Single Girl Diaries: Eurotrip: Girlfriends

Columnist Ellise Verheyen on why a girl squad is essential to thriving.

Dear women,

I want you to take a minute to appreciate the joy of girlfriends. But not just the girls that are “friends” (i.e., acquaintances), but the girlfriends that you can call in the middle of the night for an IHOP run when you are 100 percent sober but desperately need those double chocolate chip pancakes with a whipped cream smile. You know what I’m talking about, right? Because if not, you need to kick it into high gear and find these ladies.

As a college student AND a female, there is a lot of pressure. Nay — a ton of pressure. You are judged based on how involved you are in well-known organizations, how you look at all times (because you never know when you’ll meet your Mr. Darcy) and how you perform in a party setting.

“All this she must possess and to all this she must yet add something more substantial, in the improvement of her mind by extensive reading.”

As Lizzie Bennet of the 2005 “Pride & Prejudice” film responds, “I never saw such a woman. She would be a fearsome thing to behold.” (I don’t know whether it’s because I’m reading Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, or if it has to do with the fact that I’m in England at the moment, but she has been speaking to my soul.)

With so much pressure from society, it’s no wonder girls rely on gal pals to get through the rough times. Who else would you marathon the latest season of “Scandal” with while eating Ben & Jerry’s and crying over the ignorant guy who refuses to acknowledge your existence?

While living in London, I’ve been fortunate to find a few of these girlfriends. First of all, my flatmates are literally a blessing. They get me. They understand my need to stay in sometimes and just relax. They don’t judge me for eating a piece of toast at 11 p.m. In fact, they encourage it and eat alongside me.

Last Friday, we all went out to a bar called The Monarch. It was really relaxed. We sat and talked for almost an hour, laughing and making plans for future nights together. Everything was great. We split up and three of the girls hit the dance floor while my friend Sophia and I stayed back to plan an upcoming trip to Scotland.

Nothing too unusual happened, other than a man approaching Sophia and letting her know that the blouse she was wearing was great and then bought her a drink.

Shortly after, two of the dancing fiends ran back to inform us that my roommate had made a new friend. Not two minutes later, my roommate ran over.

“I’m really tired,” she said. Girl code for, “Let’s get the heck out of here.”

Immediately, the five of us gathered up our things and we head out the door without question. That’s what girlfriends do for each other. If one is uncomfortable, we all are.

The following day, we planned a Galentine’s Day, which came about after a long conversation about our mutual love for “Parks & Rec.” (Seriously, I’ve found my people.) After sleeping in and having a relaxing morning, we went out to Oxford Circus for lunch at a hummus place. We basked in the deliciousness that is hummus and then scoped out a good coffee shop. Afterward, we headed home for a night in filled with Nutella-filled brownies and watched chick flicks and YouTube videos until 3 a.m.

I know I’m spending a semester abroad and should be constantly exploring and going out, but I can’t tell you how good it feels to know that I have a group of girls around me that are willing to embrace a good night in. Our flat is a no-shame zone. I’ve never been with such uplifting crew. It’s constant compliments and love and I couldn’t have chosen a better group of people to spend four months with in a foreign country.

So for anyone in need of a pick-me-up, give your girlfriends a call. And remember to let them know how much you appreciate them for holding your hand when you’re sad and/or holding your hair when your sick.

(P.S. Girls rule. Boyz drool. Period).

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