I didn't really have a group in high school. At least, not for a long time. I transferred into my high school's feeder middle school in eighth grade, and I spent most of that time trying to figure out how to talk to other people. Do you know how hard it is to try to make friends as a thirteen–year–old? I'll tell you. It's impossible. 

I had friends, of course, but nothing truly solidified. I never felt comfortable. Sophomore year my group came together. I met my best friends, I had a group. I had people I could support and who could support me. I had people who made my stomach hurt because I laughed with them so much and made my heart ache because I loved them so much. I had friends with dragged me, tooth and nail, through senior year. And then, of course, I decided to move to Philadelphia after graduation. 

My high school friends are visiting me this week. In fact, by the time this letter is published, they'll be on their way to Philadelphia. I might even suggest they read it on the train here (and if you are reading this, hey guys). 

I'll admit: I'm a little nervous. I've never had home friends visit me before (but, to be fair, I'm from California and it's a hell of a flight to get here). Will they like my school, my friends, my home, my life here? Am I a different person at school versus at home? 

But that all fades away. I love seeing my high school friends because every time I do, I revert into this instant comfort. I don't have to be on. I don't have to make the hard decisions that I am (quite literally) faced with every day at Street, or in classes, or at home. I just get to be with people who have known me very well for a very long time. I get to enjoy the comfort of knowing that I have my best friends for life, really and truly. Time at Penn just stops when I'm with them. 

Most of all, I'm excited for my home friends to meet my Penn friends. I'm excited for the contrasts and the similarities, to see how two completely different (but both incredibly important) parts of my life come together. 

Welcome to Philadelphia, my friends. I'm sorry it's been raining all week.