I wasn’t someone who peaked in high school (thank god). From the moment I stepped through those doors freshman year, I immediately wanted to leave. I had senioritis within the first month and it only got worse.
High school never appealed to me in the ways it might of appealed to others. I only saw it as 4 more years standing between my last 4 more years. It was a means to an end. I didn’t enjoy waking up early and didn’t enjoy being forced to learn subjects that were completely irrelevant to my interests. I never expected to get anything out of the experience besides the diploma I needed for college.
Additionally, making long lasting friendships didn’t even cross my mind. Of course I assumed I’d make friends, I just didn’t think I’d find anyone who would want to be my friend as much as I wanted to be theirs (how depressing).
In grade school you could say I had a trying time with friendships as in there was a bully who tried to break up my entire friend group and wreak havoc on our lives. So when I stepped into high school, I had low expectations to say the least.
But looking back now, I feel like I was blessed by an angel because the relationships I made blew the roof off of my expectations.
I often think about how lucky I am, how the odds fell into my favor. If I had chosen to go to literally any other school in my area, I never would have met these people. My life would be unbelievably different.
The thing that I now find really hard to accept is that my best friends and I will never be (long term) in the same place again. That time of seeing each other every day at school, spending every weekend at their houses is a thing of the past. For most people, the longest they will be living at home is the summer period and then 4 years later, it is off to the real world. Things are no longer how they were and never will be.
I remember I said so often that I was going to be visiting my friends at their schools constantly as well as they would be visiting me too. As I have mentioned before, that has been a lot harder to pull off than I thought it would be.
Therefore, putting in effort is other areas is essential. Visiting each other when possible, keeping contact through text and other sources of media; it can be hard when you are leading completely separate lives with completely new, separate people. You forget to talk; you forget how much how you used to rely on each other.
I used to like always being alone. I enjoyed my own company more than most people’s. But these friends I met changed that for me. I almost want to write a paragraph thanking each one for what they specifically did to improve my life but that would be too long and very extra of me.
To summarize it though: they taught me not to stress about things you can’t change; they taught me that life goes on; they taught me it is okay to ask for help; they taught me vulnerability is not a weakness. I could go on and on but that’s a good summary for the moment.
Long distance friendships are hard. But honestly, this is still the honey moon stage of it all. We’ve only been away at college for 8 months, so if the effort hasn’t been applied yet, who’s to say it ever will?
That’s why I’m trying. Actually trying. Being away from my friends has been harder on me then I ever thought it would be. But despite the cons, there can be pros too to the distance too.
When I do finally talk and get together with my friends, we have so much to catch up on. It can sometimes make the moments more special after going so long without a real interaction. Plus, I know based on the diversity within my friend group, we are going to end up all across the globe which is beneficial if I ever want to crash on their couch and explore a new (or old) city. Free housing is the best housing.
The people you stay in contact with, you know will be in your life forever. It’s a relief to see those who are important to you, reach out to you as much as you do to them. The fact that it requires effort to keep in touch, displays who your true friends are and who were the people you hung out with just because they were there. I feel lucky that I actually have friends that I am dying to stay in contact with. I know some people don’t.
But despite missing my friends from home, I am glad they don’t go to college with me. When all your friends go to the same school, it lessens your chances of branching out individually. If your best friend goes to your college, why make new friends by yourself when you could just do it together!?
I miss my friends. But that doesn’t mean I want to stop making new ones.
I don’t really know what made me start thinking about this subject. I think it’s probably the fact that I update my social media more on my life than I do with my actual friends. And that makes me a little sad.
But with time comes change and that is something that will always be inevitable so you just have to learn to adapt. I don’t want to look back at my life and only remember these people as vague memories.
So I could probably still improve my effort; we all could. Facetime more often, update them on my life more often, maybe even figure out a miraculous way to go visit them.
It’s the effort that counts. And because I’m aware of that, these people will be stuck with me forever.
Rivers and Roads – The Head and the Heart