Hi everyone, 

Welcome to the New Year! I am not normally the kind of person to spend time thinking about New Year’s Resolutions, or reminiscing on past years; however, for some reason, I have been doing so recently. Whether or not it is because lots of my friends are beginning to think about college graduation, or the new year has finally settled in, I have spent a lot of time thinking about some old memories and finding myself overcome with emotion. I am certainly mentally preparing for some of the changes ahead, and I think it comes in different waves, but some days I spend more time reminiscing than others. Today, you caught me on a day full of reminiscing, so with that, I would like to share some stories of my time spent in Best Buddies. 

Let’s start with the cover photo. Wow. That was from my 8th-grade middle school graduation, with my close friend Jay. If you are reading this Jay, hi, I hope all is well! A lot has changed from then, first of all, I no longer have bangs. I had them up until college but felt I needed to switch it up. Secondly, I think I have grown about a foot taller. But funny enough, that dress is still in my closet and my headband is still somewhere in my house. Not everything has to change. This photograph was around 7 years ago, but the memories are core. I still talk to Jay pretty frequently, I don’t think he knows this, but he is the reason I joined Best Buddies. We used to hang out all the time, and I was really inspired by him. Jay used to give my school a daily weather report, it was what I looked forward to the most each day. It also helped me not be late to school, because if I was late, that meant I missed Jay’s announcement. Jay is a really special person and can always bring a smile to my face. 

When I joined Best Buddies with Jay, I met so many other wonderful people. I wish I could list them here, but I genuinely do not have enough space to thank all the people I met. Each person I interacted with has left a large impact on me. Whether we talked once, or every day, it shaped me somehow into who I am today. I know that sounds cliche, but I met some of the most wonderful people through Best Buddies, I wish I could express this more. 

I have some funny memories attached to my high school Best Buddies experiences. Sometimes we would break out into dance battles in the middle of the cafeteria, sometimes we would have drawing competitions, and sometimes we would play some competitive games of tag. (Tyler, if you are reading this, I AM a better dancer than you, and Chase if you see this, tag, you’re it!) My friend Tyler once told me I looked like a monkey dancing. I like to tell myself he was cracking a joke, but I know he wasn’t. Maybe, I’m not the best dancer…. 

Whether we laughed together (or cried during our middle school and high school graduations), I have grown close to so many of my peers all due to Best Buddies and have an endless amount of memories that I will never forget. I am so fortunate because I have been introduced to some of the sweetest families, I have had some of the most genuine conversations with my closest friends, and I have probably been to Panera Bread after bowling one too many times with my Best Buddies chapter. And although I have not spoken to some of the families since college (it is way too easy to lose touch), I still cherish all the time I got to spend with my best friends. 

It felt really nice to be able to write and share some memories. I would like to bring back what I used to do last year and leave a little challenge for you all. In the mood of reminiscing, reach out to an old friend who you haven’t talked to in a little. I am sure it will make your day and theirs. 

In friendship, 

Sophie :)