“Choose Wisely.” A guest lesson by Shane Van Hoy.

Friends. Friends mean everything to me.

It probably doesn’t seem like that, because I get overworked and overwhelmed. I get too busy to “make time” for them. I get into the motion and forget to prioritize people. I make that saying “A chicken running around with its head cut off” a real life thing. It’s a chicken right? Maybe it’s a turkey? Anyway…

Because I’m in a lot of organizations, I know a lot of people. But I feel like I don’t necessarily have that many close friends.

When I’m upset and want vent, who is the best person to turn to? Who is going to be in my wedding when/if I get married? Who will be there, always?

Don’t get me wrong—I appreciate and care about every single one of the friends I do have. But what I don’t have is that stability—that foundation, that “one group of friends.” But in high school, I did.

I wanted to re-invent myself in college. I did, and I love who I am now, but I have come to realize that maybe I didn’t choose the right aspects to focus on at first—and that’s building true friendships.

Friends mean a lot. Not just friends though. Besties. Homies 4lyf. The people who will always be there and love you no matter what.

Sometimes I feel completely lost. There are a lot of people in college, and all the organizations I’m in are quite large. I get tons of smiles, but do I truly have those people that I can talk to for hours about nothing? I need genuine relationships.

I’m a sophomore in college. This year, I’ve gotten better with prioritizing people, and being myself, and it’s definitely helping. But the thing is, sometimes you need to just slow down when you’re doing too much. That’s why I’m pulling out of half of the organizations I’m in during my junior year. You need time for yourself. You need to take time to surround yourself with people you truly cherish. People who make you laugh until your stomach hurts. Real connections. I felt off for a while, but I couldn’t determine why. Then it finally hit me.

I was sad all day today. I know people like me, but I don’t know who cares about me. Then I started thinking, it’s not them. It’s me. It’s time for me to put forth the effort.

Mia told me she labeled this as her quarter-life crisis, and that’s fitting. The lesson in all this madness is to just not spread yourself too thin. Your group of lovely individuals is out there, and you’re just running past them in the craziness of your own life. Figure out what you want to be involved in, and who you want to become life-long friends with before it’s too late. Life is fleeting. Realize that happiness is the ultimate goal, and that’s very dependent on the people you surround yourself with. Who you can say “I’m coming over” to at 2 am, and get a joyous response from. Find people you can share your life goals with. People who you truly connect with. Sure, it’s great to have a lot of friends, but these friendships aren’t the ones you are going to remember 50 years from now. Make your friendships count. Prioritizing is key.

Realize who is important to you. Text them right now: plan a coffee date. Make it a weekly thing. Form a tight knit friend group. Find happiness.

The main focus is being able to determine what is important to you: find your friends, prioritize, and never lose yourself.

I was basically hyperventilating as I was thinking through all of this. Then I texted Mia.

Now I’m going to be her flower girl.

Choose your friends wisely.

-Lesson by Shane Van Hoy-

pastedImageShane Van Hoy is a second year student studying Communications and Justice Studies at James Madison University. He is involved in SafeRides, Madison Equality, and is the Vice President of his class. He is heavily interested in non-profit studies, and also volunteers at the LGBT Ally Education center. He is not really sure yet what he wants to do when he graduates, but he knows he wants to help people. Also, Mia is obsessed with him, and yes, he is in fact going to be her flower girl.

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