The 5 Friends You Need In College When You Hit Rock Bottom

Standing firmly with my feet on the pavement, I watch from afar. I see friends nervously smile to each other as they sit on the cold plastic seat. Their knuckles turn white as they tightly clench onto the safety bar that has been lowered in front of them. Shortly after takeoff, they shriek loudly with each upcoming twist and turn. With hundreds more waiting in line for their turn, it’s fascinating how a ride that can seem so terrifying is fun when you share the experience with friends.

I’m 21 years old and even though I have yet to experience the adrenaline rush of a rollercoaster, I can still relate to the cliché, “Life is a rollercoaster ride.” Through life’s ups and downs, I have come to realize the healing power of friendship.

These are the friends I needed in college to make life’s rollercoaster ride a little more bearable.

The Roommate

For many people, the worst part of rock bottom is feeling alone. But, in college when you share a teeny tiny room with someone, you will rarely feel lonely. How could you when practically every night is a sleepover? Stop thinking about your limited privacy and how cramped your dorm room is compared to your spacious bedroom at home. If you take advantage of this friendship opportunity, soon enough this stranger will become your best friend.

Inevitably, your roommate will see you at your lowest moments, but this will also make her your biggest supporter. She will become good at distracting you when you’re feeling sad and other times she will hug you as you cry. You’ll vent to her just as much as she will rant to you. She will become your study buddy, second closet, late night ice cream runs, and cozy movie nights. If you let her, she will become more than just the other side of your room. She will become your other half.

The Friend From Home

If you go to the same college as your best friend from home, consider yourself lucky. Unlike your friends from college who only know as much about your past as you’ve shared with them, this friend knows all about your life because she has experienced it with you. There are no secrets here: she knows how you bottle up your emotions and keep problems to yourself. You don’t have to constantly put on a happy face with this friend. After years of practice, she always knows how to cheer you up. She knows your weird quirks and how to make you laugh.

Being at the same university is not only convenient – it’s a blessing. Instead of having to call her on the phone when everything is falling apart, the comfort you need it only a short walk away. You are each others piece of home while you’re both away at school; you can depend on each other.

The Listener

You aren’t the first person to feel like they’ve hit rock bottom. Odds are, you have a friend who has been through similar hardships. She is the perfect listener because she won’t judge you about the problems you are bravely facing. Rather, she will relate. You will feel so much better as she nods along, indicating that she’s been there too. Whether she offers advice, shares her perspective or simply lets you unload, these talks will help clear your mind while bringing you and this friend closer. Her support will make rock bottom a much less scary place to be and with her help, you won’t be there for long.

The Adventurous Friend

If you find that you are passing up plans to sulk in bed all day, you are in need of The Adventurous Friend. This girl will not let you miss out on the fun due to your current situation. It’s time to get out of your funk. Thanks to her, you’ll be swept up into a whirlwind of activities. Between mall trips, lunch dates and parties, you’ll quickly forget about whatever is troubling you. She will keep you laughing on the days you feel like crying. Because of her, you will begin to live in the moment again, instead of dwelling on the past or worrying about the future. Give into her “the busier you are, the happier you’ll be” philosophy.

The Mother

Remember that the woman who cares about you most is always just a phone call away. You may be in college, but that doesn’t mean you’re too old to need your mom. (Frankly, I don’t think that day will ever come.) From the moment you were born, she has been your biggest cheerleader, most trusted secret holder and very best source of advice. Being at college will not hurt your close mother-daughter bond. The woman you aspire to be like has experienced it all – including rock bottom. She was 18 once, on her own and away from home for the first time. She was overcome heartbreak numerous times. She will admit she wasn’t always the perfect student and just like you, she has made mistakes. So, believe her when she tells you that you will fall in love again, won’t fail every test you take and that most friendships are repairable. She has raised you into a strong young woman, and because of her, you can overcome anything.

Moving forward, I have the confidence to know that I am strong enough to handle of life’s curves. And in a strange way, I have rock bottom to thank for that.

Someday everything will make perfect sense. So for now, laugh at the confusion, smile at the tears and keep reminding yourself that everything happens for a reason.

Most importantly, surround yourself with the friends who make you happier. Those are the people who will make the ride worthwhile. Because “no matter what life serves up, it usually comes with a side of conversation and support from the girls. And though we rarely solve life’s biggest challenges, we will always find a way to laugh, lament and move on.”

A Special Shout Out to...

My Roommate, Brooke / My Friend From Home, Kerin / My Listener, Lizzy / My Adventurous Friend, Amanda / My Mom

I couldn't have done college without you.