Growing up, I've never gone to school around my house. They've always been about 30 minutes away from where I live, and because of this, I've made friends that live across very different places in Indianapolis.
When I was just 4 years old, I met one of my very best friends, Raya. She was a grade above me, but we ended up becoming super close. We ended up going to school together for quite some time, but eventually, she moved to a different school, so I didn't get to see her every day. So, we did what every normal pre-teen would do, and we called each other on our home phones and played Webkinz together over the phone for hours on end. But eventually we both grew up and got busy, and we stopped calling. And when it came time for us to have cell phones, there came a time when we would stop texting.
Through Raya, I met a girl named Gillian. She went to the school that Raya moved to, and we became very close very fast. The best thing about our friendship is that we are so different but so much alike that sometimes I think we share the same brain. The tricky part with us though is that we never went to the same school. There were a lot of times when our schedules didn't add up and we would go months without seeing each other. During those times, we would do our best to text or talk on the phone, but honestly, sometimes it's really hard. Now, Gillian goes to Loyola and even though there is just an hour time difference, I feel like we are light years away. We do our best to text back, but it's easy to forget or start to respond and something come up.
My best friends from my high school and I all go to different schools. We're scattered between IU, Purdue, Ball State, UIndy, and so many more. One thing that I've found in my first few months of college is that I'm horrible at responding. There are so many times where I'll read over a conversation and start to respond and then I get distracted by an assignment or realize I'm running late and just forget. Communication can be difficult when everyone runs on different schedules.
However, what I've found since I was friends with Raya, is that you don't have to talk to a friend every day for them to be deemed a 'best friend'. The beautiful thing about having best friends is that it doesn't matter how long you haven't talked to them, the second you're with them it feels like you saw them just yesterday. There are times when I feel horrible that I forget to respond, I get too busy to FaceTime, or I don't get to go visit. But not a day goes by where I don't think of the people that mean most to me, the people who I might not talk to every day, but I hold a lifetimes worth of memories with.
Starting to see these friends as we all get back from break has really shown me what it means to be best friends. It isn't about a Snapchat streak, a FaceTime call, or a text message. It's about the hug you get when you see them for the first time in a while, the one where you don't want to let you. It's the jokes you make during a game of Fish Bowl or crying watching YouTube videos together. It's about knowing that no matter how long you may not talk to them, for whatever reason, they're always going to be there to make you laugh until your stomach hurts.