You’ve probably known at least one of them your whole life. None of you are going to the same college because you decided you should have “new experiences”. Your Senior Summer has been pretty great, but then it gets to be August 1st and people start packing. Lists get crossed off, friends slowly get shipped out and, if you’re the last one to leave, you slowly get to be alone in your hometown, friendless. All you want to do is curl up and cry, but you know you have to make the most of it and enjoy the time you have left with them. I’ve been there, I am there, and here’s how I’m getting through it:
- Plan as many hangouts as you can fit in so you’re always with them. If you’re sitting at home watching Netflix by yourself, you’ll start to let the lonely sink in.
- Keep yourself busy. Get a summer job or open yourself up to volunteering or get ahead on some college work. You may think that you’ll want the open free time to be with your friends, but if they’re not around, you’ll have no one but yourself (and your family).
- Let yourself miss them. If you’re all deny, deny, deny, you’ll never get the chance to feel the sad feelings. It’s okay to be sad, it’s just not okay to stay sad. Feeling something is good, feeling nothing is scary, and letting the emotions of your reality hit you is okay.
- Don't let your negativity consume you. If all you feel is negative about the future, you’ll never feel positive about the now. If overcoming the negativity means suppressing some emotions while your friends are still here, that’s okay, just don’t lose it in Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy Season 3, style.
- Nobody is dying. This is the big one. When kids go to college for the first time, adults like to act like their child is dying and they will never see them again. That energy projects onto the still-impressionable hearts of 18 year-olds and you may feel like you’ll never see your friends again. With some you may drift apart, but if the friendship is worth saving you’ll make the effort to text, FaceTime, or even go out there and see them for real.
The hardest thing about the August before is all the anticipation. Will I make new friends? Will I remember how to make friends? Will I be able to balance everything? Will I make it on my own? Will I gain 15 pounds? I’m living in the same headspace and it’s difficult, but you have to believe in yourself, and your friendships, that you’ll make it out alive and with friends.