It is sometimes hard to believe that I graduated from USI over five years ago. That may seem like no time at all for some people, but sometimes I still feel like I am 21 again. Sometimes I forget that I am a "grown-up" with a "grown-up" job and bills, house payments, etc. Many of my favorite memories involved my roommates and friends from college walking to class, throwing a frisbee outside the apartments, and staying up late to talk about the future.
When I read the premise behind Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan, I knew I had to read it. After waiting a few weeks because of all the holds (I wish librarians got priority sometime!), I stayed up late in the night reading this book. I connected with the characters created by Sullivan because I could see a bit of myself, and my friends, in each of the four main characters.
Set in the late 1990s at Smith College, Celia, Sally, Bree, and April are put together as hall-mates. On first glance, the four seem to have nothing in common and have no desire to befriend one another. As they go through the early days of college, however, they learn to rely on one another and form a bond that lasts through their college years. The differences come to head in their early twenties as the four split off to separate lives.
At Sally's wedding a few years later, an argument occurs that leaves a rift between the four best friends. Gradually, they all begin to realize that life isn't as easy without each other and when one of the four goes missing, they come together to search for their missing link.
One of the best things about this book was that most of us can relate to an argument between friends. I just happened to get this book when one of my closest friends and I seemed to be constantly at odds. After reading Commencement, I realized that life without her wouldn't be the same and emailed her an apology. Growing up and getting older isn't simple, but it is easier to manage with great friends.