Upon high school graduation, my best friends and I immediately crafted elaborate plans about how we would visit each other in college. While I trusted our relationships and was sure we would all still want to visit each other, I felt it might be logistically far fetched. As we lived out our first weeks of college, we quickly realized that this whole being apart thing was just not going to work for us. We started to put those plans in motion for visiting each other.
I just want to say that I'm not suggesting that everyone should do this or has the financial means to etc, but if you can, fight for it and make it happen! Visiting my friends at their respective colleges as well as having them visit me has been one of the highlights of my college career.
To be fair, none of us made it to visit each other during the school year of Freshman year. With far-flung colleges and everyone adjusting to their new normal, this is expected. But that summer, we pulled off the trip of a lifetime. Two of my best girls were studying abroad with Florida State University for a full calendar year which meant they would be in Italy for the full summer. Three of my other besties and I popped in "The Lizzie McGuire Movie" and with a whole lot of work and lots of support from our parents planned our grand adventure to go see them. After experiencing their life across the pond, the respect I had for their full year abroad was even greater than it had been before.
That trip was amazing, but I was glad to have them only five hours away at FSU this fall. This fall, I visited them at FSU and they visited me in February at Bama. Over my spring break, I visited my best friend at Udel and my Appalachian State mountaineer bestie just recently spent Easter weekend with me at Bama.
Aside from these visits providing me with memories to last a lifetime, and a plethora of new inside jokes, I love now being able to picture these people who hold such a place in my heart living their little college lives. I know their coffee shops and now they know mine. I know their roommates and they know mine. I've seen the rooms. They are able to picture a lot more of what my life is like at Bama. They've eaten Fried Friday at my sorority house and tried our famous sweet tea to get a taste of the Southern fried food culture. Now they understand my Freshman fifteen struggle. As I'm talking to them on the phone now from the porch of my sorority house that they've stood on, and I say I'm going to Buffalo Phil's for dinner and Rounders at night, they know exactly what I'm talking about since they've experienced it for themselves. Why would you wait til Senior year to experience those things? Even though visiting as Seniors is better than nothing, at that point how much longer are you picturing your friend living their life at school? How many more lattes at that their coffee shop will they even drink before graduation?
In addition to being able to connect to them and picture them, visiting each other shows us how special and important that quality time is. Before we part ways, we are always planning the next visit.
The fact that we have done the visit and know we are capable of it with driving or flying that makes doing another trip seem like it's easy. It's been so special integrating each other into our college memories and having those worlds collide.
Hopefully, I've convinced you to make these trips happen. Here is my advice for how to get it done: pick a date in advance that works and get your work done ahead of time! If you want it badly enough, a couple of extra hours in the library a few days before the trip won't kill ya! I promise it'll be worth it.
Plus, if you really want your friends to visit you and they have work just let them know that being together is all you need and they're welcome to do homework before going out! Also, be sure that you are totally available to visit them.
Maybe think twice about visiting that weekend if you have a date party the night before you're supposed to leave. The sooner you visit the sooner you'll get a glimpse into their new life, make memories together that are priceless and get motivated to plan even more fun things together! Since we are now semi-adults, it's time to start planning like we are!