talk to me and make me feel welcome. Chris is kind, good, and always looks out for everyone. Dru’s overprotective but means well, and he’s such a hard worker.
They’re everything that’s good in the world, and even that is an understatement. They make me feel so completely at home. Every time I’m with them, I learn a little more about how to love people well. Someone asked me once what my favorite spot on campus was, and I have a much better answer now than I did at the time. It’s the hill in the outfield where we watched a baseball game, the balcony where we talk when it gets too wild inside, the practice football field where I sat with them when they stayed late at practice, the sink in their apartment where we wash the dishes, the small room in which I read my paper. It’s all the places where they’ve made room for me and taught me how to love big—all the places we’ve happened to be when I’ve been at home.
I hope with all of my heart that you get to experience the joy of friendship that always shows up, helps you grow, and loves you when you don’t. And, I hope you know that if you ever need a home, you can always come to me.
All the love in the world,