Leaving the comfort of your hometown to jump into your first year at college is a whirlwind of feelings that words can fail to describe. As your attention is dedicated to all of the new people you meet, old friends may slip under your radar, especially if they are going to college, as well.
Most people are aware of the strain college places on hometown friendships and try their hardest to make these important people a part of their new daily life, as they had been in the years before. But often, your memories you’ve clung to so dearly begin to be overshadowed with new ones being made; your old prom pictures framed on your desk are covered by large, overpriced textbooks, and more text messages go unread as you are preoccupied in the chaotic present. The random moments of guilt will hit you, for neglecting the people you care so deeply about; you then call your friend, and you realize they are going through the exact same experiences and feelings.
Truth be told, the mutual understanding you will develop paired with the ability to pick up where you left off is indicative that you have a friend for life. It is not about the number of friends you can conjure up coffee dates with when you come home for break because friendship is not about checking off boxes. Friendship is about the quality of the relationship. It is the mid-mental-breakdown Facetime call at 2 a.m. to your BFF who you haven’t had a real conversation within two weeks because only she knows exactly how to calm you down and will gladly do it. It is showing up to her house during the break with her favorite pint of Ben & Jerry’s to lay in bed for hours on end talking about life.
When you go to college, going back and seeing friends can feel more like a memory than the present, which is scary, but that’s okay. It is about learning that even apart, each of your individual group can channel to the maintenance of an amazing friendship. You will learn who your people are that make home, “home”, and you will cherish those friendships that will effortlessly withstand any time and distance you have apart.
Written by Cameron Montalvo