The Gift of a Friend: RoQuan

I originally had a different idea for this post, but I feel compelled to talk about someone extremely important to me. People come into your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime. Initially, I didn’t know why this person came into my life, but I’m learning that it’s for a lifetime. 

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RoQuan on our choir trip!

Until high school, many of my friendships were fleeting. They served the purpose of getting through school, but rarely did they ever transition to my personal life. Starting my sophomore year of high school, I had two friends that became personal life friends. They were my “ride-or-dies.” A year later, I found another group of friends: Alief Taylor Lion Choir. I spent most of my day with the choir so we became friends, however, those friendships didn’t really go outside of school unless it was a choir event. During the fall semester of that year, I was at the school’s performing arts showcase and 1 period men’s choir was performing. There were about 6 or 7 guys on stage singing a John Legend song. Most of them weren’t that great. Then out of nowhere a beautiful voice filled the air. Literally everyone in mixed chorale turned around and said “Who is that? Asian boy can SANG!” Spring semester, Quan, the asian boy, joined mixed chorale singing Tenor 2. Before he joined, I was singing that part alone. Being section buddies, we became instant friends. Between the jokes and conversations and sing-offs we became known as “RoQuan.”

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RoQuan at my graduation with a guest appearance from Rita.

We were pretty much paired of for everything after that. For choir trips, we were roommates, bus buddies, and in the same theme park group. My senior year of high school was interesting because I knew I was leaving and he would still have 2 years left. My life has always moved with me. As I transitioned to new places and points in my life, I usually lost contact with those from the previous chapter. When I moved from New Orleans to Houston, I lost contact with all of my friends. It happened again when I transitioned from middle school to high school. I was sure that would happen when I started college. For the first time, I didn’t want that to happen. I knew that I would lose contact with so many people, but there were 4 people I refused to lose contact with: my “then” best friends Meghan and Dominique, Quan, and my prom date Kayla.

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RoQuan at my 18th birthday outing. So much fun despite a horrible movie!

When I started my freshman year at UT, I did lose contact with many of the people I’d been friends with in high school. I did put extra effort in remaining in contact with those four. It was hard. We were all going through different things. Meghan commuted to a university an hour away from home, Dominique was going to community college, Quan had two years of school left and Kayla had one. I was trying to adjust to being on my own, pledging, working, classes, and being a first-gen college student was hard. It was at that point I started to drift away. I would try and talk with Meghan about my struggles and she would make me feel even worse talking about how easy her classes were in the same subject and would tell me to try harder. Her parents went to college so she didn’t have the struggle of not knowing. That insensitivity started to put a tear in our friendship. Dominique was always working so I couldn’t really keep up with him. I’d talk with Kayla every so often and Quan whenever I had a chance. While I would talk to them, I was losing them at the same time. My life had transitioned to Austin and I began to visit home less and less. Eventually my friendship with Meghan ended; the one with Dominique became on of acquaintances, and Kayla’s is there but not what it used to be.

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RoQuan about to sing “Titanium”

My junior year of college, Quan came to UT. It was the most amazing feeling. To have someone I’d been so close in close proximity again brought me new life. While my other friendships from high school ended or changed, my friendship with Quan became stronger than ever. We’d get together and chat, watch movies, play video games, and most of all sing. It quickly became my most cherished friendship. It allowed for normalcy and continued friendship. When he had to take a semester off during my last semester of college, I was devastated. My best friend was going to be three hours away again. That meant no more late night jam sessions, conversations or sleepovers. It made the semester a bit rougher. I knew I wouldn’t see him after graduation because I was still going to be in Austin for summer orientation. But when orientation ended and I returned to Houston, I only hung out with Quan. We’d do what we always did: SING. It made sense. Even after moving to Virginia, I talk with Quan almost every single day.

There was a point in my life when I thought I would never have true friends. I heard so many times that you will make your true friends in college. That scared me because I didn’t want to lose the people I’d grown so close to. Luckily, I found a true friend in high school. Quan and I have been friends for what will be 7 years in a few months. I have never had a friendship last that long. People say they enjoy seeing us interact because they can feel the love we have for each other. In college, I learned that family isn’t about blood relation, but about the connection you have. We can choose our family. I know that Quan isn’t just a friend to me. He’s family. He’s like a brother to me.

I’ve always wanted friendships like those I’d see on tv: Scott & Stiles from Teen Wolf, Sam & Dean from Supernatural, Oliver & Diggle from Arrow, and Damon & Alaric from Vampire Diaries. I found that with Quan. I know that we’re going to be friends for the rest of our lives. I can already see us being in each other’s weddings, watching our children playing together and even at the age of 80 still singing together. If anything happened to him, it’d feel like it happened to me. I literally don’t know if I could deal with losing him. He is one of my favorite male voices ever, another part of me, and the best friend that a boy could ever ask for. We balance each other out. His extrovert balances my introvert in a way that works. Quan has one of the purest spirits of anyone I’ve ever met. People can’t help but be enthralled by his charisma and charm. I’m beyond grateful to have him as my best friend!

This quote from Teen Wolf expresses how I feel about Quan: (from Stiles to Scott)

Scott, just listen to me, okay? You’re not no one. Okay? You’re someone, you’re… Scott, you’re my best friend. Okay? And I need you. Scott, you’re my brother.

Love you, bro!

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