Four Brown Chairs

In my favorite coffee shop, there’s a corner by the window. Currently it houses…

Four brown chairs.

Three cups of coffee.

Two empty plates.

One friendship.

We live in a world of cliches. I am thankful for cliches. Friendship is often considered a cliche. Why though? Why is something that is so important, something that keeps so many people alive, well, and happy considered a cliche?

What would we want to consider something so beautiful and so important a cliche? A cliche is something overused, reoccurring. Rarely are cliches considered a good thing. I, on the other hand, love cliches. I love the cheesiness of it all, I love the obnoxiousness of it all. I love it all.

I love my friends like I love cliches. I love the cheesiness that comes with squishing four faces on an iPhone screen to take a selfie. I love the obnoxiousness of laughing and crying with your friends when watching movies. I really just love it all.

A lot of the time (more often than not), I’ll just get bursts of affection for my friends. I really love these bursts of affection, because it shows that the little things really do matter and really can be a genuine reminder of how much I love my friends and how much I love being around them.

I got one of these bursts today. I got one just now. We aren’t doing anything special. We aren’t even talking. We’re sitting at our favorite coffee shop (it’s like our own little Central Perk). We each have our own little brown chair (I’m next to Jordan, across from Erin, and diagonal from Kelsey). Between the four of us, we have three cups of coffee (almond milk latte for Erin, chai latte for Jordan, and french vanilla flavored house coffee for me). On the tables between us, there’s two empty plates (from Jordan’s cherry muffin and my chocolate chip scone).

But the most important of these images is one you can’t see. It’s not the way Erin is sitting sideways in her chair, reading her favorite book. It’s not the way Kelsey is listening to music, focused on her reading for art history. It’s not the way Jordan is filling out her job application for this summer, sitting up straight and determined.

The most important of these images is the air of friendship between us. All that we’ve been through, and all the memories we’ve made in the short time we’ve been friends.

I can’t simplify any friendship into simply meanings and symbols and ideas and thoughts and memories. But I can tell you about some of the most important things through those symbols. I can tell you about how I feel in this moment, sitting with my friends, at our favorite place.

I’m thankful for this friendship, no matter how cliche. I’m thankful for this place, where so many of our memories already have been made, and where I know so many more memories will be made.

So in simplicity, I’m thankful for these four brown chairs, the three cups of coffee, the two empty plates, and this one, amazing friendship.

Thanks guys,

Lydia

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Learning to Study

I came to my small, private, academically-focused college from a small, private, academically-focused high school. Whilst in high school, I didn’t have to study hard or intensely to succeed in my classes. Right now, it sounds like I am trying to brag, but honestly, I wish I had learned how to study in high school.

I’m writing this post at 11:50PM from the science center (main study mecca of my school) surrounded by papers that I’m using for resources on my final essay that’s due in three weeks. I have to finish my bibliography and write a preliminary argument/outline for it/ I also have to finish a book tonight, do two French assignments, outline three essays on said book, revise my history essay, and answer questions from my physics book. Not to mention I have a history quiz on Monday.

Does it sound like I procrastinated a little bit? Because I didn’t. This is the natural flow of work at an intense and academically-focused college. I’m going home with weekend and I don’t want to have tons of stuff to do when I’m home. Or when I come back to school on Sunday. So, I’m trying to squeeze it all in tonight.

In high school, I didn’t learn time management or how to properly study. Up until really tonight, I studied in my room. Which is not wise for someone like me. I’m gonna start studying in here, especially with finals coming up so soon.

College has been a challenge so far. One of the most difficult things would have to be learning to study. I’ve had to teach myself how to properly prepare for a test that will be worth 35% of my final grade, and not push it all to the night before. It’s been something entirely new. And I guess that’s just another area that college forces you to improve in.

Well, I really need to get back to my never ending to-do list now.

~Lydia