Andrew & Mia

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You don’t always have to travel the world to find a true friend; sometimes she is right down the hall. It just takes courage to reach out, to be open in a world of closed doors.

I still can’t believe I almost went an entire semester without meeting Mia, who lived just a few doors down in London Hall. We were both on exchange—me from Spain and her from Australia. It was actually my last day when we finally decided to get lunch together. Having already packed and checked-out, I assumed I would be leaving within the hour. Five hours later, we were still talking. It always surprises me how across cultures, there is a lot more that brings us together than divides us. With Mia, it felt like we’d known each other for years, like two old friends meeting for the very first time. I then knew I had to do the unthinkable: ditch my plans and stay longer, no matter the obstacles.  

It wasn’t easy, but things worthwhile rarely are. Mia was still finishing exams, so we were only able to steal small windows of time together. And yet, in those fleeting moments we grew closer than I ever thought possible. What struck me most about Mia was her openness, a complete acceptance of others that made it possible to be myself. I am forever grateful to have met such an incredible human being, while deeply saddened we had such little time together.