We met sometime between freshman and sophomore year. I don’t remember how or when we met. We had some mutual friends, but I cannot recall any initial conversations or time spent in extracurricular activities that would have led to a friendship. But I do remember one scenario.
I was in my dorm room in Kendall Hall when I received a phone call from Kaity. I think she wanted to go driving — the most adventurous activity in Searcy.
From taking rides to sharing meals, Kaity and I grew to learn a lot about each other. However, we quickly learned that she and I are hardly anything alike. I still think it’s because of divine intervention that we are such great friends.
Kaity’s great, don’t get me wrong. She has an outspoken, carefree personality. She loves people, animals and pizza. She is one of the most intentionally loving people I have ever met, and I don’t know what I would have done without her the last two or three years.
However, sometimes it seems we disagree on almost every level about nearly everything. We differ in our political views, religious interpretations and general approach to life. I tend to follow a set pattern and routine for each of my days. Kaity prefers spontaneity and giving her full attention to any person who may cross her path. While she makes friends with strangers, I interview them.
While you can hear her laugh from across the room at Midnight Oil, you will hardly know that I am there, occupying a corner near the window. I like order, cleanliness and a quiet place for concentration. She couldn’t care less about disorganization and chaos.
Though we are very different people, we have found common ground in our opposite ways of thinking. We are able to pick each other’s brains and respectfully allow each other’s thoughts and ideas to shape our own. In Kaity’s words, “we just clicked.”
I could not have asked for a better friend. She has challenged me — asking hard questions and testing my patience. She has taught me selflessness and audacity (though I am definitely still pretty timid).
As for my four years at Harding, I cannot think of better way to sum up my experience than my relationship with Kaity: unexpected, diverse and challenging — a time of growth.
I was not very involved in my youth group until the end of high school. I was never close friends with many of the kids my age, and I always wished I had begun participating in church activities sooner to grow from Christ-minded peers.
When I came to Harding in the fall of 2014, I thought I would find the friends of my dreams: who believed the same as I did, had the same goals in mind and who were willing to drop everything to go across the world to spread the Gospel and help some people along the way.
And, I don’t think I found exactly what I was looking for. I took up the habit of overworking and underappreciating the events offered on campus and in Searcy. I became too comfortable and familiar with one group of friends (who are also great), and it was not until I was in my last year of college that I realized how many great relationships I had passed on due to my unwillingness to invest. I missed opportunities to be challenged by new people.
Thankfully, Kaity never stopped asking questions. She never stopped calling, texting and showing up at my doorstep. I think we all need to find a few friends like Kaity, people who are vastly different — who will continue to challenge and inspire us to be different.