Opinion: Home is Where My Friends and I Watch Reality TV

Saginaw senior Marrissa Price, Grand Rapids Hannah Fife, junior and author, Flat Rock sophomore Lindsay Ratcliffe, pose in a dorm room. The three were watching the reality TV show ‘Catching Kelce’ on Netflix (Photo illustration by Lindsay Ratcliffe).

When you finally find your people – those who love you as you are – it feels like a revival. For me, this revival means I’m exploring different music genres and styles of clothing that were previously well out of my comfort zone. Knowing I have friends who will always back me if something doesn’t go well, I feel at ease being myself. 

Before this year, I would have considered myself a loner. Living in a medical single, I felt isolated from my peers. Simultaneously, I struggled with finding a balance between being with people I cared about and remaining in the confines of my room. I either ran myself down or felt depressed; saw my friends too often or not enough. 

This year though? I’ve finally found that balance.

I’ve never wanted to do schoolwork with people I knew. I was either distracted by talking to them or felt guilty because I wasn’t talking to them at all. 

However, after finding my people, social settings seem much easier to navigate. There are times when we’re absolutely losing our minds over a reading we are trying to trudge through, but then someone will play some form of music that helps us all lock in and get things done; instrumental bands such as Clocks & Clouds are a personal favorite of mine.

But, as amazing as it is to be productive when I’m with the crazy people I consider my friends, my favorite moments are when we are domestic. It’s the times we’re lounging in each other’s dorm rooms watching terrible TV shows that we can’t help but make fun of – shows like “Love is Blind” and “Catching Kelce.” The kind of shows where you know, with every fiber of your being, that it’s not real, even if it is “reality” television. 

Watching my friends repeat things that I never thought someone would say on TV is hysterical. I’m able to laugh my worries away when they repeat the phrase “Back up h—” with karate-like arms to mock one of the 50 women on the show. 

A mere week before seeing the drama of “Catching Kelce”, a friend of mine bought me ice cream from Frosty Dan’s. After freezing ourselves for our frozen desserts, we took shelter in her dorm with another of our friends to watch “Love is Blind.” We partially joked about how many red flags were scattered through the show while discussing what level of concerning they were – I personally don’t think it’s a good idea to marry someone whose views on life differ from yours. 

But that just gave us ammunition for jokes and conversations that were surprisingly deep, considering where the topics stemmed from. 

With all of us sprawled out on “the mega bed” – two beds pushed together – we talked about how we deal with our emotions, what we would want from partners of our own and our hopes for our love lives. 

This was the most peaceful night of my life. 

When I’m watching mindless shows like these with my friends, I’m not stressing about the homework that is perpetually piled on my desk. I can relax because our dorm rooms are somewhere other than Baldwin or the Kellogg Center where I can spend time with my friends. Being somewhere other than these two buildings provides a sense of relief and a change of pace for me; a break from the endless loop I exist in during the semester.

Having the time and ability to just exist while watching a silly TV show gave me a sense of peace and calm that I had been unable to feel for a long time. 

It was the peace of knowing that I could simply be myself in that space and not be judged for anything that I did or did not do. 

When my 20th birthday came around and they found out I didn’t really have any plans, two of my friends took it upon themselves to take me out for lunch and then a group shopping session afterward at Target, something I had never done before. 

The pure horror and laughter that came out of the dressing room that day when I found a shirt that fit me in the women’s section will always live in my mind; I can never find clothing in the women’s section that fits my short stature. To up the humor, my friend found one that fit her as well, despite one of the sizes somehow fitting me.

 I love my friends. They have inspired me to change myself for the better. With their support, I can talk to people I wouldn’t normally have without feeling my anxiety shoot up into my throat. I can brush off negative things in my life with more ease than ever before. I have been looking for friends like them for a long time; now that I have found them, I know where I belong. 

It feels wonderful. 

It’s truly life-changing to find your group of people, those that you know love you for who you are and not what you can do for them. 

So, to the friends that have been by my side this year: Thank you. You will never fully understand how much you have done for me. Even though I can best express myself through writing, I can’t express enough how much I love and care for you.

About Lindsay Ratcliffe 9 Articles
Lindsay Ratcliffe is a sophomore from Flat Rock, MI. She is a Political Science and Creative Writing double major. Lindsay loves journalism because it gives her a chance to write about things she cares about in ways that can really affect people. When she's not writing, you can find her jamming out to music. Contact Lindsay via email at lr10@albion.edu.

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