When I signed up to study abroad, I knew there were going to be many struggles. I knew that I would be homesick, that budgeting would be an issue, and that not knowing anybody in the United Kingdom would be scary. I tried to prepare myself for these things. These were a few things that I was warned about before coming abroad. One thing that I wasn't informed of before coming abroad was that this will be a time when you realize who your true friends are. Three months into my program and I have learned just that.
It doesn't matter how busy a person gets or what the time difference is, if someone cares about you, they will make time to talk to you, right? Wrong. The girls who I used to call my best friends, go on church dates with, cry to, and rely on have not reached out to me since I moved to London. I have hardly gotten a "Hey, how's your trip going?" or "Hey, did you even make it to London?" I haven't gotten anything since I've been here. I was so unprepared for this. I thought that despite there being a six-hour time difference between us that I would be able to keep my old friendships from home. I was so wrong.
You see, when I asked my friend why nobody would talk to me since I've been abroad, I got many replies and they were all the same. "Everyone's jealous of the experience you're getting, so it's hard for us to talk to you." This response broke my heart. I never thought that at the age of twenty, girls would still be acting like they were in middle school. I was so oblivious to the idea that jealousy goes away over time. It doesn't. What hurts the most is that these girls who I thought I was so close to, are so self-absorbed and so jealous of my life that they can't talk to me. They literally cannot reach out to me because they are jealous. How ridiculous does that sound when you say it out loud? I think what hurts the most is that I thought that true friends were supposed to support you, lift you up, and support you. I didn't realize that friends let jealousy get in the way of a friendship. It's sad to say that my ex-boyfriend and I have face-timed and talked on the phone more than any of the girls I used to call my friends. We've even talked more than some of my family members and I because according to them, "the time difference is too much."
Let's get this straight, the time difference is too much for you, a full-time college student with no job, but it isn't too much for a full-time college student preparing to graduate in six weeks who also works a full-time job? I have more respect for this ex-boyfriend than I do for some of the girls who I thought were my friends. We talk every day and he never complains about the time difference, me being an ocean away, or says that he's jealous. In fact, he encourages me to stay in Europe longer than my program lasts and to see everything that I want to see before I fly home. HE is encouraging, supportive, and a far better friend than any of these girls ever could be.
Overall, I am so happy I studied abroad. Had I not studied abroad this semester, I most likely wouldn't have been able to see these girls' true colors this early on, and frankly, I am so happy I saw these colors now. It's disappointing that women have to be so jealous and can't be supportive, especially when at home and in church they put on an act as if they are the most supportive and uplifting people in Grand Forks, North Dakota. You're not uplifting, you're jealous and toxic and will never be able to keep a good group of friends surrounding you as long as you continue being someone who brings poison to other's lives.