Best friends on campus

Maybe you’re far away from home. Maybe you go to school five minutes from your house but lack a support system. Whatever the case is, having a best friend on campus is not only necessary to survival when it is 7:55 and you forgot you have an 8 a.m. class, but also when you’re trying to deal with things on your own and, no matter how many times you say it, you do not “have everything totally under control.”

There are numerous studies about how close friendships during college relieve stress and improve mental health, but with the changing 21st century, there is something beyond hanging out and shoulders to cry on that make college friendships so impactful.

People are continuing to find new ways to be themselves. Some of them need extra help, and some of them need to find acceptance in places that sadly cannot be found in their biological families.

Bailee Burleson and Allison Parton, best friends on and offstage, pose before Maryville College’s production of “9 to 5” last spring.
Photo courtesy of Allison Parton.

It isn’t going to shock anyone that we go to school in the South. Having close friends on campus can provide a level of support that some students have never felt before. Across Maryville College, students agree that their lives have been enriched and made easier by the presence of a close friend.

“My best friend on campus makes me tea and coffee when I need it, and it makes me feel more secure,” said sophomore History major Eleanor Forester. “And we share fun music.”

“I have a best friend,” said sophomore History and Theatre major Diamond Cronan. “It gives me a reliable support system when things get tough. Sometimes we just sit in my room and watch really bad movies on purpose.” Being a residential campus, some friendships can blossom into solutions to the dreaded room selection.

“It’s comforting to have someone to always turn to whenever your workload is too much,” said junior Criminal Justice major Bailee Burleson. “We met during ‘Lysistrata,’ so through the theatre department, and we’ve been best friends ever since. That was freshman year. We live together now, and we are living together next year.”

“Whenever I doubt myself there’s always someone there you know who is going to love you no matter what,” said junior Theatre major Allison Parton.

“We are living together next year,” said junior Theatre major Bailey Holt about her best friend. “It feels like you’re hanging out, but really you’re being productive. She’s also fun to bother.”

Friends are abundant on the Maryville College campus. You can see them throwing frisbees, eating in Pearson’s, running into each other’s arms after a long day. It is integral to campus life and it is a joy to watch close friends succeed and support each other.

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