In just a few days, I’ll be making the long and nerve-wracking drive away from home (a busy city filled with bright lights, constant traffic, and buildings that cover every street) to a rural village in upstate New York (a place that has a bunch of trees, frequently empty roads, and lots of snow). The most drastic change, however, will be the people around me as we all go our separate ways. But even so, although we may be in different places in the world having different experiences, I know they’ll always be there right by my side.
To my family,
Your little girl is finally grown up and making her way to college! There were probably so many worries going through your minds as I approached senior year of high school and started filling out college applications (like what if she doesn’t get enough sleep at school, what if she gets sick, is she going to be able to cook her own food, how is she going to take care of herself) and started talking about the future. These worries were probably doubled when I announced that I was going to school out-of-state, and tripled when you realized that just because I was going to New York, that didn’t mean I was going to New York City or anything like it. You continued to worry as I filed for financial aid, filled out health insurance forms, went college dorm shopping, started emptying out my bedroom, and started to pack the car with all my suitcases and belongings that reminded me of home.
And I don’t want to necessarily say, ‘don’t worry,’ because to be honest, I’m kind of nervous for college too. But I do want to say thank you. Thank you for being such an amazing rock that has grounded and supported me physically, financially, and emotionally. Thank you for teaching me the more important things in life, like how to act polite and follow my passions. Thank you for listening to me when I had a problem, but also letting me know when I made a mistake. Trust me when I say that I will call you as much as I can, that I will keep up with my studies and that I will let you know if there ever is a reason to worry about something. No matter what, I will miss you so so much and I hope to do you proud.
To the high school friends I better stay in contact with,
There’s a lot of you, and you all come from different places in my life (whether it be from classes, extracurricular activities, work) but one thing is the same: each and every one of you made my high school experience ten times more exciting and ten times more fun. Whether we were fooling around while the teacher was talking, making memories during practices and rehearsals, or making fun of each other right before our shifts started, you reminded me how it’s okay to work hard and relax once in a while. Some of my best moments are with you, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried from laughing so hard through our interactions.
So make sure that you don’t forget me too quickly, because in a couple of months when I’m back I’ll be asking for a coffee date and all the stories you have to share.
To the high school friends I might not see again,
Separation and distance is inevitable, but you have undoubtedly made an impact on who I am as a person. We’re driving on different roads in life and have both turned in opposite directions, but that doesn’t mean our time together in the past has been forgotten. Thank you for changing my high school experience and I wish you the best of luck in your future.
To my best friends,
I remember like it was yesterday when we all met for the first time. It was the first day of 6th grade, and we thought we were such bigshot middle schoolers (even with our horrendous haircuts and even more horrendous attitudes) who could take on the world. Meeting each other individually was a different story, but when the three of us came together, we just clicked. Hanging out at each other’s houses, doing every school project together, playing stupid games (including one that involved eating a raw onion; I’m just glad I didn’t have to do it), talking about our problems, crying to each other, and every experience we had together made me a happier person. I never thought I would find people who would understand and relate to me so well, but I’m glad I did.
We’ll all be in different states away from home with people we’ve never met, sights we’ve never seen, and adventures waiting to happen. But be prepared for me to visit your dorm one day carrying a duffle bag filled with clothes, a toothbrush, and a bunch of stories that I haven’t already told in our planned biweekly video chat sessions. And even when we may get busy with school and life, I’ll always make sure to send a text in our group chat or let you know how much I miss you.
It’s ride or die for us three, and I wouldn’t want it to be with anyone else.
And lastly, to all my loved ones in general:
Although I’ll be leaving for college soon, I’ll never be leaving you. We may be separated by miles of land, long periods of time, and obstacles that may stop us from physically seeing each other in life, but you will always be in my heart and in my mind. Not only have you made me a better person but you have changed my life for the better, and I will be forever grateful. Even though I’m heading off to college, I love you, and I’ll see you again.