We have grown up with the same people for years, making the same memories, driving the same streets, walking the same halls, and sharing all the same memories with one another. We have created a strong sense of home with the people we share everything we know with. We have secrets with each other, know too much about each other's personal lives, and have stuck by one another through the literal worst of times.

At the end of our continuous time with one another, we spend the last months before college living like there is no tomorrow with the only people you have had the privilege of knowing. We are stuck in a nostalgic state and spend nights in laughter, then tears. We fear what's about to come while wanting to remain in the high school years with your best friends.

This is the part we have to say goodbye.

We say this is just a "cya later." We leave our families, our pets, our beds, and our friends. We are all forced to live separate lives and try our hardest to keep in touch. We start making memories with new people, going new places, trying new things, and yet, we all still have the same roots. We all have whole new lives, but they're more similar than we know.

At this point, it's Thanksgiving break. We anxiously await the car ride home and the first hug from your best friends. Everything is as it should be, back to normal. Normal but different than before. We share our stories, we spend our nights all back together just like before laughing as nothing has changed. I know for my friends and myself, my favorite part of our reunions are how we reminisce on all the dumb, careless high school moments.

I feel most at home when I'm back with them laughing and reminiscing our times and in excitement, for the new memories, we are planning to meet.

My friends bring me back to my roots and make me remember what it's like to be the best version of myself. I want to thank all of you for loving and accepting all my airhead moments, for teaching me to laugh through my bad times and embrace who I used to be. We are all the same people but have so much more wisdom and freedom than before. I cannot wait for the rest of life with my high school friends, for I know, although they say college is where you meet your friends for life, I will never fall out from the people who have formed me into the girl I am today.

Thank you for growth and love.