Oh, The Friends You’ll Make.
This is an appreciation post, inspired by another one of my friends, Caitlin Dailey, who equally deserves a post of her own, if not simply because she finds my own sarcastic and enigmatic outbursts entertaining.
This kid right here is Sean Hutzell. If you don’t know him, you really should.
Let me tell you—studying abroad is hard. On most days, it’s amazing and uplifting and exciting, but it’s also stressful and emotionally draining on other days. Especially when you are dealing with a bunch of emotional weight. You’re so far from all of your typical support systems, and sometimes the comfort of a laptop computer just doesn’t cut it.
The first time I met Sean, I have to admit, I wasn’t much in the state of mind of meeting anyone. I was pessimistic and convinced that I would have no friends on my trip. How wrong I was.
Sean was my roommate, which meant we’d be spending a lot of time together, for better or for worse. Initially, I was just struck by how nice and accommodating he was. I can’t remember anything that I did ever getting him angry, even the things I knew I would habitually do that were annoying. It was a little off-putting.
As the semester went on, I slowly opened up to Sean about some various things. First it was a series of books we had both read, and some similar movies we loved. I started wanting to go hang out with him more when he went out to his wild shenanigans. He also dressed really well, and I was jealous of his wardrobe. I never expected to actually want to hang out with someone on this trip, I thought it would just be the age old college dilemma of making friends due to close proximity.
I remember one particular time I was reading in bed on a weekend night, and Sean came over to me and asked me if I wanted a drink. I said, yeah, sure, why not, and he came and poured me one of his own beers, bringing me the glass in bed while I was still finishing up one of my favorite books. That’s the kind of guy he is. Always generous, always willing to give, always inclusive.
I recently went through a pretty brutal break up. Sean was the first person I saw after it. He didn’t force any sort of emotion out of me at all. I barely told him anything, just that it had happened. We just hung out, and he never once judged how I was dealing with it (I’ll give you a hint: not that well).
In the ensuing days, Sean was one of the best things a friend could ask for. When I was too upset to get to class on time, he vouched for me. He would buy me countless drinks at the bar, not even stopping for a second to question it. Sometimes, he’d just show up as I was finishing a drink. That’s the kind of friend he is. He even opened up to me about his own personal issues. In those days, we became closer than ever. We’d be up at 3AM laughing about something so stupid—like a video or a joke—that our friends next door could hear. One night, we made a pact to watch all of the Lord of the Rings movies the next day. Of course, we didn’t, but the gesture still counts!
Sean’s made me delicious dinners and some pretty generous helpings as well. He’s a great cook. Ladies, take notice.
I could honestly spend years repaying Sean for all the debt I owe him. I try when I can, but it’s hard when you’re faced with someone who is so generous with everything they do. I can only hope in the next few weeks, we’ll be treated to some more late night Kebab and a few more nights of Karaoke. He’s the only person who would sing “I”m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” with me from How I Met Your Mother. That’s true friendship right there.
His music taste is kinda lame, but as the late, great, Hannah Montana said: nobody’s perfect, right?
When you go abroad, you’ll meet people you’d never think you’d meet. You’ll meet people even if you go in with a sour attitude about meeting anyone. And they’ll be some of the coolest people you could ever know. I’m already planning a trip to visit him in Maryland at Washington College. Thanks, Sean. You’re a great friend.