Back to school means once again saying our goodbyes. We all had our teary and heartfelt goodbyes prior to freshman year but is leaving sophomore year supposed to be easier? Do goodbyes suddenly become easier because we have all done them before? Maybe each year, it gets easier and easier or maybe it doesn’t. You learn so much about yourself after the first year away at school and then you come home. Your physical house is still there but what about those who truly make it home? Are they there for a second goodbye? The hard thing about goodbyes is some of them turn out to be “see you laters” and others sadly don’t. Life is full of both temporary and permanent farewells. So is a second set of goodbyes really supposed to be easier?

Personally, I have never been a fan of goodbyes. While some of my friends confidently part ways assuming they will see each other again, I am the one left wondering if that day really will come. I believe we get better at being apart from people as practice can sometimes make perfect but that certainly doesn’t make leaving home any less difficult. For those of you who still cry at every goodbye you say before leaving for school, I understand, as I am right there with you. For those who hop straight into their car and don’t look back, please let me know how you do that. After completing my freshman year, I have categorized goodbyes into three categories.

“Proven See You Laters”- Ah. The sense of relief when you see the friend you said goodbye to. You both made the effort of staying close during the school year and are finally back to the same old same old. I find these goodbyes to be the less teary eyed ones because you know fully well you will see them again shortly. However, these do not come without effort. I am sure many of you have drifted from some of your hometown friends due to a mutual lack of communication. Sadly, this is part of life. Even in the modern age of social media, an effort to remain close is still necessary. After freshman year if you are still close with certain people, these are most likely proven see you laters. Of course, things can still change but for the most part, I would say you can remain confident. Now if you still cry when saying the physical goodbye even the second time around, there is no shame in that. Just be confident in the fact you will see them again.

“The True Goodbyes”- These are truly the hardest. No goodbye is ever easy but one you didn’t see coming can be even harder. As I said earlier, maintaining relationships is a two-way street. Calling your friends during the school year can help you remain close but this requires mutual effort. I am not the first person to say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone but it really is true. Too often we take goodbyes for granite, assuming people will be there for us when we come back. Sadly, this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes, we pretend like a situation isn’t a true goodbye just to protect ourselves. For this, I have no advice. If a true goodbye isn’t hard then I guess it was not meant to be. Watch out for these, they happen more often than you think.

“The Pet Exception”- I give you full permission to ball your eyes out when you say goodbye to a pet. A second, third, fourth, fifth, etc. goodbye to a pet will NEVER be easy. Even leaving my dog for a day I get sad let alone an entire school year. Hug your pet as much as humanly possible before leaving for school. There is NO shame in tearing up when saying goodbye to your fluffy friend. Maybe silent goodbyes really are the hardest.