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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To That One Friend Who Deserves The World

Since I can't give you the world, I hope giving you this article is enough.
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My wonderful friend,

You deserve love.

You deserve to marry your best friend.

You deserve appreciation.

You deserve that no matter who comes in and out of your life, every selfless thing you do for someone is acknowledged.

Have Your Voice Heard: Become an Odyssey Creator

You deserve kindness.

You deserve to have the nicest people in the world surround you all of the time.

You deserve support.

You deserve to have someone there for you at the beginning of every good day and at the end of every bad one, to have someone who wants to fix all of your problems.

You deserve hope.

You deserve to always be optimistic.

You deserve laughter.

You deserve to never stop smiling and actually mean it every time you do.

You deserve forgiveness.

You deserve to be able to be given second chances because without a doubt you are worth it.

You deserve friendship.

You deserve to have a friend who can be just as good of a friend as you are.

You deserve honesty.

You deserve to always be told the truth.

You deserve motivation.

You deserve to never want to give up and always push yourself.

You deserve success.

You deserve to have everything you have worked so hard for.

You deserve faith.

You deserve to always know it will get better.

You deserve loyalty.

You deserve to have that one person who will never leave and always be there for you.

You deserve happiness.

You deserve to be genuinely content with your life.

You deserve the world.

If I could give it to you, I would.

Yes, life gets tough sometimes. The unthinkable happens and your world feels like it is crashing down but you can get past all of this.

Thank you for being so selfless. It amazes me how you do it sometimes, but thank you for always making everyone your main priority when they need you.

I know I may not say it enough, but truly thank you for all you do for me. I don’t always know how to show how much someone means to me, especially when it is someone as great as you because I don’t know what I did to deserve you, but thank you.

I love you.

Cover Image Credit: Liz Spence

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Outgrowing Friendships Is A Necessary Part Of Life

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Why do friendships naturally begin to gravitate away from each other? Why is there an emptiness within the bond that used to be filled with excessive passion? Why does effort suddenly disappear? Why do we lose the pieces that once kept us together?

It is a great challenge for me to look at people who were once the reasons behind my heart being so consumed in love, without tears filling my eyes to the point of exhaustion simply thinking of the friendship we used to possess. There are many moments I cannot understand why, when, and how we ended up going in different directions without the guidance we once craved and needed from each other. It seems impossible to release the specialness we shared. I cannot fathom the fact that we have been walking in parallel routes without even a glimpse of each other. I wonder if there's anything I could have improved upon to save us. Or were we not meant to be rescued?

Appreciate that you are engaging in internal growth, even if it is at the cost of separation from those you love deeply.

The timelines of our lives do not always match with those around us. Sometimes as we fall into the pits of despair, our friends find inescapable love. Sometimes as our friends grieve burdensome pains, we begin to visualize ourselves in a new light. As our pathways begin to part due to our progressions and setbacks occurring at diverse times, we fail to acknowledge the extents of our personal developments because we are too invested in analyzing a friendship that was not meant to last. When we lose such friendships we take our strengths for granted. We fail to think of the person we have become throughout the course of these attachments.

You have changed in beautiful ways and you should shy away from seeking to be the person you used to be for the sake of holding onto old friendships. You are experiencing a difference within yourself, and not everyone will understand such a difference, nor will their own differences connect with yours like they once have.

Do not overthink distanced friendships or it will lead you to endless self-doubt and unneeded frustration.

We drive ourselves insane by shifting such blame upon ourselves when we are left on an empty road full of questions. What could I have done to create such a disconnect within this friendship? Did I say something so exceedingly wrong to cause this hurtful shift? Did I bother this person with an unintentional act of thoughtlessness? Could I have been a greater friend? When we question, we doubt ourselves in ways we do not deserve. Recognition is needed to conquer the unsettling thought that there is not always a causation behind a drifting of individuals. Push yourself to stop searching for something that does not exist. You will find yourself on a path of creating the oddest explanations to help justify such a separation, when you should acknowledge that some questions do not have answers.

As you contemplate if the connection still remains, acknowledge that the underlying meaning of this contemplation means that the bond has disappeared. As life changes, people change, and as people change, their most valued friendships come to a close due to the similarities fading. Although this is a saddening concept to grasp, it is one that everyone should be prepared to experience. Sometimes there is no reason behind a dying connection aside from the interruptions life brings. We wrongly search for an exact understanding of why specific friendships do not feel as exciting or as effort-filled as they once were. But rather, we must seek to appreciate a friendship for all that it has consisted of, and learn to be OK with the fact that some relationships are not designed to be repaired when all that is left to discuss is the past versions of ourselves.

Some bonds are meant to be broken in order to find ourselves.

This brokenness is the price we pay for pursuing our journeys truthfully. When we come closer to a peace of mind and firm comprehension of who we are destined to be, we lose people who once meant the world to us because our visions, purposes, and values do not correlate. BE WILLING TO LET GO OF FRIENDSHIPS THAT ARE PREVENTING YOU FROM FINDING YOUR TRUE SELF, EVEN IF THE LOVE AND CARE IS STILL VERY PRESENT. DO NOT ALLOW DISTRACTIONS FROM ALL THAT LIES AHEAD OF YOU. JUST AS THERE IS BEAUTY AND LOVE IN HOLDING ON, THERE IS JUST AS MUCH BEAUTY AND LOVE IN LETTING GO. DO NOT FEAR AN UNCOMFORTABLE FUTURE WITHOUT PEOPLE BY YOUR SIDE WHO YOU FEEL YOU NEED, FEAR ONE THAT WITHHOLDS YOU FROM GROWING! Sometimes we must let go of others in order to hold onto ourselves.



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