Thursday Night Bowling

Hannah - Rainbow City, Alabama
Entered on April 14, 2010
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I believe new friend groups can form from even the most casual of acquaintances. My Thursday Night Bowling group is proof that the effort to nurture new groups can result in strong new bonds. I value true friendships, not the casual acquaintances found in classes or at work, but true companions. I place importance on letting people into your life so that you are never alone. I think it is important to remember old friends even when a new college experience offers up a plethora of new ones. Moving from high school to college, it seems like new friends grow on trees. There are suddenly an abundant amount of “friend trees” to pick from. Some may be bitter, some overgrown, and some may be freshly ripened. I believe it is important to pick your friends wisely, for they say a lot about who you are.

In high school, I was one of those students who did not travel out of my comfort zone. I had my circle of friends. We worked well together. Our parents knew each other. It would be far too complicated to venture out and make new friends, especially since I was going off to college after I graduated. Don’t get me wrong, I was nice to others. I had many acquaintances, but my core friends were the most important part of my life. After graduation, the move to college was daunting. There were tearful goodbyes and lots of promises to stay in touch. These promises held strong for a while, but they soon faded as life got in the way. I was in a new place, with new “friend trees”. I reached out and met a lot of people, but forming lasting friendships was something that would take time. Soon, I began to gravitate back toward familiar faces. Few of my close friends had made the move, but some of my acquaintances had. People who I was not friends with in high school seemed different in this college town.

As the weeks passed, I found myself having conversations with these acquaintances about how their classes were going and how they were feeling about our new surroundings. It didn’t take long until we formed a small alliance. One night a week a group of about eight to ten of us from my hometown decided to go bowling on a Thursday night. We didn’t have anything else in common other than our hometown. However, what would seem to be uncomfortable, was not uncomfortable at all. We all knew the same people, had the same teachers, and grew up driving around in the same town. Nothing was ever said about how we were not close before, we just lived in the present. It was funny how this random assortment of people meshed so well on the lanes of the bowling alley. We grew to really know each other and enjoy the companionship. Frustrations, anxieties, and exciting moments were nursed and congratulated with every pin knocked down. These people were no longer just acquaintances. In MySpace language, these people would have held a top friend spot.

Maybe choosing Thursday helped because it was a break from the week, and almost the weekend. Maybe we all just needed a crutch to help us through the transition of moving. Whatever the reason, through bowling, I found my new comfort zone. Even though we are now accustomed to college and have new friends, no one has called off weekly bowling. Each one of us shows up every Thursday night. The bonds I have created with these new friends are very strong, and I have bowling to be grateful for.There are many reasons why I believe in Thursday night bowling, but mostly because sometimes it’s just nice to go home.