best friend goes abroad

The Reality Of Having My Best Friend Go Abroad

A semester abroad truly does put your long-distance friendship skills to the test.

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In January, my sister/best friend and I said our goodbyes as she packed her bags for Copenhagen, Denmark. Now, we have completed about three out of the five months that we will be apart for. I would say that it gets easier each day but, in reality, I miss her the same, if not more, each day. So if you're like me, then you can probably relate to how I feel about this all and know the struggles of having your best friend go abroad.

Even though everything is so new and different, the friendship still remains the same.

Yes, we go to two different universities. And yes, we have been apart for long periods of time before. But no, it does not make saying goodbye or the distance any easier. Since she is two years older than me, we have dealt with this long-distance relationship thing for a while because she went off to college while I was still a junior in high school. And, even in college, we attend universities in different states that do not always have the same breaks. Yet, we still managed to never go more than two months without seeing each other. That's probably because our separation anxiety ultimately gave us no other choice but to constantly visit each other.

This whole different countries thing is definitely a game changer though. I am no longer able to just get on a short flight and see her. And that, to me, is the worst part about this all. For the past 18 years, we have not been apart for an extended period of time and now all of a sudden we are in different countries for 5 months. Instead of our jam sessions in the car or our late night talks in bed, I now have to settle for FaceTimes and What's App messages. That is if and when our schedules match up with the major time difference. So, as I start my day off she has already been to all of her classes and is thinking about dinner. And I think that is the hardest part of having my best friend abroad. As soon as something important happens, I immediately go to call her and then realize it is the middle of the night for her. Like it is actually so rude that I can't just call her whenever it is convenient for me. Communicating with each other now takes a little extra thought because I always have to consider the time change and try to figure out if she is available or even awake. Yet, I always know that when I need her, no matter the time, she will always be there for me. Even if I am only calling because I'm bored and want to her annoy her.

As hard as this whole thing may be for me, I truly am so proud of my big sister for embracing this new change in her life. She is actually cooking her own food and learning how to live on her own. She's trying new things and even new foods, which is a pretty big deal for her since she is a picky eater. But don't be fooled, her favorite food is still chicken nuggets and she still manages to "cook" them for herself. She is living her best life and "adulting". I know, it's pretty scary.

And of course, I am jealous that she is traveling around the world without me and making these lifetime memories. I may or may not anxiously wait for her Facebook and Instagram posts. I can't help but be so excited and want to know everything about this new life and all that she is experiencing. But then again, I do get to go visit her in Copenhagen in two months so I guess that makes up for it. These two months may feel like a lifetime but I know it will be worth it when I get to see her for the first time in 5 months and jump on her and annoy her in every way possible. I mean it is my job as her younger sister to constantly annoy her and do everything that she asks me not to do, like hug her. So although I do miss having her here in the States, I guess it's okay that she is out there exploring Europe and taking advantage of this opportunity, even if she did leave me behind in America to drown in homework and exams.

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Saying Goodbye To Freshman Year

"High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster."
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“High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster”, we’ve all heard it and probably all ignored it as well. I mean time is time. It moves at the same pace no matter what you’re doing right?

Nope.

High School is over, I’m now a freshman in college and it’s April. I’m sitting here in my dorm looking at all my clothes, and bins thinking, how in the hell will this all fit in my car again? It is crazy, I need to be thinking about all of this now because there is one month of my freshman year left, just one.

All I can keep thinking is how? Wasn’t it just last week that I moved into my cozy room at the end of the hall, or just yesterday that I ran home to two hundred beautiful new sisters? As much as it seems like yesterday, it wasn’t.

It was almost eight months ago that I stepped onto this campus as a freshman, now it is my last four weeks and they are jam-packed. From formal to finals I am in the home stretch of my first year of college. I just registered for my classes next semester, and can’t get it through my head that I will soon be a sophomore.

While walking around campus I still catch myself thinking, wow I am really here. I am a college student, at a school, I fall more in love with every day. So, how can I be a sophomore now when I feel like I just got here?

Yes, I still have three amazing years of college ahead of me, and I can’t wait to see what those years have in store in for me. But, I just can’t help but feel a little sad that I won’t be a freshman anymore. I won’t be the youngest in my sorority family, I won’t be coming back to a dorm every night.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am stoked to live in an apartment next year with my absolute best friends. And you definitely could have heard me saying “I am so over this whole dorm thing” once or twice this semester, but now I can’t help but see all the things I’ll miss.

Freshman year is just unique. You get this giant clean slate, a fresh start. And it is just waiting to see what you’ll do with it. It truly is a year of firsts. My first failure, the first time being on my own, my first time not knowing anyone in my classes. Yes, that can all be a lot to take on, I was terrified at the start of the school year. But before I knew it, I had a routine, I had friends, I had a life here.

And this life surpassed all my expectations. I have a home away from home. I have friends that I know will be my bridesmaids some day. I have experiences that I’ll never forget.

Now as I head back home for the summer I couldn’t be more excited to be with my friends there and my family. But, I also couldn’t be sadder to leave my friends here, even if it’s only for three months because they’ve become another kind of family.

Despite leaving freshman year behind, we have so many more memories to make whether it’s doing the Seminole chop in Doak, coordinating our Halloween costumes, or just chilling at the house. We’ve all come so far this year, and I can’t wait to see just how far we go. So bring it on Sophomore year, I’m ready for ya.

Cover Image Credit: Cameron Kira

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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