Finding Your Hawk Mate: The Importance of Strong Female Friendships

Photo via PictureLava
Photo via PictureLava

Hawk Mate: (n.)

  1. someone you find at Saint Joe’s who you didn’t know you were missing until you met them.
  2. a soul mate.

The term “hawk mate” is a SJU-exclusive phrase that describes that person you find during your four years on campus that is with you for the rest of your life. There is no limit on how many of these special people can be in your life, but every student finds one. In the past, the term has only been used to describe those who are dating. For example, you may hear someone say, “Jerry and Lisa have been dating ever since they met the first week of freshman year, they’re total hawk mates.” However, I think this sole connotation is outdated.

In the past few years, I have learned that strong, empowering friendships are the most vital things to have in life. A romantic partner is also a great thing to have, but there’s no relationship stronger than a true friendship. This is especially true for women. As young girls, we were taught that your soul mate is the prince that comes up the stairs of a castle and slays dragons for you. We were taught that a romantic partner is the most important person to have in your life. I think what is missing in all these stories we hear growing up is the huge importance of having girl friends. In movies, pop culture, and society in general, girls are usually depicted as catty and competitive, which makes us think that’s how it really is. This has certainly improved in recent mainstream media, but the general idea is that girls aren’t supposed to like each other.

There are obvious exceptions to this; two that come to mind are Bridesmaids (2011) and Sex and the City. This movie and TV show are good representations of the power of strong, female friendships, but I don’t think this has yet transferred to societal standards. I don’t want to rant on and on about how society has trained girls to pit themselves against each other, but you get the point. What I do want to do is communicate the amazing things that can happen when you find a soul mate who is also your best girl friend.

My hawk mate and I on Halloween

My best friend and hawk mate is Cassandra. Cass and I have been friends since before freshman year even began. I was looking for a roommate and messaged her on Facebook because we seemed to have a lot in common. Unfortunately, she already had a roommate, but this didn’t stop us from becoming best friends. After hanging out once, it was clear that we were about to become best friends. Fast forward a 15 months later, and we are attached at the hip. We are often asked how we know each other, and our response is, “we’re soul mates.”

“Friendship is one soul abiding in two bodies.”

– Aristotle

Here are the benefits of having a best friend as a soul(hawk) mate:

She sometimes knows you better than you know yourself. She can tell when something is wrong when you’re not even sure what it is. In my case, she knows I am terrible at estimating the time it takes to complete things, so she always helps me allow extra time.

You don’t even have to talk, just being together is enough. Sometimes, after a long week, Cass and I will just sit together doing homework or studying, and it’s the best time ever. We don’t have to say anything, just being in each other’s company is fun.

You never run out of things to talk about. Even though you both know every detail of each other’s lives, there is somehow always more to laugh and cry over.

The support is unconditional. She never judges you and she never dismisses something you are happy about, no matter how lame it is.

She is always down for an adventure. Soul mates can do anything together and have a great time. No matter if your idea of an adventure is exploring a new city or just going to Target one afternoon, you’ll have a blast.

Even when things aren’t so fun, she never leaves your side. She will drop everything she is doing if you need her. The thing about soul mates is that they feel things together. When one is hurting, so is the other. So, no matter what sticky situation you are in, she is in it with you.

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love.

Two hawk mates in Austin, TX
Two hawk mates in Austin, TX
Posted in: Family & Friends, Student Life

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