Yesterday I went to the U of S Physics Centennial reunion. Not that I really needed to go to the reunion to see anyone but the physics department and its professors did a lot for me so I felt like I should go and support the department. Anyway, a slightly awkward moment happened when everyone from class of 1995-on was supposed to get together and reminisce about the good old days - there were a bunch of people from the late nineties and then a SMALL handful of us from the late 2000s. We had to go around the circle and introduce ourselves and say our favourite memory. They made me start so I was put on the spot and couldn't think of any memories right off the top of my head other than just hanging out in the physics foyer with my peeps, and later those peeps basically echoed my same sentiments.
A couple minutes in I remembered that a super awesome time was sitting in the foyer with my friends one day and a girl walked by and puked all over the floor and then ran into the bathroom. Then suddenly a class from one of the large lecture theatres let out and a bunch of people almost wiped out in the puddle... so gross yet it definitely brightened our day as it gave us something to focus on for a while other than physics. I didn't bring this up though as some guy from the 90s was already making everyone uncomfortable and awkward by bragging about all the times he got drunk in the physics basement and not letting anyone else talk.
Anyway - one thing my friend Jason said that stuck with me was something like "You look back 7 years and you would never realize at that time that the same people you just randomly get partnered with or meet during a fire drill will still be your friends." It made me think of all of my current friendships and how they started, and it sort of blows my mind how I remember the first time I met/saw certain people and would NEVER have imagined how much they've influenced my life or just become such important people to me.
On that note, it's kind of fun to go back and trace my histories with certain people. A lot of people I'm really great friends with now were people I knew for quite a while (several months, even sometimes a few years) before we had some initial trigger (discovering something major in common, working on a project together, etc.) that instantly changed our relationship from acquaintances/co-workers/classmates to full-out BFFs. With others the friendship started the day we met, while some gradually developed and grew stronger over a course of several years.
It's not as much fun to think of the opposite; friendships that used to exist but don't anymore. It's something I definitely used to over-analyze but I've since learned to recognize when it's time to (often sadly) let someone go.
Now that I'm just starting a new phase of my life by entering the workforce and being out of school, this is an interesting concept to think about. Who have I just met who'll somehow change my life down the road? Thinking back, there's almost always been someone around who turned out to be more significant than I could have ever imagined, and 9 times out of 10 it's never been anyone I've expected.