To The Friends I Swore I Left In High School

To The Friends I Swore I Left In High School

I'm sorry I ever doubted you.
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I can honestly tell you that I went away to college with the understanding that the last time I'd see you was at the last graduation party of the summer. We were all moving on and making our new lives, we stopped texting and snap chatting, and our group chats went silent. The only things I knew about you were what you posted on your social media accounts, and that was fine for a while because hey, we were all doing the same thing - moving on. I was dreading moving back across the country for summer break to the town I had spent 18 years of my life in because I thought I would be a stranger in my own town. I had no friends, no plans, and 3 months to kill.

I thank God that I was wrong about what I was coming home to. I got off of that train to the same town I had left, and guess what, my childhood best friends were there too. 8 months of absolute silence could never break the bonds we had formed over 12 years of ups and downs. Our summer plans could not be any more small-town cheesy, but you were right there ready to watch the parade with me, go to the carnival with me, and have movie nights like we had never left.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't like our first year of college hadn't changed us, because we all grew up quite a bit, but along with the glow-ups we all experienced (that's right, freshman year is glow-up time), we learned that you don't need to see someone every day to keep a friendship alive. It's funny because we all had the same experiences without even knowing it. We all went to our first college parties, experienced nightclubs, learned to make new friends and avoid old ones even though we were miles apart. I thought I would have months worth of stories to tell you but it turns out you had the same stories to tell me.

I want to say I'm sorry for ever doubting you. I probably said some nasty things about you to my new college friends, and you know my mom and I stalked your Facebook ridiculing every choice you made, but here you are. What I thought would be my childhood friends that I'd only see when I ran into you in the grocery store turned into my hometown friends because I guess I'm stuck with you for good (if my moving to Indiana didn't scare you off, you must really love me or something).

I am so grateful that our relationships have evolved to include the things we love about college. If you hadn't have taken me to that nightclub as soon as I got home, I would probably be working on a plan to leave this small town for every summer break to come. There is nothing better than knowing you have a silent army halfway across the country rooting for you, and that they will still be the same dorks they were when you left them, ready for adventure as soon as you get home. We all swore that once we graduated we were leaving this town and never looking back but you guys reminded me what's so great about hometowns. They have great people like you guys who hate our silly traditions but sit through them anyway because you secretly love this crazy old town.

And to the friends I actually did leave in high school, thank you for the role you played in getting me this far. There is a reason I needed you then and I wouldn't be who I am today without you. Please don't feel obligated to try to keep in touch or say hi in the store, I'm too awkward to handle this kind of small town pressure to be friendly. There is a reason I moved to Indiana.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Dear Freshman Year Roommate, Thank You For Being Someone I Always Looked Forward To Hanging Out With

From the first moment we met and bonded over our love for bubble tea, I knew our friendship was going to be special.

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When I was applying for college, I was concerned with supplemental essays, SAT scores, scholarship applications and letters of recommendation. I never took a moment to stop and wonder "What happens once I get in?"

Finally, the fateful day arrived where I made my college decision. I bought a sweatshirt from the George Washington University store. My mom decorated my High School locker with our colors. And most importantly, I sighed a breath of relief imagining how refreshing it was going to be to ride out the rest of my senior year without the stress of college deadlines weighing on my shoulders.

Unfortunately, that blissful serenity was cut short when I joined a Facebook group of admitted students, where profiles of smiling teenagers flashed on my screen accompanied with the fateful "I'm looking for a roommate."

A roommate. I obviously knew that I needed a roommate. It was common sense, yet for some reason, I had failed to consider the logistics of finding a roommate until that moment.

See, my mom helped me through my college process, but times were different back then. She described showing up to her college on the first day, not knowing who she had been randomly assigned. There was no Facebook, Snapchat or Instagram to help you communicate with the girls on the other side of the country-- or sometimes even on the other side of the world.

This was a new, unexplored territory where my mother's wealth of knowledge sadly fell short.

Lucky for me, I was accepted into an honors program which restricted the list of girls available to be my roommate to a list of about twenty-five. We created a google document which asked basic questions like "Are you a night owl or earlier riser?"

Even still, I had no idea how to pick someone who I would be compatible to live with for the next year of my life. The stakes felt high, but I was reassured by the fact that I grew up sharing a room with my siblings, learning some important skills about being low-maintenance and tolerant of others' habits.

I read through the list and found someone whose answers sounded similar to mine, figuring we had enough in common to be amicable, if nothing more, throughout the school year. Her name was Riya, and she had a cute Instagram, so I messaged her asking if she wanted to try and room together. She agreed and we put each other down as roommates when applying for housing.

Looking back, that decision was the best one that I made when preparing for GW.

Throughout my freshman year, I have heard horror stories about roommates who fight all the time, steal each other's clothes, refuse to clean or try and micromanage the other's sleep schedule.

All the while, I count my lucky stars that my roommate is not only sane but someone who I genuinely look forward to spending time with. We share ice cream and inside jokes. When the weather was heating up and the university refused to turn on the air conditioning, we even shared our fans.

It comforts me to know that at the end of even the worst days, I can come back to my room and laugh or cry (sometimes both) with her by my side.

I remember once, I was having trouble with another group of friends. I felt alone and isolated. I felt like there was nobody who I could talk to apart from my mom or my best friend from home, who are both supportive and incredible but don't know any of the characters in my life in the same way as someone here at school.

I have a bad habit of struggling to reach out to people when I'm going through something, figuring I am strong enough to handle it on my own.

While that may sometimes be true, thanks to Riya, I didn't have to. I ended up telling her everything. She listened to me rant, understanding how I was hurt, and advising me on the situation.

I felt so much better after our conversation, and the best part was, I didn't have to leave the comfort of my bed for the entire conversation.

Her friendship reminded me of my family, and honestly, she has acted like a sister to me over the past two semesters.

It is so wild reflecting on the year, knowing that next semester we will be going our separate ways, living with respective friends in buildings a couple of blocks away from each other.

However, even when the posters are off the walls and signs reading "Riya" and "Emilie Joe" no longer stick to the outside of our door, I know that the bond we created in room 217 will never leave us.

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