Senior Column: Maddie Meyers

College: University of Missouri

Major: Journalism & Spanish

 

At 10:15 p.m. my friends –– AKA the Core Four –– and I laugh as we wander through the Nashville Opryland Hotel in our PJs and matching hoodies. We are in search of Gatorade, but the hotel is like a jungle maze, with a waterfall around the corner, countless palm trees and tropical plants. After we get the Gatorade, we discover a dome lined with blue lights falling from the top like stars. Below lies a fountain, spurting multicolor water in all different directions. We quickly forget about our embarrassment from wearing our PJs in public, and all of the problems of the world fade as we enjoy this moment together.

 I miss times like this, stuck at home in quarantine. 

Being in isolation has allowed me to reflect on my friendships and what they’ve taught me. All of the Core Four women have had such an impact on my high school years, so it’s upsetting to think I might not see them until graduation, whenever that’s going to happen. 

I met Claire first. We played on Polyvore for hours, making outfits during Peter Pan play practice. She also nudged me into the great outdoors –– Camp Lakewood –– in 100-degree weather. And from Wicked to Joseph, there are too many church choir memories to count. Claire has always accepted me –– even my awkward 7th grade self –– and I will miss her candor, always challenging me to improve. 

Next came Natalie. She wowed me in fourth grade when she stood up in front of the violin class and played “Lightly Row” flawlessly. She continues to impress me with her extensive Girl Scout skills. Who else can artfully craft a Fruit Roll-Up into a rose, and calmly fix a tire on a road trip? But what I love most about Natalie is that she taught me to value myself and she stops me from overreacting. 

Last, I found Grace. One of the first times we hung out we ended up in Dick’s Sporting Goods, sitting in a kayak and running on the elliptical. Blasting Ella Henderson’s “Friends,” we have deep conversations on late-night drives. And in Chemistry, I will never forget that we, Heckle and Jeckle, had the best titration. Grace made me more caring through her compassion and support for others. 

I want to thank these girls for supporting me through the years and teaching me about myself. For now, Zoom movie nights will have to suffice, but I hope for more occasions to bust out the Core Four hoodies.