This weekend, I watched my best friend graduate from college.

My friend has been going to college for the past six years to become a pharmacist. She has worked insanely hard. We graduated high school together and now she is a doctor of pharmacy. We went to preschool together, and now she is a doctor.

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I’ve known this girl longer than I’ve known my own brother; we met at age 3, in the months before he was born. We have been best friends ever since then, through the growing pains of elementary school and adolescence and now, in our mid-twenties, the joys of figuring out who we are and what we plan to do with our lives.

As I watched her walk across the stage, I was filled with pride. It was like watching a sister make all her dreams come true.

My other best friend had a birthday this weekend, so we had a lot to celebrate! The three of us holed up in the apartment and baked cakes and pies for everyone to enjoy. I ran to the store and bought four bottles of champagne. We put up a “Happy Graduation” banner and wrote “Happy Birthday” on the cake. By the time our other friends arrived, we were all exhausted and filled with joy from the busy day we had.

It’s strange to watch your friends grow up. Obviously, I’ve grown up, too. But somehow, it’s even weirder to see my buddies for the adults they are now.

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These are the same girls who navigated middle school with me, the ones who rode the bus with me and who I texted every night for help on the calculus homework. The girls who I drove to school because I was the first to get my license, and the ones who supported me through some really tough times and cheered me on as I succeeded. The friends I make soup with every fall and cuddle up next to as we watch movies like “Grease” and “Twilight.” These are my buddies, and now they’re adults, with big jobs and apartments and long-term partners and, apparently, doctorates.

It’s weird and wonderful all at once. My friends have developed into the people they were meant to be, and so have I.

Of course, that’s not to say we don’t have our share of confusions and quarter-life crises, as CJ Nasello and I recently discussed on a segment of Our Daily Show! on RiverBender.com. There’s plenty of uncertainty, fears and heartbreaks.

But just like we’ve gone through everything else together, this is something else that we can navigate. It’s a gift to go through life with teammates.

It’s also a gift to watch your teammates grow up and become the individuals you always knew they would be. I’m so proud of these two friends and the people they’ve turned into. I knew them when they were little kids, and they knew me. But these adults, these people I love, have always been inside of them. It’s so cool that I get to meet these new parts of them and love them for the fully-realized versions of themselves.

And the best part of knowing your friends for so long? I have all these photos of when we were young, so I can embarrass them. Look at us at our high school graduation! And now we’re all grown-ups, with better haircuts and wearier smiles and a tighter grip on one another than before. It’s a gift.

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