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Tuesday, April 16
The Indiana Daily Student


COLUMN: Friends: the true colors of life


On March 26, 19 years ago, I was born on the same day as Holi. I have always loved this, because Holi is an Indian festival celebrating colors and love, and I loved that I was connected to this festival. The festival of Holi is a Hindu festival marking the beginning of spring. However, to my friends and I, it was always the day we got to play with colors and water and dance to good music all day long.  

My entire life, I’ve celebrated Holi in India, and it has been my favorite festival. The month of March has always been a personal favorite because of Holi and my birthday. However, as the month of March rolled in this year, it brought with it a bittersweet feeling. I had never celebrated my birthday away from home or without any family or childhood friends around me. Naturally, I was nervous about it being an uneventful and dull birthday. Additionally, I was under the assumption that Holi was not a festival celebrated in Bloomington, which truly upset me to the extent that I wished my entire birthday week would just disappear.  

I was sad, homesick and desperately needed to feel like I was around people I cared about and loved. Since I started college, I have met a lot of people who were all very nice to me. However, there was this constant feeling that I never really belonged here or that something just didn’t fit right.  

A week before Holi, I came across a post that announced the Hindu Yuva club at IU, was, in fact, hosting a Holi party. Upon learning about this, I was ecstatic and immediately bought tickets. At this party, I met a bunch of people who turned out to be some of the greatest people I met at college, making Holi and consequently my birthday the best one so far.  

As I was going through the pictures from these events, I realized it's not the colors or the dancing that made Holi and my birthday extra special, it was the people I was surrounded with.  

Having the patience and mindset to find people you actually like and connect with is an exhausting process, which we all had to go through once college began. There may have been instances through this process where we bumped into a couple people who weren’t the best for us, but we were always a little too scared of admitting that to ourselves on the off chance that we may not find other people to connect with. However, it’s imperative to understand finding good people is like trying on different clothes with different colors — it takes time to find the right one. But the second you do, you know you’re going to love it forever, and that’s what’s going to bring the color in your life, the sparkle in your eyes and the spring in your step!  

As tempting as it has been for me to stick with a group of people I never really liked, or to do things I would not otherwise, I am so glad I pushed myself to wait and find people who are right for me and make me feel comfortable in my own skin. Waiting for the right set of people instead of being with people who you never truly vibed with can get extremely frustrating and scary, but it is always worth it at the end of the day.  

With the right set of people, it doesn’t need to be March for Holi, because every day feels like the festival of color and love!  


Pehal Aashish Kothari is a freshman studying marketing with a minor in apparel merchandising.  

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