Not a lot of people can stay that they knew a friend all their lives; who they were in diapers with, went to school together – a friend who knows your life almost better than you and who they still talk to on a daily basis. I am fortunate to be one of those people, to have grown up with someone who was there through everything. Her name is Ciara, and she is my cousin, we are so close she might as well be my sister. I cannot say that I have literally been there since day one for her because she is a year older than I am, but she was there for me.  Since I cannot remember that far back anyway, I can safely say there is not a memory in my childhood that she was not in.

Having a cousin older than me, I basically saw everything I would be experiencing before I experienced it. I knew what middle school, high school, and college was going to be like before I even got there. Of course our experiences were different, but I still got to have an idea of it. Naturally, all her friends became my friends, because we are so constant in each other lives, it is almost weird to imagine us apart. At first, when I came to college it was hard because I was not going to have my cousin physically close to me anymore, and it was sad. I did not realize how reliant I was on our relationship until I could not be fully dependent on it. I could not call her anymore to meet up after school, or to have sleepovers, or to spend our nights walking around the city. And I did not know how much being away from each other would affect the both of us, I think we underestimated the distance. But even though we are three hours away from each other, we have never been closer because there is not a day that we do not talk, and there is not anything she does not know about me.

She pushes me to be the best academically, and never lets me give up on anything that I begin. She puts me first a lot, even when it inconveniences her, because that is what we do. We make sacrifices for each other, that is what you do when you love someone. She taught me how to do a lot of things, but I think this is the thing we have learned from each other. I think it’s amazing how much we are alike but so different, and that makes our life long journey as friend so much more interesting. There is no her without me and vice versa, and everyone knew you could not fight with one of us if you did not want to fight with the both of us, because were a packaged deal. And honestly, I would not want it any other way because she is my person and she is worth fighting for.

Don’t get me wrong we fight like crazy, well at least we used too. I remember when we were not talking and it was making its way up to a week, and we both knew that we would have to see each other in church and there was no escaping it. We’d have an attitude for the longest, another thing we’re both so good at keeping. But we couldn’t even remember why we were mad in the first place, we got so caught up in trying to force ourselves to be mad at each other that we forgot why we were even upset. Luckily, we’ve grown out of that, but there were other times when we didn’t talk and we knew why, but we always made up because you do not give up on your lifelong friends. I did not get to choose her, because we do not get to choose our family. But I am glad I did not have that option, because she drives me insane in the best way possible. And even when she was not my friend, I could always count on her to be my family. Being without my cousin, is like a bird that does not have its wings. If she was reading this, I would tell her so. Cuz, even when I want to kill you, I have to love you so much more because I need you.

About the Author:

Karen HKaren H. 
Class of 2019 
Major: Intended - English
Minor: Spanish
Blog Theme: Because I Need You


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.

Established in March 2015, Project MyStory is a community building effort to help students better acclimate to UAlbany and to work more effectively toward their goals. We began in UAlbany’s Academic Support Center (ASC), where you will see many of the posters featured above. We are now co-housed in ASC and in the Center for International Education and Global Strategy (CIEGS).

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