Courtesy of Lily Friedman.

Position(s): Senior Sports Editor

Section(s): Sports

Semesters at The Daily: 7

There’ve been quite a few moments in college when I was truly happy. Standing in the Big House in the snow with my friends. Sitting in my living room laughing until I hyperventilate over something forgettable on a random weeknight. Driving to restaurants at hours that are ungodly for anyone not waking up at 11:30 in the morning (debatably).

It’s a magical feeling when you realize in the moment that you’re truly happy. You lose control of your feelings. A smile creeps onto your face. Emotions start to bubble to the surface, manifesting in an uncontrollable grin. Maybe a laugh. The moments are random. They aren’t planned. They aren’t grand (though sometimes, when your team beats Ohio State, they are). Your friends don’t realize how simply happy you are. How grateful you are in that moment that you’ve met people who make you feel effortlessly you. Who make you feel like nothing could be better than just having a beer. Jumping in a river. Playing a card game (that I still don’t know how to play). Sitting in a dorm lobby.

I’ve been happy a lot at Michigan, and while those memories come from all over campus, many of them started at 420 Maynard, on a random night, making a paper. The best college sports paper in the country, I’ll add.

I came to The Daily not knowing how I’d like Michigan. In all honesty, I wasn’t too excited to be starting here in the fall of my freshman year. I was uncertain about the Midwest. I missed my friends from home. I had trouble meeting people immediately who just felt like my people. And at first, I didn’t know if The Daily would be that either.

Two kids from my high school, two years older, wrote for the Sports section at The Daily. When I came in, having written in high school but not sure which section of The Daily I would join, Ben and Anna said they loved Sports and met some of their best friends there. I decided to jump in. I’ll always be grateful that you both welcomed me and encouraged me to join Sports.

From there, I started covering smaller sports. I never stayed late my first semester freshman year. And bless Laney and Mike’s hearts for keeping me in the door that semester, because I’ll always be grateful to you both as well for saying bye to me as I walked out and making sure I left the newsroom feeling like there might be something in there if I kept coming. There was something in that room, and I don’t know what my college experience would have been like if I didn’t stay.

Sometime at the start of the next semester, someone convinced me to conference for a spring beat. I can’t remember who, and in all honesty (again, because I guess this is where to do that), I didn’t know what a beat was when I conferenced. But that softball beat was one of the best experiences I had in college. Some of my best friends, Lane, Daniel and Akul, covered every game with me that season, and I’ll never forget our trip to Bloomington, getting chased in Akul’s neighborhood, Jungle Tiger and selfless amoeba analogies and so much more from that season. You all are amazing people. I love you. I’m always here. And RIP Marley, of course.

From that beat, the rest is history (as is my major, as of a year after that). I made some of my best friends staying late on random weeknights I wasn’t writing that spring.

To Max, you are one of the most genuine people I’ve ever met. You’re a fantastic writer, and I appreciate how real you are with me.

To Tien, you’re a kindred spirit in a way that I hadn’t known one before. I’m always down for a spontaneous kayaking trip. Keep being you.

To Ben and Anna, thank you again for welcoming me to The Daily years ago and for being the people you are every time I talk to you. You both are fantastically kind people. Go vikes?

To Molly, Bailey, Sarah and Paige, you are some of the most positive people I’ve met. I’m always here if you need anything. You’re the best.

To Ethan, you truly have a depth and wit to you that is unmatched. There aren’t many people I can talk to for hours on end about sports, politics or anything in between and both laugh my head off and also find it incredibly thought-provoking at the same time. Thanks for being my friend.

To Theo, you’re one of the most stubborn but also most genuine people I met at Michigan. I’m happy I didn’t get bed bugs on your couch in Pittsburgh. Keep being yourself.

To Julia and Shira, I’m happy I formed friendships with both of you later on. You’re both insanely smart, talented people, and I look up to both of you more than you know. Thanks for being here for me.

To Connor, Rian, Jack Silberman and Teddy, you all are amazing people. I’m so happy that I formed friendships with all of you at Michigan, and I’ll always be here for anything you all need in the future.

To Aidan, Jacob, Jack, Jack Whitten, Nick, Paarth, Grayson, Alex and Avi, it’s been so much fun getting to know all of you the past few years. I’ll always remember every time we all hung out in the newsroom and this year’s State News game (16 straight baby).

To Brendan, you always keep me on my toes. You’re one of the smartest, most interesting and nicest guys I know, and I’ll always be here if you need anything.

To Daniel, you’re a great friend. I know we haven’t actually worked on anything together since softball, but I’ve loved getting to know you and I’m always here if you need anything.

To the Idiots, Lily, Abbie, Josh, Max and Steel, it’s been so much fun getting to know all of you. You’re all such great people, and thank you for making my life fun. You’re the captains now.

To Abby and Kent, you’re both amazing and have so much depth, wit and care for people around you. Love you both.

To the youngins, all of whom I won’t name, it’s been an absolute pleasure getting to know all of you. Enjoy every outing. Say yes to things.

To Drew, it didn’t start out as the friendship it is, but I’m so happy we got so close the past few years. You’re a great friend. I’m so excited to watch you save the planet.

And to Lane, thanks for doing this whole thing with me. You’re so amazingly talented and funny, and you ran The Daily without a hitch. I’m so happy The Daily brought this friendship into my life.

So for everyone who’s starting out, go to another meeting. Stay late. Someday, you’ll be a washed-up senior, and you’ll be left wondering where the time went, thinking back on the moments you were truly happy with your friends in college. With love <3 – Lily