If I Knew Then: Part One of a Four-Part Reflection on College

By Meg DiMartino


It’s Sunday evening. Sundays have always been very therapeutic for me, even through all of stress that the preparations for the week tend to cause. It’s just a day to relax and reset your life for the week. Laundry is done, dinner is cooked, and running is complete for the day. Sunday is the best day of the week. Anyway, I am sitting drinking tea and feeling particularly nostalgic as I start this four-part reflection for the Georgetown University Women in Leadership blog-spot. Sundays are particularly good for these sorts of reflections. This reflection is called “If I Knew Then” because it’s a collection of key pieces of advice I wish I knew back then. And while it is meant for the GUWIL Community and others to read, I, rather selfishly, need these reflections to remember how f*cking awesome my life in college has been and how sad I am to see the Georgetown chapter end. For this opening reflection on life in college I’d like to make an ode to my lady-friends because they really, really, deserve it.

My best friend from, literally, the Freshman Convocation line had her dad in town and we spent the whole weekend reminiscing on freshman year and how far we have come. It was funny watching the evolution of comfort levels as we sat at dinner with her dad and how interactions with “Mr. So-and-so” has evolved to a confident and non-hesitant “Tom.” We’ve gotten to know each other’s families and tendencies and I am so thankful for the comfort and acceptance I find with her. With all of my friends. I am so thankful for them every day. I think sometimes in the hustle-and-bustle of freshman year we forget how important is it to stop and see who is around you and who you are building connections with because, trust me when I say, they last for your entire college career. It’s really hard to imagine what life would be without them and what life was like before them. They become your mirrors, your therapists, your relaxation, your teachers, your release.

I can’t help but look back and think “What if I went to bed that night and we didn’t talk until 4 AM. Would I still be your best friend?” or “What If I didn’t go on that walk that one time where we realized how deep our connection lived? Would we still be the way we are now? Would I still be able to call you at 2:00 AM just to chat?” I honestly do not know the answers to these and for that I am so humbly grateful. I have to tell you though, without your professors getting upset with me. I don’t remember any papers I wrote freshman year or any kind of assignments or projects. But I remember the common room chats; I remember the stupid memories we made in Leo’s. I remember the sugar cookies. The Geico sign.

I had a teacher who always said that the spring made her class very difficult because all of the girls started falling in love. So if that is true, I am writing this to stress that your lady-friends are so important. Don’t forget about them! Even if “Hoyas marry Hoyas,” who is going to dance at the wedding otherwise? Be your bridesmaids? A good friendship is like a palm tree that needs to be watered and loved and attended to. Don’t forget about it. I promise that when you’re a senior you will be so thankful you kept in touch or you skipped the gym and went for a milkshake instead. Or you decided you wanted donuts and you just went for it. Or you stayed in bed to watch Sex & the City all day and ate grilled cheese from Booeys. Or you took the adventure to the jenky diner because why not? Lady-friendships have significantly bettered my college experience and I hope they make yours better, more ridiculous, more fun, too.