The flu? Bring it on. The stomach virus? Piece of cake. But when it comes to Chronic Best Friend Withdrawal, I think the paramedics need to get involved. If you’ve got friends as good as mine, you're probably suffering from Chronic Best Friend Withdrawal (CBW, for short) as we speak. What exactly is CBW, you may ask. Technically speaking, WebMD defines CBW as the perpetual agony of missing your high school best friends. Studies have shown the condition is most prevalent in the first semester College Freshmen and its severity is directly proportional to the quality of the friend in question.
As a victim of CBW, I can confirm that this ailment is serious, due to the serious awesomeness of my high school best friends. At its height, CBW results in drop-everything phone calls and impulsive urges to send care packages. If you have experienced the symptoms below, you might be afflicted with CBW.
- Dreadful Revelations: Sudden realizations that you won’t be with your high school best friends for longer than a few weeks at a time can result in overwhelming dizziness. Doctors recommend taking 10 deep breaths and sitting down while processing this sad truth. In high school we’re used to seeing our best friends all day, every day, between school and weekend fun. And now you’re telling us we’ll see them for a day over Thanksgiving break and a couple weeks around Christmas time? What kind of cruel nonsense is this? Like all chronic conditions, there’s no end in sight to the new reality of being without your best friends.
- Uncomfortable Loneliness: CBW will hit the hardest when you’re cracking up about something your best friend would also find hilarious and you turn to share a laugh and—oh wait… she’s not there. #Awkward. By the time you call and tell her all about the kid that just did parkour in the student lounge, your story has lost all hilarity, and you realize, to your despair, that it was a total had-to-be-there moment.
- Unintentional Comparison: Without a doubt, college friends super amazing, exciting, and not to be discounted in the slightest. I know they will be forever friends, and I can’t wait for the memories to come. But naturally, you find yourself comparing them to friends back home. “Hmmm… she seems a lot like ____,” or “I wish she knew me as well as _____ does.” Experts in the field encourage resisting this tendency. Comparison never does any good, and it will just make you miss your high school friends more.
- Occasional Jealousy: Whether we like to admit it or not, we all feel slight pangs when we see pictures of our friends with their new friends at college. When our CBW is in full swing, social media sometimes has the power to convince us we’re being replaced. Of course we know that's silly and untrue, but we can’t help but miss them anyway. And we envy the strangers in the photos who are lucky enough to party and dance and sing and laugh with our best friends.
- Compulsive Acts of Love: You’re scrolling through your camera roll on your phone and boom—you accidentally see the video from prom weekend at the shore of you and your bestie dancing to Taylor Swift. You recall that everything was perfect in that moment, and the memories come flooding back as fast as the tears rolled down your faces during your overly-dramatic goodbye with your BFF before leaving for college. After viewing the video, naturally you bomb her phone with heartfelt text messages of your eternal love and make plans to send heaps of cookies her way.
There is no cure for Chronic Best Friend Withdrawal, but we’re not so sure we’d like one. Although we suffer the void of missing our homies, we know we’re the lucky ones because we have something so rare and special. We have lifelong friendships, bonds we wouldn’t trade for the world, people who will always have our backs. Though the old saying is corny, I’ve found tremendous comfort in its accuracy: True friends are never apart, maybe in distance, but never at heart.