Long Distance Friendships In College

Even When Your Plans Change, A Good Friendship Can Stay Strong

With a friendship like mine, distance can't keep you apart.

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Growing up in Alabama, just like a lot of others, The University of Alabama was my top, and only, college choice, and lucky for me, my best friend since fifth grade had the same plans. Spending every day of high school together, we would plan our future together at the big university, discussing what dorm we would room in, how we would decorate, and our majors.

A lot of high schoolers dream of moving away and starting their future, but for me, this dream was extra special because I would get to do it all with my very best friend.

Every so often we would visit the university for competitions and conventions. It was the only campus I had ever really visited, but I could definitely see myself as a student here. But then again, something seemed to be holding me back. Shortly after one of my visits, I really started to wonder if I could call this place my home.

I started researching "best schools in Alabama for journalism." As I scrolled down the list, one school stood out to me. Troy University. I clicked on their website, and I was immediately intrigued. I became infatuated with a small and spirited university. I followed the university on Instagram and read articles written by students and something just clicked.

I knew I had a dilemma to face.

What about all the plans I made? How was I going to tell my best friend I chose to go to another school?

I remember briefly mentioning to her that I would be visiting Troy over the summer. I could see the confusion on her face, but she reassured me that if I loved Troy, that's where I should go to school.

The closer it got to my visit, the more nervous I felt. I had a feeling this was my home, but I wasn't ready to accept it yet. But whether I was ready or not, the day came for my visit, and my nerves slowly turned into excitement.

With every mile passing, I knew I was getting closer and closer to my future.

Every building I passed on campus was beautiful, and everyone I talked to was kind. At that point, I knew I was somewhere special. I told myself, this is it. This is where you belong. Troy made accepting this very easy, but the hard part was yet to come. I knew I had to tell her.

I worried about the conversation, but I knew it was time to tell her. To my surprise, when I told her I had to go to Troy, she told me how happy she was for me.

Instead of talking about how we would spend the year, we started planning how we would spend Christmas and spring break, when we will visit each other, and how the 2-hour drive to see each other.

Plans change and life moves fast. Sometimes things don't always work out the way you plan, but that's OK.

Although we won't be attending the same school, I really do get to do it all with my very best friend, because when you have a friendship like mine, distance can't keep you apart.

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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How To Cope With A Best Friend Breakup


Breaking up with a boyfriend is one thing, but breaking up with your best friend is a whole new level of heartbreak.

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We all know breakups can be tough, but when that breakup happens to be between you and your best friend, things reach a new level of heartbreak. I met my best friend junior year of high school after our Spanish teacher randomly assigned us to be partners; we struggled so much in that class but in the end, we truly became inseparable. When senior year rolled around we were still close as ever; people would often joke that we were sisters because we looked and acted so much alike. We would go on little dates together, go to parties together, and were always the first person we called when something "major happened."

When my best friend's boyfriend of four years cheated on her while we were spring breaking in Europe, it became my duty to make her feel better; I would randomly drop off flowers and little notes to her house, spend countless hours just listening to her cry and vent, and even stopped talking to people associated with her boyfriend so as to show my "support." All of these things were no big deal to me considering I loved this girl like a sister; whatever she needed I was there to give that to her.

Things soon took a sharp turn when we entered not only the same college but the same sorority. While I was struggling with the social aspect of FSU, my best friend soon found new best friends. When I started having major issues with my boyfriend, I would automatically text/call my best friend as she did with me, but instead of support, I got the sense that she was passive and uninterested. Our little dates and goofy inside jokes disappeared and reappeared between her and her new friends, and my comfortableness around her soon turned into insecurity.

Coming to terms with the fact that the girl I knew everything about is now basically a stranger was a hard one to overcome; I didn't want to accept the fact that my best friend decided it was time to find new ones. It's heartbreaking knowing that the special things you shared with a person are now being shared with others, and it's hard to accept the fact that you aren't wanted or needed by the one person you thought would be by your side forever.

Since school has ended I think I have accepted the fact that we're no longer what we used to be. Of course, it still stings when I see social media posts with her new, college friends, but I just have to remind myself that this is part of life and I just have to move on. I will forever cherish the memories I made with her, but it's time to acknowledge that they were made with someone in my past, not with someone in my present.

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