Thank You, Vanessa

Emmaline Pan, Staff Writer

A Brown: someone you haven’t known for a long time but they already changed your life for the better. The person you would talk to for hours and hours. They make you truly happy. Vanessa is my brown. 

Following quarantine, the urge for social interaction and anticipation for the new school year ran high as I faced the start of what I believed would be the most important four years of my life: freshman year. Through horror stories shared by the jaded older siblings of my friends, I’d anticipated the overload of tests, mental breakdowns, and in-class essays, but one thing I didn’t expect was that my quiet seatpartner from first period would end up being my best friend. 

Despite not knowing her for long, Vanessa quickly became my greatest supporter, my confidant, and the first person I came to. Whether I needed advice, encouragement, or simply someone to talk to, she was there. There were times that there really was nobody to turn to and yet she was there, spontaneously at 7 a.m. to help. We both had very pessimistic views on time and friendship, but she was the first person I could imagine truly spending the rest of my life with. I could visualize the odd mish-mash of aesthetics in the apartment we would share after college and the funny stories we would tell our children as we secretly bred them to fall in love with each other. 

Of all the things I appreciate and admire about Vanessa, above all is her ability to make every activity seem extremely fun. With her there is never a dull moment, as we turn mundane conversation topics into oddly specific inside jokes that leave us stumbling around, shaking with rambunctious laughter, as bystanders observe with confusion and most likely agitation. Although we’ll most likely never go to the mall with June or start a bean bag tossing association with Ryan, the memories we’ve made just talking more than compensate for the lack of places we’ve been able to go and aesthetic photos we’ve been able to take as two broke teenagers who spend too much money we don’t have on Potato Corner and YesStyle jeans. 

Although it would be physically impossible for me to recount my favorite memories of our friendship, one highlight is our night calls that stretch for hours on end. From writing detailed psychoanalyzation essays on Taylor Swift songs together to planning for our Etsy shop that has yet to legitimately be created, our nighttime conversations keep me grounded through whirlwinds of school, spiritual, familial, and relationship struggles. 

In short (because she is), although Vanessa would undoubtedly trade me for Hot Topic earrings and a pair of chunky loafers, she has and continues to fill every second she occupies in my life with immeasurable joy and happiness. For that, I am eternally grateful.