International exchange programs in College are amazing- not only do they provide amazing opportunities for young adults to travel the world and exchange cultural practices, they also allow you to network with people you would not usually come into contact with. The downside? At the end of the year, they have to go home. I have both been the one to leave and now, as of last week, been the one to have to send a best friend back across the pond. They both suck. So, to commemorate the time we had together, and the times we will have together in the future, I am writing this article about the feelings you go through when your best friend moves back to their homeland across the planet. (And of course I had to throw in a little Louis Theroux for Summer.)
Step One: Denial
For weeks, even months, before they leave you live in a constant state of denial that they are going to leave. If you act like its not going to happen then maybe it won't. Right?
Step 2: Terror
Once the realization sets in, you spend every moment dreading when you won't have them near you. After all, who else is going to provide you with quirky British tendencies and constant conversations about diminishing the patriarchy and capitalism? (It's almost as scary as Louis looks getting attacked by this dog.)
After the terror, comes overwhelming sadness
Step 3: Getting Emotional feelings of love and appreciation
After all, you want to cherish soak up every second you can with them before they leave. (Alternatively, it might be the two of you getting drunk and professing your bestie love for each other.)
Step Four: Losing Your Mind After They Leave
After they leave, you might go through a period of instability as you try to adjust with life without them near you. After all, if they kept you sane who is here to save you now?
Step 5: Planning to See Them
And finally the silver lining of it all- planning to see them again. Luckily for me I will only have to wait until October. If I can make it the next 4 months surviving off of our Facebook messages and meme tagging, our reunion will be oh so sweet. (Louis in this is me when your plane lands <3)
In all seriousness, my British bestie Summer changed my life for the better when she came into my life. Although its hard to have someone dear to you so far away, I would not change having met her for anything in the world. She changed my perspective on so many things in life, held me up and understood me at my lowest points this year, and was always there to provide some positivity and love to me, even if she was struggling to stay positive herself. Cherish the moments you have with your international friends, y'all. Until October Summer, I can't wait.