At the end of summer, I was reunited with my best friend for the first time in weeks. I was also saying goodbye to her before she went to Mizzou and, one week later, I would go to Miami. She spent most of the summer playing tennis competitively, and I had traveled for a few weeks.
But this had been the case for our final two years of high school when she bounced between Illinois and Florida for tennis training. We talked on the phone and FaceTimed throughout those years, but there was a disconnect because she didn't know what was going on at my school, and I didn't understand her life of tennis.
As I got settled at Miami, I tried to text and call my friends from home when I had the chance. I call my friend from Mizzou when I walk across campus, sit in the dining hall and procrastinate doing homework. Already having a long-distance best friend made me not have to adjust to texting and calling as main means of communication. We complain about our classes, talk about food and give each other motivation when "Grey's Anatomy" is calling our attention more than actual biology. She knows to pep talk me into going out and being social when I'm lying in my dorm room bed, and I will listen to her rants and justify her feelings with the wisdom only a third-party consult could have. Despite the distance, we are going through the same experiences and are closer than ever.
We both made friends with people in our hall and in our activities, but it was calming to have someone to cheer you on from states away. When I stressed the first week that I hadn't found best friends yet, she told me not to try so hard. We talk each other into bearing the cold, getting exercise and taking time out for ourselves when we are too blinded by assignments to see that we need a break. Having a best friend at another college is like when Remy was in the chef's hat in the movie "Ratatouille." I am the one doing things, but my best friend will be hearing everything and helping me navigate life.
As the semester ends and we are comfortable in our new homes and with new friends, we still tell each other all the exciting happenings in our lives. My Ohio friends are characters in stories she listens to, and there is a cast of people in Missouri I hear all about, too. Moving on and up from high school doesn't have to be growing apart from your old friends, but instead, you have fans at other schools rooting you on every step of the way.