A Series of Fortunate Events: Sarah and Jamile

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From overlapping high school schedules, to acceptances into the same college, to a 99th percentile match through the Marriage Pact, fate keeps finding ways to bring best friends Sarah and Jamile together. Now juniors at NYU, the pair have known each other for almost six years, after crossing paths as freshmen at their high school in New Jersey. They tell me the story of how they met, and about the long-lasting stroke of serendipity that’s kept them together all this time.

Jamile: I didn’t really know anyone at my high school at first, because there were only a couple of kids in my town that went. But Sarah and I had the same lunch period. And I’m a procrastinator, so I’d go sit in front of the class we both had next and do my work. One day she saw me there, and she was like, “She looks so lonely.” And suddenly, I was spending lunch with her and her friends all the time, and now we go to the same college.

Sarah: And it wasn’t planned, like we didn’t talk about going to NYU. It just kinda happened.

Jamile: It’d been my dream school for a while, so I knew, no doubt, that I was gonna apply. But she applied early decision, and I applied regular. I didn’t even know that she applied, and then she was like, “So… I’m going to NYU.” and I was like, “You’re lying to me right now.” And then I got in regular decision, and it worked out.

Sarah: And now we’re like, a block away from each other.

Jamile: Yeah, we placed into super close assignments, it was perfect.

When the Marriage Pact hit NYU, Sarah and Jamile both decided to give it a shot.

Jamile: I was just doing it for funsies. Everyone else was taking it and talking about it, so I was like, “You know what, I’ll do it.”

Sarah: Yeah, I just thought, “Let me take this, maybe I’ll meet my soulmate, who knows.” And then the result, it was just so funny.

Jamile: I got the email with the initials first, and I was like, “Who’s SH?” because there’s so many people in my year that it could be anyone.

Sarah: I didn’t see that email at first! But when it came out for real, you were like, “Look at your email right now,” and I thought like, “Oh my god, what happened?” But then I opened it and saw your name and I was like-”

She gasps, recreating her look of sheer surprise.

Jamile: I don’t doubt that we put a lot of the same answers. We were saying to other people, like, “Your best friend isn’t doing it right if you’re not matching.”

When the pandemic hit in early 2020, Sarah headed home to New Jersey, while Jamile stayed back on campus. Nonetheless, their year-long hiatus hasn’t damaged their friendship a bit.

Jamile: If she doesn’t talk to me for a while, I’m not sweating it. And I also know she knows I’m not sweating it. I might joke, like, “This is the first time we’ve spoken in forever.” We really understand each other, and we don’t need each other’s attention all the time. But even though I have other best friends, I know if there’s something I don’t wanna tell them, I can always tell her.

It’s no surprise their friendship has endured the distance — the best friends say their compatibility is unmatched.

Jamile: At the surface, we appear different. Like if people meet the both of us together, they’re like, “You guys are best friends?” But we’re actually really similar to each other.

Sarah: One time I was in the car with your mom. And she said, “I swear you guys are like the same person.”

Jamile: And we’re astrologically very similar too. We have a lot of the same placements, just like different houses.

Sarah: Yeah, our birthdays are literally three days apart.

Jamile: We’re really so, so similar, it’s actually crazy. And no wonder, because it’s been like, what, six years? Wow.

Sarah: Six years! That’s like, almost a third of my life.

Jamile: And though we’ve only seen each other like, once a year, we’re still together.

It seems Sarah and Jamile’s fortuitous friendship was simply meant to be.

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