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.


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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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


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

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I Wonder If You'd Be Proud of Me

Or if you even think of me at all.


I wonder if you'd be proud of me.

My first thought when I wake up in the morning is whether or not you still think of me. I think about if I am wearing the right outfit if I were to see you that day. I think about if I am saying the right thing for you to want to want me again.

Throughout my day, I think about whether or not you're happy. I wonder if the feeling in my heart of missing who I thought you were is making its way to you. Sometimes I think about what I did to make you hate me as much as you do.

Sometimes when things get really hard, I think about picking up the phone to call you. Time keeps passing from the last time I saw you and during that time I've painted a picture of you that would probably only disappoint me in the end. Your phone number still sits in my phone and I go to your contact, wanting to call, but knowing that at the other end is not the person I used to know.

I wonder if you watch me. I wonder if the posts I make, pictures I post, and articles I write are viewed by you and whether or not you care to even search my name. I wonder if you ask people about me or if you care to know the person I am today.

Without you, I have changed. It has been two years and though time will only continue moving on without you, I wonder what would have happened if I didn't make the choices I made to make you react in the way you have.

When the sun shines bright on the flowers blooming around campus, I think of your jokes and sarcastic wit. When the rain pours from the sky and keeps me imprisoned within the walls of a building, I think of ways I felt imprisoned by you. When clouds form shapes in the sky that I can make stories out of, I think of the way life could've been.

Sometimes I write to you. They are the letters I can never send because I have to remind myself that though we knew each other once, you do not know me anymore. The picture in my mind of who you are now is someone who'd love me with open arms, but I know that there's no truth in that. It's only my wishful thinking out to break my heart once more.

I wonder if you hear me when I try talking to you. I wonder if the words I tell God are making their way to you as you go on living the life we always talked about when times get tough. I wonder if you're talking to God about me.

As I watch the sunset, I think about the last moment I was with you. As that chapter ended, I was only wishfully thinking that walking away would save me from further pain. In the end, I don't know about how life would've been different had it not happened.

When my picture of you gets too bright and I share it with others, I am reminded of reality. The screaming, crying, pushing, shoving, and hitting touches my skin once more in the form of flashbacks that push me further down into the depths of a depression. I am reminded of the hundreds of suicidal thoughts and letters that I've written once before.

No matter what, my heart still yearns for a hug. A hug where I can bury myself into your body and feel safe. A hug where I forget every worry in my mind and focus solely on the love.

I wonder if you'd still love me if I changed myself to be the person you've always wanted me to be. I wonder if you'd forgive me for walking away, even if it was for me to change to be a better person. I wonder if you'll ever even read this.

Days like today, I want to go back in time. I sit on the benches around campus and look up at the sky, down at the cars passing by, and listen to life move on all around me as I remain stuck. I hear people talking, see them laughing, and wonder if there's any way I could one day feel as alive as they do.

The truth is that I was never enough for you. No matter how much I changed, kept notes of what you liked so I could be like that, or just kept my head down and moved silently, nothing was ever enough.

No matter what, though, I still yearn to be loved in the way that I picture you should've loved me. Closure does not exist. You were the ones who were supposed to hold me down. But now I am nothing to you...I was always nothing to you.

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