Cultivating Friendships That Will Last A Lifetime

Written by Breana Noble

Breana Noble is a Residence Assistant at Koon Residence Hall.

By the end of freshman year, I had developed a close bond with several girls living on the upper west side of McIntyre Residence, so much so that we did not want to leave it behind come sophomore year. Koon Residence allowed us to keep our community.

Since McIntyre, along with Olds Residence, is reserved for female freshmen, my group of about ten friends sought a place where we could continue growing the relationships we had developed during study parties, Mac movie nights watching Pride and Prejudice, eating ice cream at A.J.’s Café on Monday evenings, and our Bible study at an off-campus house.

An upperclassman in the Bible study recommended that we speak with Dean of Women Diane Philipp about finding a way that we all could continue living together on campus the following year, having known of others who’d done so in the past. We took her advice.

Dean Phillip said she was impressed by the strong bonds we had formed. Olds, she said, is sometimes more commonly known for its close-knit atmosphere—Olds has community bathrooms, while McIntyre has suite-style. Although she made no promises, the dean said she would do the best she could.

When she emailed us just before spring semester’s end and said she could place us together in (the upper west side of) Koon, it didn’t take long for us to accept.

I’m thankful we did, because our friendships grew stronger over the course of another year living together. Although we traded ice cream at A.J.’s for watermelon on the grass behind Koon on Mondays and added Friday-morning Zumba in the dorm lobby to the schedule, we continued to lean on one another for support as classes became even more difficult, our lives increased in complexity, and we took on leadership positions in our extracurricular activities. Meanwhile, solving cases in the Nancy Drew Mystery computer games or taking nighttime walks in Hayden Park to watch the stars were pretty fun, too.

Living together kept us connected in our best and our worst moments. It cultivated memories, but more importantly, friendships that will last a lifetime.

In our junior year, several of the girls moved off campus, some of them in an apartment together, while I remain a resident assistant in Koon. As an RA, I get to help foster a similar relationship among the girls in my dormitory, several of whom were friends before as well as those who are making new friends.

As for my friends, despite being separated in our living arrangement, our relationships remain vibrant. We still eat meals together, attend church together, go to each other’s concerts and performances, and read aloud mystery novels on weekend nights together.

And we all return to Koon frequently to watch a movie or to hunker down and study together. They can’t stay away; we can’t stay away from home—from one another.

Breana Noble, ’18, is a student from Michigan studying American studies and journalism. She is a member of the Dow Journalism Program; is an assistant news editor for Hillsdale’s school newspaper, the Collegian, and has interned at Newsmax Media in Washington, D.C. through the National Journalism Center.