MEET THE PEOPLE I SPEND EVERY WAKING HOUR WITH

I am a firm believer that a person’s “people” are a direct reflection on the person themselves. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by the best, most genuine, fun, and loyal people you will ever meet.

At 18, I moved into a (slightly, no, very crusty) dorm at my dream school.   And, though UNC is just down the street from my childhood home in Chapel Hill, I felt overcome with homesickness.  Luckily, I managed to find the best roommate there ever was through the almighty power of Facebook, and two days into school, at our freshman convocation, I randomly met the 4 other people that I would become inseparable from, even four years later. 

This year, I’ve gotten to live out my dreams living in a house with three of our six.   Life in this house is never dull- and I can assure you I have stories on stories about living there this year (DON’T ask me what a jumping spider is).  So, naturally, in your getting to know me, I want you to get to know my people.

So, without further ado, here are the people I choose to spend every waking hour with:

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I always tell people that Stella is the biggest hustler I’ve ever met.  This girl is. Always. Working. She is someone I believe could genuinely do anything she puts her mind to. In a house with absolutely no boundaries or personal space, I often find myself waking up far too early to Stella’s face, as she finds it appropriate to burst into my room and begin hounding me with her million questions for the day.   Stella is one of the most spontaneous people I know- I’ve seen her do anything from book a flight in the middle of the week to Boston for the day to creating a whole business in a matter of hours.  She’s a go-getter, she is pure energy and she always is down to try anything once. She is a meme queen, lover of crocs, the song Squidward Nose and the term #YOLOSWAG. I really believe Stella will be the CEO of something, someday.  And, though she is the baby of the group, I believe I speak for everyone when I say we look up to her and her ambition.

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Something I value the most in friendship is loyalty. Jaeiny is one of the kindest, most loyal souls I have ever met. Our friend group owes all of our thanks to Jaein as she brought all of us together one fateful night of freshmen frat-hopping.  She can make anyone feel included and special, and her kindness simply radiates wherever she is.  You can find Jaein snuggled up in her bed crying about dying coral reefs or doing massive murals on basketball courts. Jaein is fearless- so never dare her to go strike up a conversation with the school’s Chancellor, because she totally will.  She’s a great artist- someone whose eye is important to me in my own projects. Jaein is a proud Korean immigrant who has taught me so much about appreciating her culture- and the spicy ass food that comes with it (I get a lot of shit in our house for my inferior Caucasian taste buds).  She never fails to think about the little things. Jaein’s who I cry to on a bad day, and who I squeeze on the good ones.

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Pablo, Pabby, Pabbeth, Pabaloni, Pabz Mcgobs, Dad, Pabby Daniel, Pabby Dan Dan, and so on, is my heart and soul.  Pablo and I understand each other’s cravings for pop culture like no one else does. In fact, we’re texting our take on every minute of the Grammys as I type this (Cindi Lauper, please change your hair).  Pablo is an excellent chef (and even excellent-er at not putting away his food (yes Pabs, you’ll never live that incident down)) and an expert on all things Bob’s Burgers, volleyball and Indian food.  He’s whip smart, but is always willing to do anything for and with his stupid friends.  It is for this reason I’d like to publically apologize to him for dragging him into the church of scientology for shits and giggles in NYC this summer-it truly was an emotionally scarring experience for us both.  Pablo and I will be watching Spanish soap operas one minute then having a full fledged screaming argument about which Kardashian baby will end up the best looking the next.  I’ve never met a person who doesn’t absolutely adore Pabby.  Also, if you want to make his day, use the phrase “that’s on period” in your next sentence.  He’s going to make it a thing.

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Taylor is one of the silliest people I know.  I have countless nights filled with endless laughter because of Taylor.  When I think of her I think of laughter- she loves to laugh (which, as someone who loves to make people laugh, she’s a perfect friend to have). She can be found begging you to absolutely flame her for her own entertainment, or, studying the attachment styles of babies (it really is a coin toss).  Tay is also an incredibly thoughtful and loyal friend. I haven’t seen a single hard time where she hasn’t been there for snugs and advice.  She works hard and is incredibly driven in everything she does.  Taylor giggles her way through juggling being on the UNC dance team, practically raising the little boy she babysits, and applying for grad school.   Taylor is never afraid to have a good time, and will be the first one to laugh at herself if she messes up.  And, when she sets her mind to something (i.e. getting a freaking P.H.D.) it will absolutely happen.

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An amazing writer and an even better friend, Gracie was my first friend at UNC, the first person I’ve ever shared a room and homesickness with, and my roommate for three years. When I think of Gracie I think of all of the sweet, thoughtful gestures she’s done for me and all of her friends over the years. Gracie does everything beautifully and makes everything pretty (seriously, I didn’t realize gift wrapping could be an art form until my first secret Santa with G).  Last year, I went through one of the hardest journeys of my life- I was away from school for a week, and when it came time to return to our apartment, I was greeted with the prettiest display of everything I could possibly need in a hard time: flowers, journals, my favorite movies, fashion magazines, blank canvases, candy- all accompanied by the sweetest notes.  Gracie’s our English major, book-loving, essay-writing queen and she would totally dump her boyfriend for Shakespeare if she could. I could read her writing all day, and mark my words, someday, you will too.

So, those are my people.  They’re pretty great- and, if y’all are reading this, I love you so much, thank you for making college the time of my life.

Art of the day:  an oldie but a goodie. I used to listen to “Home” by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros in high school, wondering which boy this song would be about for me.  Turns out it’s about these five. 

4 Replies to “MEET THE PEOPLE I SPEND EVERY WAKING HOUR WITH”

  1. Excellent—you let me know these special friends of yours though I have only heard their names. What fabulous, no doubt lifetime, friends!

  2. My dearest, sweetheart Claire, what a rare and wonderful gift you are and have in “your people”. The only thing missing here is the wonderful gift YOU are in this. The wheel turns best when all the spikes are intact. Thank you for sharing and showing the rest of us the beauty of “ friends for life”. I too, love each of you and am blessed that, by default, I get to love each of you like my own children. Thanks for letting us parents share you all. I love you.

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