We live under the impression that once we go off to college, that's it. The life we knew before graduation will cease to exist, leaving behind just a shadow of what had been. We're told that odds are our best friends - the ones we stayed up until 3 o'clock in the morning talking with, the ones who posed with us for prom pictures, the ones who taught us what real friendship was - will not be our best friends after we start college. By not fault of our own, people simply grow apart. They find new friends, join clubs and organizations; reinvent themselves and become individuals whom their friends from high school do not recognize.

The real travesty is when we allow this to happen; when we allow the naysayers to be right. With all the technology our generation has access to, there is nothing holding us back from maintaining those relationships that defined who we were as adolescents and who we would become as adults in college. We have opportunities to keep in touch through Facebook, texting, Skype, that our parents did not as some of them embarked on the same journey we take now. Unless you just truly want to escape the high school world, there is no excuse for not keeping in touch.

But let us dissolve this horrible idea that we cannot stay close with our friends in high school for fear of not being able to move on, make new friends and mature. That being 45 minutes to 6 hours away, means that the friendship will fade away because of distance.

It is okay to have those old friends and new friends too. There is no rule about leaving those who mean so much behind when you start a new life while away from them. They acted as your family outside of your own, as you guided one another through the awkward and most defining period of your lives. College is yet another defining experience in your life. You actually begin to figure out the person you are and only thought you knew in high school. It is the ‘old friends’ who shaped us as individuals so that we could make new friends in college. Is it not a comforting feeling knowing you have people waiting for you, counting on you, to still be waiting for them too? There is a kind of beauty in knowing that even as we were learning how to be good people and good friends throughout high school, that we touched someone’s – or even multiple someone’s – life enough for them to want to stay in it; even if it means not seeing one another for months a time. There's beauty in knowing friendships can last a lifetime, so long as you choose to preserve them.