An Open Letter to My High School Friends

An Open Letter to My High School Friends

As winter break approaches, and most of my high school friends return home, I write to those whom I don't talk to anymore.
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To my high school friends,

It’s almost Winter Break, and I wanted to tell you something.

As everyone is finishing off their semester or quarter and flailing through papers or finals or labs, I was thinking of the good times we’ve had during high school, looking through Facebook, and basically wondering about where our future paths are going to lie. I’ve heard of some people taking gap years and others finding well-established internships and having good times all around.

To which I say, I’ve been doing well too. I’ve taken some good classes, some for my major, some just to get requirements out of the way, and some which sincerely surprised me. This quarter, my Comparative Literature class focuses on Queer Studies, which is something I didn’t expect. Nevertheless, it’s enlightening to know, though I’m not sure what is fully “true” anymore. How about you? Have you guys decided your majors?

I’ve started tango last winter, and it was quite fun, if not difficult. I’ve had some good lessons, but at the same time, I’ve had some slip ups. I do not consider myself a good dancer yet, but I hope to get back again. Because I originally thought with lessons, I could become competent. However, according to somebody I had danced with, it’s not the case. And did I mention I’m not that great of a dancer…?

For things that remained the same, yes, I still fence. But it’s not the sport fencing I did in high school; instead, it’s Historical Fencing, which is the “art and science” of defense. Compared to earlier, it had more formalities to the salutes and actions. Not to mention, I focus on foil, rather than sabre. Then again, you wouldn’t recognize the difference. But considering the Olympics were on last summer, I hope you watched some.

Speaking of things that remained the same, how much do you think you’ve changed over college? What did you realize about yourselves?

Since high school, some things did retain in myself—I remained friendly and inquisitive, and checked out too many books at the library at one point. At the same time, I realized that I’m an adult under the law, but not in terms of having good spending skills, whether through money or time.

SEE ALSO: To My Best Friends From High School

We’re always recognizing about what we want, yet these ideas change constantly like the weather back here in Seattle. While I’ve heard that some of you chose majors that you were already planning since in high school, some went out and chose majors I didn’t expect when I first met you. Some of us stayed with the activities which we were known for in high school, others abandoned them to seek out new career paths or hobbies.

If I ever see you again, I may be surprised on how much we now hardly recognize each other. Not in looks, but rather in how we view the world and how we relate to each other. I’d like to imagine us just meeting up at New Year’s Eve, at a party somewhere in Seattle, and happily reflecting on the year like when we were struggling to get into the college of our dreams. However, I recognize that some changes are of a larger magnitude; some of us don’t identify with high school anymore, or we don’t connect on the same wavelength. Therefore, we grow apart.

Regardless, I wish you happy holidays, wherever you are. You all have a special place in my heart.

Sincerely,

One of you.

Cover Image Credit: Elda Mengisto

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Became My Sister

Love is thicker than blood.
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Sis,

There are friends. Then, there are best friends.

According to "Grey’s Anatomy’s" Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang, they're your person. The one who, “if I murdered someone, I’d call you to help me drag the corpse across the living room floor.” You’re so much more to me than any of those titles can express.

As I’ve matured throughout the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that good friends with good hearts serve an incredibly important purpose in our lives, going above and beyond what we give them credit and appreciation for.

The family we choose. You’re one of those.

The day we met, I knew that you were going to play an important role in my life. What I had no idea of was that you would join the cast of my life with a starring role.

First, I need to say thank you. Thank you for always coming to my locker to check in before class during high school. Thank you for letting me control the music on road trips. Thank you for sharing your family with me, and addressing my family as if you were born into it.

Thank you for patiently listening to the physical embodiment of a broken record when I complain about the same boy I’ve loved since senior year. Thank you for tagging along on every doctor’s appointment, grocery run, and trip to the post office, just because you know that I hate doing things alone.

Thank you for not thinking twice before dialing when I text you “please call me.” Thank you for never saying no to a coffee date. Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for being my better half.

We don't share the same genetic makeup, but after all the sleepovers, heart-to-heart conversations, shopping until our bank accounts cry, and swapping clothes so often that we don’t know what belongs to whom, how could I not consider you family? We have shared some my fondest memories together, and I wouldn’t want them to feature anyone but you.

You’ve been with me on my best days, and loved me on my worst. You know how to make me laugh when all I want to do is crawl into a hole and die.

Picturing sitting in my car with you in the passenger seat makes me long for summer, where we spend three months together doing all of our favorite things. You’ve seen me naked, done my makeup, and warned me before making a poor decision. Being away from you for extended periods of time makes me feel incomplete.

You are a piece of me that I am not quite whole without. You taught me that blood doesn’t make a family; love does.

You know me better than I know myself, which is both amazing and terrifying. You make me realize I’m enough for this world, and that means more to me than I know how to express in the limited words that make up the English language.

You remind me that I am more than my mistakes, and you keep me grounded when I spiral out of control. You’ve helped me carry my burdens along with your own, even when the universe comes down on you full force, way harder than you deserve.

You’re the one I come to for the truth if I think my new dress makes me look fat, and I know you’ll be honest. I trust you with my whole heart. You know the gory details about every boy I’ve ever crushed on, every professor who was an absolute jerk, and every fight I’ve had with my mom.

I wouldn’t make it in this life without someone who already understands and listens to every thought going through my head and each thing I seriously over think, even when you know, though you don’t say, it won’t matter in a week.

With all these affectionate things being said, don’t forget our fights. The few we’ve had were very real. We still don’t see eye to eye on some events of the past, but I never told my mom about it because there was no need to make her choose a side between me and her “second daughter.

We have learned to move forward, because the love we have for each other overwhelmingly outweighs any disagreement we’ve had, and always will.

Through all the tears and laughs, I don’t think that anything the world has to offer could seriously come between us. You go to a different school than me now, and college has rudely gotten in the way of our routine of spending every waking moment together.

Since we met, we’ve grown separately without growing apart. Neither of us are the same person we used to be all those years ago. Even so, we’ve pushed each other to our limits and you’ve given me the courage to keep going and do things that make me happy.

We lean on each other when it’s been a bad day and all we want to do is to snuggle and indulge in whichever show the other is currently watching unceasingly and unabashedly for comfort (it’s the little things). Having you as my co-pilot on this crazy ride called life has been frustrating, exciting, slightly concerning, absolutely insane, and something I don’t know how I would live without, and I don’t intend to find out.

I’ll conclude this letter with a quote from every basic, white girl’s favorite musical, “I don’t know if I’ve been changed for the better, but because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”

Love you forever,

Your sis

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Just Because Your Home Friends Are Far Away Doesn’t Mean You Can Ghost Them

Show them that you are thinking of them.

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If you're anything like me, your home friends are some of the greatest friends you have ever had. They are the people who stuck with you, even after most of your friends from high school kicked you to the curb once they found new friends in college. So, when you go back to school, or if you are already back for second semester, make sure that you don't shut them out of your life. Here are some ways to make sure that you don't ghost your home friends.

1. Check up on them.

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No matter how far they are, it's important that you stay in contact with them. Friends who have stuck with you for this long are lifelong friends. Obviously, you don't have to speak with them every day of the week, but make sure that you check in on them every once in a while. If they value your friendship just as much, they'll do the same.

2. Write them letters.

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This may seem a bit old fashioned, but writing letters is always a way to keep in touch while tapping into your creative side. Many of my friends from home have written me letters throughout our friendship, whether it was for a special event or just because they felt like it. Either way, it made me feel extremely thankful to have them in my life and it ensured me that I was still a prominent part of my friends' lives.

3. Set up a date to hang out and catch up with them.

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If they go to school in the state, setting up a time where you can spend the weekend together is a great idea. This way they can see what your life is like at your school or vice versa. Having this time with them is also a great way to catch up with each other face to face, rather than over text message. It'll be a nice mental getaway from the thought of school work, too!

4. Plan ahead if break is around the corner.

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Spring break is usually around a week long, if not shorter. So, if you want to see your friends from home in the span of a week, make sure you plan at least a week in advance so that everyone can clear time in their schedule. Don't wait till last minute or you may have to wait until the end of the semester to see them.

5. FaceTime or call them.

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Sometimes texting your friends that you haven't seen in a while just doesn't cut it. Hearing their voice or seeing their face heals the ache that forms in your chest from missing them. Make sure you are FaceTiming each other at a time where you both are free. You don't want a facetime or phone call to feel rushed, especially if you haven't seen your friend in a while.

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