Hello friends! Yesterday was Women’s Equality Day, and the day made me realize that some of the most important figures who shaped my life are incredible women. In my opinion, it really bothers me when people hold prejudices against women. In honor of Women’s Equality Day, I’ve decided to start a small project that emphasizes the strength, resilience, kindness, and overall awesomeness of the people who molded me.
I’ll share the backstory and my thoughts leading up to the project in another post. I want to keep it short in order to allow the spotlight to shine on my friends. I apologize in advance that I can’t include everyone for practical reasons, but wherever you are, I hope you know that I care about you immensely and that I didn’t leave you out on purpose. In these posts, I will only refer to people by their initials to enhance privacy. Here we go!
Dear A: This is probably coming to you randomly, even though you’re aware of it. I think you’re amazing for many reasons. As your Neuro TA back in 2013, I could easily tell that you were determined to succeed, and you weren’t afraid of any obstacles that came your way. You asked a lot of questions, but in the best way possible because through your emails, you had shown me you were there to learn, not to fool around. Honestly, I would much rather answer neuro emails at like 3 am compared to not receiving any emails. I knew that there was a person on the other side who really cared about the subject, and this fact alone made everything worth it.
One of the more emotional memories I had involves you, and I think about it so often. You messaged me on Snap explaining that you were applying to Emory’s medical school. But you followed up saying that you will have to think about going if you get in. You had witnessed the way that Emory mistreated me, and you were taking a stance against it. It gives me goosebumps every time I think about that selfless act. I’m so grateful.
When you graduated, you were probably in pain, wearing heels to the procession and making everyone look short in comparison. You had struggled with and overcome significant illness, although I still wish I could have been there as your support. You left Brown University with your legacy etched in multiple clubs and events, including speaking on a panel of experts on eating disorders. Soon after, you would win Miss RI and travel to the national pageant as —yes, THE Miss Rhode Island..Through all of this, I remained amazed at how much difficulty you must have faced, how you never took anything for granted, and how much positivity you showed. I could easily give you many more accolades and anecdotes, but space is limited. If you remember nothing else, I want you to know the I care about you, and I love you. Neuro nerds forever! -Ronnie
Dear S.: Ugh, I have so much to say and thank you for, but my website caps off at 1000 words per post. We met each other kind of weirdly on Tinder, when I was still getting over a recent breakup. As a TA for Bio 200, I hosted a lot of review sessions, and my favorite memory of us happened at downstairs Salomon, when I was going over the answers for an exam that destroyed everyone. It was really fascinating to watch you at work because you are probably one of the very few people on Earth who is great at multitasking. Somehow you’re able to edit videos on your computer and pay attention at the same time. You’re weird fam.
But weird is good, and over time we became good friends. I would definitely go over my word limit if I list out everything, so I will save some thoughts for a future post. The most important thing I hope you know is that you literally saved my life. Around early July 2018, I suffered a serious mental breakdown and attempted suicide. You sensed something was wrong and called the police, who found me half awake lying on the carpet. You did everything in your power to check on me regularly, even calling the hospital staff.
Ever since you saved me, I have been consistently shocked with your honesty and dedication to your friends. You once told me that you use your “extra” personality to make your friends happy. One time, you left your phone on ring overnight so that if I called, you would wake up and answer. Your devotion meant so much to me because I couldn’t believe that someone cared about me that much. I still don’t believe it, but I do believe that the world needs more people like you. (I really tried not to be cliché!)
Sometimes I reach out to you when I’m having a rough day, and you always, always manage to cheer me up and cheer me on. I told you that I felt bad because I’m always the one complaining, and you responded, generously as ever, that you cherished our friendship. I could probably write a book on how much you mean to me, and I want to emphasize that you will always have me on your side. I love you so much. -Ronnie
Dear R: Wow I did a really poor job picking the first three people because I have so much to say for everyone! When we met during a makeshift BIOL 0200 review session I was hosting, I felt an enormous sense of security. I walked out of Wilson Hall that night with a deep and genuine connection with everyone. Throughout the years that followed, I feel incredibly blessed to have a friend like you. Even when you’re exhausted from a long day of classes, studying, and dancing, you somehow still radiate a kind of positive energy that is contagious.
I often tell you that “you do too much” and to make sure you treat yourself after a long day. The fact that you’re simply not able to quit any of your extracurriculars is a huge testament to the fact that you genuinely find meaning in everything you do and the people you meet (and the food you eat). We formed a bond that went beyond Whatchamacallits, and I was happy that everyone laughed at my very cheesy jokes (ex. GUAGamole). Having multiple passions is important, and most people probably can’t even name one. Yes, you do too much, but it will not be in vain as long as you enjoy your role. I have faith that you’ll find a career you love, even if it does take a few tries and some experimentation.
We haven’t talked in awhile, but I wanted to take this opportunity to remind you that you’re absolutely phenomenal, and I admire you so much. You’re so kind and caring towards your friends, and it’s incredible but unsurprising that people admire you. wish for you to have the most amazing senior year ever, knowing that I’ll support you all the way. I love you. -Ronnie