A Graduation Affair – Will (Part 1)

22 days, 20 hours. That’s a pretty approximate countdown til my college graduation (I would give you minutes and seconds, but that might seem a little too desperate). So now that I am almost 3 weeks out from the one day that I never thought would actually come, everyone is asking me to take their senior pictures for their graduation invitations. Believe it or not, for a school that is meant for students of low-income families, they still try to charge us an arm and leg for grad announcements. So students go for plan B: Wal-Mart! And who better to kick off the trend than my friend Will (see how I made that transition work):

Will 1

Isn’t he just the cutest? Man, it’s weird to think that I have been friends with this kid for 4 years now. Oh, the things I could say about Will. But to keep from embarrassing him if he ever sees this, I’ll keep it PG. So I met Will my freshmen year back when he still looked like a little kid (sans facial hair and snake bite piercings). He reminded me very strongly of Mikey from Disney’s Recess:

Mikey

The most amazing kid on the playground.

(Will is going to hate me for this.)

Seriously, though, Will was totally Mikey: a bigger guy with a hidden singing talent (but Will’s voice isn’t deep like Mikey’s. Quite the opposite, but still ridiculously amazing…let’s just say he can kill it with some Adele…). And though Will thoroughly despises those days when he still looked like he was 12, those are the very days that made us friends.

Will 2 Will 3

From that point forward, the connecting factor of our friendship rested, initially, in theatre. I struggled with finding the right major for me, and so did Will. Only he figured it out long before I did. Originally a music major, he switched to theatre, loved it, and eventually started his peer pressure campaign to get me to go on and declare theatre as my own. In fact, I can honestly say that Will is a huge reason that I am graduating with a degree in theatre. He has always been supportive of me as I’ve tried to figure out my life. It’s not everyday that you can attribute something that big to someone, especially someone of the same age and in the same boat as you.

Will 4

But I guess that’s only a small part of Will’s story. Or at least, it’s the part connected to me. There’s so much more to him, so much complexity. I have seen this boy in the best of times, and I’ve seen him pretty stressed out. But I have a respect for him and his journey that I don’t always mention to him. But in a way I think he knows. I’m just as supportive of him as he has been of me, but we’ll have to wait to talk about that.

For now, I have to go bend to his every beck and call since we are opening a show tonight, our last show as students here. It’s a bitter-sweet thing (maybe a bit more bitter for him than for me since, at the moment, I’m definitely off to grad school to do more theatre while Will is still finding his path). But part two will be out soon, and by then, we’ll be a few days closer to ending this leg of our journey and starting a new one…

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