Today is Grenadian Independence Day (which doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the above title, but stay with me), and it has made me nostalgic and wistful for the fun days with my Grenadian friends from grad school. It still works with my Friendship February theme, so here goes.

Debbie, Helyne, and me at our friend’s wedding

I went to grad school in Lubbock, Texas, which had its merits but was also a far cry from the metropolitan life I was used to living. Plus, I was a nontraditional student, having left a full time job in administration to return for my doctorate. I felt pretty isolated and alone at first but was saved by the smiling faces of these two. They brought me into their circle, made me an honorary Grenadian, and helped me adjust to my new life as a full time grad student. Together, we foraged for all the free food, stayed stylish with $5 buys at Ross and TJ Maxx, and found time to study in there somewhere. Luckily Helyne and I still present at conferences together here and there, but I miss seeing both of them on a daily basis.

My other friend block in Lubbock (which eventually merged with my Grenadian group) was a group of women I met via a book club gone rogue. We actually did read books (sometimes), but we also got together for potlucks and costume parties–lots of costume parties. The picture to the left was from our prom themed party. It actually took place on prom night in Lubbock. We went to dinner dressed like this and ended the night dancing in a friend’s backyard. Luckily one of our friends was a DJ.

Ah, happy memories. Grad school, much like first year teaching (or any year teaching, for that matter), can be daunting, exhausting, and demanding at times. There are moments when you think that you just can’t take time away from your work, but it’s important to schedule some fun time, too. Set it as a weekly “meeting” if you have to. It’s nice to have a group of friends you can count on to give you some respite, some laughs, and much needed support. Make time for your friends. Put fun on your to do list. Laugh and love.