My best friend, Julia, and I have stuck out 10 years of friendship with each other. We met in the first grade... I think, then became BFF's somewhere around the third grade where Julia basically bullied me (No, Julia, I'm not going to let you live that down.) So, it is safe to say we have been partners in crime for some time now. We have been there for nearly everything happening in each other's lives, from the horror story of puberty to first boyfriends (still her boyfriend in her case) to school dances to family events to braces to questionable haircuts.

Please see the horrendous childhood bangs pictured below.

Gabby Sheets

Julia is my rock, to say the least. All throughout middle school and then high school, she was my person. I told her everything. I relied on her to make me feel better, even if it was by doing something as stupid as watching "The Last Song" and crying with me or letting me rant to her on an hour and a half phone call.

We got into petty fights, but we got over them.

She started dating a 6-foot idiot who became a close friend of mine as soon as I realized he wasn't going anywhere.

We moved on from being a guest in each other's homes and onto being part of the family.

We got our senior pictures done together as well as jobs in the same workplace.

We planned our make-believe weddings and insisted we would be each other's maids of honor.

We have grown together, through the thick and the thin, through the good days and the bad.

But here came graduation.

James Sheets

Whether it be in one of our classes senior year or at one of our graduation parties or at our shared workplace, people warned us about how we would grow apart. As soon as they heard I was attending Bowling Green State University and she was heading south to Ohio University, they insisted that our friendship would change for the worse. We were going to be three hours apart from each other. There was apparently no way we would stay best friends, according to a countless number of people.

Wrong.

Yes, our friendship has changed, but we are still best friends. We spent our birthdays together, like always. We complain about boys, like always. We are still welcome in each other's homes as if we belong there. I'm pretty sure Julia is convinced that my parents are hers actually. Whenever I have anything happen in my life, Julia is the first person I want to tell. It was an adjustment, not having her right next to me in person, but I know I just pick up my phone and call her.

Then, when she doesn't answer right away, I immediately call her boyfriend and ask where she is. If I'm coming home, I ask what she is doing instantly. When we see each other, after a long time apart, it is exactly the way it has always been. We are just as comfortable, just as close, as what we have always been.

I can't imagine living my life without having her by my side to share it with, even if she isn't physically by my side through our college years. So, to those who are going to college, listen to this:

You don't have to say goodbye to your best friend.

Sure, friends come and go, but every once in a while you find one that is here to stay. In my case, I found a spunky redhead in the 3rd grade that has been latched on to me ever since, and I latched onto her. Go to the college that you want to go to. Stay in touch with those that you care about most. You can make a long-distance friendship work, trust me. You just have to realize that distance means so little in comparison to friendships meant to last a lifetime (So cheesy, I know).

A few measly hours has got nothing on 10 years of friendship and the many more to come. I love you, Julia!

Paige Probasco