The day before my high school friends and I left for college, we all got together one last time. And sobbed. These people were the ones that had been by side for the past four years. They were (quite literally) with me for every mile. They were the ones I spent all my Friday nights with, the ones in all my homecoming photos, and the ones I struggled the hardest to say goodbye to. At the time, I could not imagine my life without these people. When we parted ways, we promised to keep in touch.
'Keeping in touch" soon translated into keeping Snapchat streaks. Every morning, I would wake up and respond to my 12 streaks before carrying on with my day. As time went on, I became progressively busier. I joined a sorority, added a double major, got a job, joined four clubs (with exec positions on two of them), and maintained a long distance relationship. I began to feel as if Snapchat streaks were a burden, simply another thing to add to my "to do" list.
To put this into context, I did not feel as if my high school friendships were a burden. I would text my friends occasionally and keep up-to-date with their lives. However, Snapchat streaks were a daily routine of every morning, sending a picture of my forehead to my friends and waiting until the next day to respond. I did not find these "conversations" meaningful or worthy of being considered "keeping in touch." So when I broke all my streaks one day, I did not realize that my friends would interpret this as breaking off our friendship.
When I returned home after my first year of college, my high school friends confronted me. They said they felt as if I just cut them out of my life. This is simply not true. I would text them every few weeks to check in, and this was far more meaningful to me than daily pictures of the top of my head. However, they did not feel the same way. Rather than reaching out to me, they kept silent and never texted me first. This all sounds unbelievably petty, and that is exactly what it is.
I don't feel the need to apologize for being successful. I have flourished in college and found my passions and my people. I have friends at my school that continuously astound me with their kindness and generosity. And while I am sympathetic to my high school friends who have not found this same happiness at their colleges, I am not going to limit myself or pretend to be upset at school when I'm not. I know I am judged for joining a sorority. I know I am judged for prioritizing my boyfriend. But I have never been happier or felt more at home than I do with my college friends.
To my high school friends, I am sorry that you interpreted my deleting Snapchat as cutting you out of my life. However, you never put in the effort to text me or have meaningful conversations. I have found people that love and support me in college in ways that I can never articulate, and I have decided to put my energy into these relationships. It is unfortunate how things changed, but I refuse to limit myself or my happiness because others would rather spend all day on their phones sending caption-less photos to people hundreds of miles away.
I made the decision to live in the present and off of my phone. Someday, perhaps, you will understand.