Do you know what I love? Ties.
A good tie goes a long way. Ties are fantastic, for many reasons. For one, they compliment you. A tie isn’t there to steal the show of your wardrobe, but if you’re in a kind of boring situation, ties help jump in and go, “Hey, did you guys hear about when Kevin did that awesome thing with the thing? Go on Kevin, tell it!” And, when telling the story, ties are always there to complete the look, complete the pattern, and to literally tie the whole thing together.
Ties are also unique. There’s lots of different kinds of ties. Some ties you’ll think are pretty cool when you first get introduced to them (yes, you, paisley) but after getting to know them for awhile you start to realize they don’t have much inner quality to them as you once thought. There are the ties you can always turn to when you don’t exactly know what to do that day – your go-to ties, the ones always there to match well. And then, there are the ties, that you put into your hand, and right away you can feel the quality. You remember exactly where it was when you first bought it, when you first wore it, and exactly how well it first around you.
What are you doing here paisley, go away.
And of course, different ties can be knotted different ways. Some are your basic, quick knots – around around around through! And some get exceedingly complex. Of course, different knots also are supposed to be worn at different times depending on your shirt collar (fun fact) so even your best knot doesn’t always work in every circumstance. Some are really detailed, interesting, and you’re not sure if you should wear it ever in public, but then you break it out and have a good time with it because, you know what, who cares.
I know they look cool, but… please, please, don’t.
And, like ties, so are friends. You have your high school friends, and your best friends. You’ll have those friends you can always turn to on the hard days, on the days you don’t know what you’re doing with your life, when you can’t even figure out which pant hole is which and end up putting on your pants backwards.
When you come to college, it’s going to be a new setting. It’ll be surreal. You might be lucky and have a friend or two who you know at the same place – but most likely, you’ll be alone. And then, you’ll be faced with a huge challenge – finding a new favorite tie or knot. Some people will fit the bill in some situations – they’ll be great friends to do homework with, to place Mario Kart with, or to just roll around on the floor drinking tea with. You’ll meet other people no doubt as well — they’ll look cool from the outside, but what you realize quickly, is at least here, we don’t have cliques. And so if people are trying to be more than what they are – trying to outdo their role by having a fancy knot when their job is to compliment the school, not be the school – that those aren’t the sort of knots you’ll want to be friends with. Yes, they’ll be around. And you can know them. But at college — people expect you to be you. They want to know the real you – and will quickly catch on if you’re lying about who you are.
So, if you keep your eyes open, you’ll find the right people. You’ll find your ducky tie, that one friend who can swoop in and make you sound awesome when you’re feeling a little socially awkward. You’ll find that paisley tie, that one friend who you can share all the “wow, we probably shouldn’t have actually done that” events with. You’ll find your bow tie, that friend who you can be quirky and unique and laugh and make faces to through your complex nonverbal communication system. And you’ll find the strange knots – the ones that could potentially work, but you’d have to read up the instruction manual seventeen times and change who you are to make it sort of fit but never perfectly like the photo.
You will find another tie that fits perfectly, another best friend who is your second half. Maybe two. Maybe five! But also know that just because you find new ties doesn’t mean you ever have to let go of the old ones.