An Open Letter to My High School Friends From a College Freshman
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An Open Letter to My High School Friends From a College Freshman

To tell you I miss and ask you to please not forget me.

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An Open Letter to My High School Friends From a College Freshman
Erin Cantor

Dear high school friend group,

We’ve just passed through (arguably) the most difficult part of our college careers, socially speaking. It’s that time after the first semester when everybody has moved on from being overly friendly to each other and started to settle into cliques, although at the end of the day we’re still all searching for close friends. We’re only beginning to truly settle into campus and find the people who we will spend the rest of our lives with, despite it seeming like some people have already found “their people.” Being placed into an unfamiliar environment with 700 new faces has made me miss the familiarity of your presence more than ever. This, coupled with the fact that I was blissfully granted your presence again over winter break only to have it ripped from beneath my grasp when I arrived back at school has allowed me to reflect a lot on how much our friendship means to me and how much I miss you.

We grew up together. You’re the people with whom I shared my childhood, the most vital moments of my development. You were there as my first playmates in elementary school, through the awkwardness that was middle school and, most importantly, by my side through high school as we morphed into young adults. You were there for the atrocity that was me in braces and the brave souls who risked their lives with me when I learned to drive. You were the first ones I came out to, it was you who I called after my first kiss, and it was you who brought me ice cream after my first break-up. You are the ones who understand my references to crazy Spanish teachers and attractive chemistry teachers, you who stayed up until 5:00am video chatting to keep me company while I wrote my thesis. You were there for prom, school trips, and graduation. It was you who I stayed up all night talking with at sleepovers, who I blasted Taylor Swift with on the way to Six Flags and who travelled with me on camping shenanigans--our first independent trip away from home. You were the people I curled up on the couch with, the shoulder I cried on, when life just wasn’t going right. You were also the ones I celebrated with when I got into the school of my dreams. You know all of the nicknames of all of my crushes (in chronological order), all of my inside jokes and most embarrassing moments. You are the ones I laughed with until I cried and the ones I cried with until I laughed.

We’re from the same place, and that’s something I severely underestimated the importance of before coming to college. You grew up with the same familiar landmarks, the same colloquialisms and you call the same city home. The environment that shaped my mind during the most important part of my development shaped yours as well, leaving us eternally imprinted with the same design.

You are all of this to me. But then one day I was told to pack my bags and drive off to the scary land called “college,” forcing me to be separated from you for months on end. Although I have tried to dip my toe in the water and make new friends, no matter how wonderful the people here are, they just don’t seem to compare to you. I try to remind myself that I knew you for 4+ years and have only known these people for 4 months, but it doesn’t always help to assuage my insecurity. I try to overcome the guilt of “replacing” you by reminding myself that I am merely enlarging my circle of friends, not substituting it, but I can’t shake the inevitable feeling that in making new friends I will somehow lose you. I miss the familiarity of your love more than ever as I face this big scary world on my own.

Tears are rolling down my cheeks as I finish this letter. What I want to say to you is to please not forget me. I know we’re all busy doing great things and making new friends, but please oh please do not let me slip out of your life. When one of your new friends makes some joke that is my brand of humor, text me about it. When you see something you think I would like, show me via snapchat. That’s the wonderful thing about this digital world: even when we live miles apart we can still be part of each other’s lives every day. I love you more than you could possibly imagine and am forever grateful for the time we have spent together. Nobody can take that away from us. Here’s to times we have shared and many more to come.

Love forever and always,

Your high school friend

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