As incoming college sophomores who are long past the first departure from our hometown, I thought the dreaded season of goodbyes would be much easier this year than last year. Thanks to you all, my great friends from home, it's even harder this time around.

As a freshman, saying goodbye to all of you was a little scary (if I'm being honest.) We parted ways hopeful for what our new lives had in store for us, but fearful for the fate of our relationships to one another. Sure, we knew that we would all grow as we moved away to college, but with that also came the risk you of growing out of our friendships.

This time around though, the thought of leaving my friends is even harder. Why is that? Because we've overcome the odds. While we were off living our own lives miles apart for 9 months, we still managed to keep in touch. Above that, any time we met during breaks: Thanksgiving, winter/spring break, and especially summer. We all somehow picked up exactly where we left off, proving that nothing could interfere with a bond as strong as ours. Reuniting made me realize how much I miss you all and how much you all mean to me. You've helped shape me into who I am today, and I'm thankful for that.

Although so much has changed in the past year, being home this summer has made me realize that just as many things have stayed the same. Despite adding new people to our lives, there is something about the bond between longtime hometown friends that is unbreakable.

Saying goodbye is always bittersweet. Being one of the first out of all of us to leave, you guys are really making the bitterness even more potent. Because the time we spend together is so precious, moving back so early gives me major FOMO. With this being said, I leave home peacefully with the knowledge that we will all be living our best lives and be bettering ourselves at our respected schools. When I miss you, expect a text, a FaceTime call, or a Snapchat video of something funny we did together this summer.

If you ask me, moving away to college has done nothing but wonders for our already strong friendships.

I love you all to the moon and back. Thank you all for making this goodbye so difficult.