To The Friends I Made Studying Abroad

An Open Letter to the Friends I Made Studying Abroad

You changed my life in some way or another, and I need you to know how much I love and appreciate you all.

bethkrat
bethkrat
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Sometimes I wonder where I would be had I not met you and been fortunate enough to grow close with you for the last five months of my life. It's not a thought I particularly enjoy engaging with because I know that my time studying abroad in London would not have been nearly as amazing as it has been without you right there beside me. Instead, I like to spend my time journaling about our adventures and reminiscing about all the wonderful conversations, inside-jokes, and food-excursions we've gone on together as our time here begins to close.

They say that home is rarely a place, but a person, or many persons, and I've come to realize how true that statement is. Maybe I would have loved London anyway had I been more on my own without your support and friendship, however I know for a fact that the reason I love London now is because you've made this place my home away from home. We've gone through so much together in these last few months, watching each other grow as people and get ready for our lives after all of this is said and done, and I feel so unbelievably lucky to have gotten the opportunity to meet you all and be a part of your life journeys.

I used to think fate was just a stupid made-up lie people would say just to get out of taking responsibility for things, but the more I meet people like you, the more I start to wonder whether certain people enter our lives for specific reasons that shift our world on its axis. I don't know if that means it was fate that brought all of us together or if it was simply a coincidence that all of us happened to decide to study abroad at the exact same place despite coming from completely opposite ends of North America, but whatever the reason was for us to be here in this moment, I owe the universe a massive thank you. I'm a better human being because I have been fortunate enough to know you.

When I go back home in June, people will ask me to tell stories and share pictures of my adventures in Europe, and I already know what I'll tell them. They'll want to hear about the places I've seen and the food I've eaten, but I'll tell them about you. I'll tell them that I made some of the best friends I've ever had while I studied abroad and they absolutely changed my life. They'll know that you made me a stronger human being when I thought I was at my weakest. You made me laugh when I was having a hard day, you motivated me when I didn't have the strength in me to find it myself, and above all, you inspired me. You each came in with such amazing goals and dreams and have such a strong fire in your souls that I know is going to carry you so far in life, and I will tell everyone that you have inspired me to find my own fire.

You have helped me grow so much as a person, and to find it in myself to love myself more than I did. Maybe superheroes are people like Iron Man and Captain Marvel, but superheroes are also people like you, who save ordinary people like me without even knowing it. You have been my life jacket since day one, keeping me afloat when the waves got too high and the weather was too difficult to surmount on my own. I am grateful for you more than you will ever know.

As our time here together is coming to a close, I wish you all the best as we head back to our homes so far away from one another. I know that this will not be a goodbye forever, but simply a see you later, someday.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Be Afraid of Changing Your College Plan

It really isn't THAT bad...

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I can't claim to have any deep wisdom on life, but I at least have some good experience with a highly turbulent college career. I started as a game design major in a tech college in Rochester, NY, transferred to a college in Texas, and now I'm an English major at CofC.

My college life has been something of a roller coaster.

But I regret none of it. Maybe it would have been easier to stick to the track I was on initially, but I would never have been fully satisfied with it. Now I've finally found my place and, even though it may have taken a lot of shifting around, it was undoubtedly worthwhile.

I don't mean to say that everyone who is slightly dissatisfied with their major should transfer all over the country and change their major(I had to sacrifice the ability to get a minor because of the path I took, so I wouldn't recommend it to most people). I just believe that if you find yourself not liking the classes that are vital to your major or if you can't find a place at your current college, then changing your major or transferring isn't as horrible as you might imagine.

When I started college I was completely confident in what I wanted to do and what my future would look like. I thought it would be ridiculous for someone to stray from their initial path. That idea led to me deciding to transfer later than was smart.

I think everyone should know that having to change your plans for the future, sometimes in dramatic ways, isn't a bad thing. No matter how scary transferring and changing majors can seem, many people have done it before you and many will after, you aren't alone.

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