Senior column: The limit to friendship does not exist

“At each disappointment, Little Miss Sunshine was there to remind me that I was neurotic. She taught me that trying my best mattered more than whatever grade I received.”(Ayra Charania)

It was fourth period, and I was absolutely exhausted. My brain had zero energy to socialize, and I just wanted to nap.

Rushing into the AP Calculus BC classroom, my face fell as I realized I barely knew anyone in the room. Being an AP kid for five semesters, I thought I would have at least one friend in the class. I just wanted one person who I could sit down with, complain for a few minutes and mentally nap in front of.

However, I knew no one. I claimed an empty table and stared into space as all the other tables began to fill. Finally, I saw a single person I knew. It was someone I hadn’t talked to since eighth grade, but at least I knew them. She came to the table with a friend I never met before.

The friend was not completely exhausted, like me. She was wearing a colorful striped dress with overalls and clunky combat boots, and she had the most shiny and vibrant hair I had ever seen. She was not tired or sleepy. She was so hyper and energetic that she reminded me of Spongebob.

I absolutely hated it. She was so peppy, and I could not process it. It was not only the end of a long school day, but we were stuck in calculus. There was nothing fun about integration or infinite series or polar graphs. How was she not ready to go home yet?

I never thought that this giant ball of sunshine would eventually become my best friend. Although, it didn’t happen without a few fights.

Our most memorable little fight happened during our first group quiz. My group consisted of the girl I hadn’t seen since eighth grade, Little Miss Sunshine and a guy who used to be my lab partner in AP Chemistry. We had done every practice problem we could to prepare, and we were ready to ace the quiz. We breezed through it until we got to the last problem.

I became frustrated. I was the only one who was able to figure it out, and I integrated the whole thing by myself. I could do each step except the last one. The last one required me to remember trigonometry, something that I had long forgotten since pre-calculus. I assumed that my other group members could finally contribute and help out with this final step, but I was sorely mistaken.

We were all dumbfounded and sat still for 20 minutes trying to figure it out. I glared angrily at each of my group members, and Little Miss Sunshine finally called me out.

“None of us know it, and you being annoyed isn’t going to solve anything,” she said. “Why can’t we just turn it in?”

In all my pettiness and anxiety, I refused to turn it in. I checked everyone’s quizzes seven times, to be exact, and did not bring a single paper to our teacher until the bell rang at 3:35 p.m. Truthfully, it made me happy to annoy Little Miss Sunshine, but that eventually became the solid foundation of our friendship.

We received a 98 on the quiz, a grade below average according to my identity as a high-achieving Asian. Little Miss Sunshine laughed at my disappointment, reminding me that I still tried my best.

This happened many more times because it was truly impossible to make a 100 in AP Calculus BC. At each disappointment, Little Miss Sunshine was there to remind me that I was neurotic. She taught me that trying my best mattered more than whatever grade I received. To my surprise, we ended up going to prom together and keeping in contact through summer.

She became the person I would message at 3 a.m. because I felt homesick while I was doing research in Boston. The person I would hug and vent to when college applications became too stressful. The person I looked up to for positive advice.

Thank you Chersey Tabios for always believing in me and helping me believe in myself.