In the next couple of weeks, you will be saying goodbye to some of your closest friends as you pack up and head your separate ways to college as a shiny new freshman. Some, however, might be fortunate enough to bring one or two of those friends along to begin their new adventure at college. Sadly, most are not that fortunate. I know that I, like most others, am not.
College letters came rolling in for me and my three best friends throughout the beginning of our senior year of high school. With every one that came, our group chat would celebrate with all the pretty emojis and the "I'm so proud of you" texts. We were all accepted to the college we wanted, however, it did not dawn on us that we would be three to four hours apart. Only recently did we realize how drastically our lives would change once our last childhood summer ended.
As move-in day quickly approaches, the thought of leaving my high school friends makes the feeling of nostalgia that much heavier. I will miss seeing them every day, having classes together, sitting together at lunch, going to church together, and having late night Taco Bell runs. But, I know that all of these amazing memories I share with them will always be a reminder of how I have grown into the person I am now.
It may be hard, but trying to overcome the sadness of letting go of the only life and friends you have ever known and have spent most of your academic career with is essential. You have to be able to connect with new people when you go to college and establish new relationships. I am not saying to forget about the friends you are moving away from, or to not hold on to those precious memories you share with them. But rather, do not let the tight grip of nostalgia hold you back from establishing a place for yourself at your new college and connecting with other people. The first few weeks of college play a vital role in how the next four years will go, so this is a crucial time to network and build new relationships. You will find that the students at your new college are having the same problem and are in the same boat as you.
The feelings you are feeling every time you think of the inevitable goodbyes that are coming are completely normal and are being felt all over right now. Even the friends you are leaving are feeling scared, sad, and nostalgic of the times they have spent with you and wondering what going separate ways will do to your friendship. One of my favorite quotes that fits this situation perfectly is, "How lucky am I to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye to." You are lucky. You are lucky to have had a friend like them and you are lucky that you all grew into the person you are now. All of you are about to embark on an amazing adventure. So, it's not really a "goodbye," but an "I'll see you later."
Always keep in touch with your friends from high school and, when you get the chance, reminisce about the good times you shared together. These memories are great reminders of the life you have lived so far, and you might even find a new chance to grow by doing this. So, keep up with them via text, follow them on social media, and send them a birthday card when the day rolls around! Share your new experiences with them, what you are learning, and ask them the same questions. I am sure they will love telling you about their new adventure too.
It is okay to be scared of leaving your best friends for college. Everyone will experience this dreaded day. Starting a new adventure can be scary and exciting all at the same time, so just keep in mind that others around you can empathize with this same feeling. Break out of your comfort zone, meet new people, and grow from this experience!