For The Best Friend On The Other Side Of The Country

For The Best Friend On The Other Side Of The Country

They say if a friendship lasts for seven years, it will last a lifetime.

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There's something special about a relationship that can be maintained long distance and over a long period of time. I guess you could call it a low maintenance friendship, you know, the type of friend that doesn't require a text a day to know she is still your best friend.

You won't see each other for years but when you finally do, it's like picking up right where you left off.

I've only had one of these so far, in my 21 years of life. My best friend lives on the opposite side of the country and we've only seen each other three times in the past seven years. Life is crazy, everyone is busy — work and school get in the way and plane tickets can be expensive. But let me tell you, those three times we had, were the best of times.

The first four years after my best friend moved, went by fast. The last time I'd seen her we were just kids- young, naive sophomores in high school. We'd each barely had our first kiss, and we were still shopping at Aeropostale. Four years later she told me she was coming to visit, so I went to pick her up at the bus station, having no idea what to expect after all these years apart. She came sprinting out of nowhere.

We embraced each other, screaming, jumping and falling over like idiots at the Peter Pan bus station. Nothing had changed, not one thing. We were the same best friends we've always been, reminiscing on the same funny stories, and doing all the same things we used to do. Except now we had 10 days to catch up on the past four years of our lives.

After her visit, I wouldn't see her for another year and a half. In our wildest dreams, we could have never predicted where we would reunite. I was abroad in Australia and was preparing to travel to Thailand in a few days. I got a call out of nowhere.

"Hi! Where are you going to be next week?" my best friend asked.

"Um, actually I'm going to Thailand, haha," I responded

"Next week is my spring break..." she paused, "Where in Thailand are you going? We've always wanted to go there?"

After I told her my plans, she hung up, saying she'd call me the next day.

The next day came and I got a call which concluded in a lot of screaming and excitement. My best friend had spontaneously booked a flight to meet me in Thailand. Thailand. I could not comprehend what had just happened. We had dreamed about this as kids- traveling the world together, being spontaneous and never looking back.

A week later we were sitting on the edge of a rundown infinity pool off the coast of Thailand, looking out as the sun had just dipped below the horizon. We sat there and listened to music while our boyfriends bonded over Chang beer and having crazy girlfriends.

Life has a weird way of bringing people together at the weirdest of times and in the weirdest of places. Not that Thailand was weird, it was just, what we always called it, a pipe dream, a number on the bucket list.

I don't believe long distance friendships are impossible, I actually believe the exact opposite. If you are meant to be friends with someone, your life will bring them back to you at one point or another.

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20 'Thank Yous' My Best Friends Need To Hear BEFORE The Semester Ends

Because I don't thank you enough.

Cassie
Cassie
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When I decided to graduate a year early, I never thought about how hard it would be to say goodbye. The best part of my three-year journey at Florida State was the friends that I had made. The friends you meet in college are the friends you will never forget. Although in two weeks we will be miles apart, this is not the end of us-- this is a different type of forever. At this point, all I can say is thank you for making my time here unforgettable. Thank you:

1. For buying me Ice Cream when I had a bad day.

2. For pushing me out of my comfort zone. 

3. For teaching me the right way to do Happy Hour. 

4. For complimenting me when I wore that tight dress.

5. For forcing me to go to the library with you.

6. For *trying* to make me go to the gym.

7. For giving me great advice that you know I won't follow. 

8. For letting me borrow your new shirt even though you haven't even worn it yet.

9. For forgiving me when I get a little sassy.

10. For telling me I can do better. 

11. For reading my shitty articles. 

12. For ignoring my absolutely terrible singing. 

13. For laughing at my jokes. 

14. For roasting me in the group chat. 

15. For driving me to class when I was too lazy to find parking. 

16. For picking me up from class when I was too lazy to walk back home.

17. For lending me money because I really REALLY needed that extra guacamole.

18. For tolerating my annoying self after your stressful day.

19. For staying up late because I didn't want to watch the scary movie alone.

20. For being the best friends I ever had.

Cassie
Cassie

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I Know That If We Can Make It Through Long Distance, We Can Make It Through Anything

Why long distance is the best thing to ever happen to me

Emi
Emi
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I don't.

It isn't.

There are parts of being in a long distance relationship that I never know if I will fully be able to articulate. The moment I said goodbye to my boyfriend when we left for college freshman year, I closed the door behind me as he drove away and just crumpled to the ground and sobbed. This sounds unbelievably dramatic, and I had never been an emotional person until this moment. However, the fear of the unknown was paralyzing. My best friend was about to live five hours away from me, I was going to be in a different time zone, and I didn't know when I was going to see him again. This was my first real experience where I felt like I had just lost someone I loved.

Of course, I didn't really lose him. But that moment, everything did change. I was forced to become independent and had to re-learn how to find happiness being alone. And boy, was I alone. The first few days after he left, I was still at home preparing to move to my school. I could hardly function. I barely ate, and I had never felt so drained of energy. Whenever I would play music and a song that reminded me of him came on, I could not help but cry. My parents physically dragged me to a "going-away" dinner, and I only spoke a few sentences the whole time. Again, this sounds ridiculously theatrical (and if I had not actually lived through it myself, I would agree). My first semester at college, I was the definition of lost. It took me a long time to find myself without my best friend by my side.

But gradually, things got better (and continue to). Now, our goodbyes are still sad but not quite so sloppy. I no longer feel empty without him. I have found my passions at school and with these discoveries have come people that share them. I have an established group of friends, I have a clear professional direction, and I have goals that feel achievable. Re-creating my identity outside of a boyfriend, while unbelievably difficult, has forced me to self-reflect on who I am as an individual and who I want to become.

Because I don't have a boyfriend around to spend weekends with, I spend all my time with my friends. I have time to dedicate to school, an on-campus job, and serving on executive positions for multiple organizations. My schedule is my own, and I can create time to go to the gym six days a week. I am able to get coffee with potential employers and explore the city of Indianapolis without worrying about canceling plans with my boyfriend. I have truly had an independent college experience, and I do not doubt that this has allowed me to become more involved and invested in my friends, my schoolwork, and my extracurriculars than I would have had we gone to the same school.

These are the things I try to remind myself of when we spend Valentine's Day, both our birthdays and almost every single weekend apart. This is what I force myself to think when he is missing from my sorority's formal, date nights, and philanthropy events. When my roommates spend the night with their boyfriends multiple days a week, I smile and say, "Have a good night!" I try not to envy their position too much because I tell myself that long distance has given me so many opportunities.

This is true. But I also miss him, all the time. One thing is for certain, long distance has made me a much stronger individual. I have learned how to find happiness outside of being with him. I have discovered more about myself the past few years alone than I would have had we been at the same school. I have fostered life-long relationships with my friends.

And, at the end of the day, I know that if we can make it through long distance, we can make it through anything.

Emi
Emi

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