Why It's Okay To Stay Close With Your Friends From High School While In College

Why It's Okay To Stay Close With Your Friends From High School While In College

"Remember that the most valuable antiques are dear old friends" -H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
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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.

Cover Image Credit: Katelin Gandee

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The Thank You My Dad Deserves

While our moms are always the heroes, our dads deserve some credit, too.
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Dear Dad,

You’ve gone a really long time without being thanked. I'm not talking about thanks for things like opening the Gatorade bottle I couldn't or checking my tires when my car’s maintenance light is flashing, but rather the thanks I owe you for shaping me into the person I am today.

Thank you for teaching me what I deserve and for not letting me settle for anything less.

While the whole world was telling me I wasn’t good enough, you were there to tell me I was. Whether this was with boys, a friend, or anything else, you always built my confidence to a place I couldn’t build it to on my own. You showed me what my great qualities were and helped me feel unique. But most of all, you never let me settle for anything less than what I deserved, even when I wanted to. Without you, I wouldn’t be nearly as ambitious, outgoing or strong.

Thank you for giving me someone to make proud.

It’s hard to work hard when it’s just for myself, but so easy when it’s for you. All through school, nothing made me happier than getting a good grade back because I knew I got to come home and tell you. With everything I do, you give me a purpose.

SEE ALSO: 20 Things You Say When Calling Your Dad On The Phone

Thank you for showing me what selflessness looks like.

You are the prime example of what putting your family first looks like. If me wanting something means that you can’t get what you want, you’ll always sacrifice. From wearing the same t-shirts you’ve had since I was in elementary school so I could buy the new clothes I wanted, to not going out with your friends so you could come to my shows, you never made a decision without your family at the forefront of your mind. If there is one quality you have that I look up to you for the most, it’s your ability to completely put your needs aside and focus entirely on the wants of others.

Thank you for being the voice in the back of my head that shows me wrong from right.

Even though many of your dad-isms like “always wear a seatbelt” easily get old, whenever I’m in a situation and can’t decide if what I’m doing is right or wrong, I always can hear you in the back of my head pointing me in the right direction. While I may not boost your ego often enough by telling you you’re always right, you are.

Thank you for being real with me when nobody else will.

Being your child hasn’t always been full of happiness and encouragement, but that’s what makes you such an integral part of my life. Rather than sugarcoating things and always telling me I was the perfect child, you called me out when I was wrong. But what separates you from other dads is that instead of just knocking me down, you helped me improve. You helped me figure out my faults and stood by me every step of the way as I worked to fix them.

Most of all, thank you for showing me what a great man looks like.

I know that marriage may seem very far down the road, but I just want you to know that whoever the guy I marry is, I know he’ll be right because I have an amazing guy to compare him to. I know you’re not perfect (nobody is), but you’ve raised me in a such a way that I couldn’t imagine my kids being raised any differently. Finding a guy with your heart, drive, and generosity will be tough, but I know it will be worth it.


Dad, you’re more than just my parent, but my best friend. You’re there for me like nobody else is and I couldn’t imagine being where I am now without you.

Love you forever,

Your little girl

Cover Image Credit: Caity Callan

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It's Only November, DO NOT Cue The Christmas Music

"Why are people so quick to switch gears from October 31... to November 1st?"

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As I write this article it is early November. Crazy how we are already into November. For those of you who have two different personalities from Halloween to November 1, this is for you. Do not cue Christmas music in early November.

November is a really beautiful month if you take the time to appreciate it. Leaves continue to change, the temperature starts to drop, which means more coffee and hot chocolate! The NJEA convention is in early November, if you're an educator, future one, or if you're a current student, you are off these days, and of course, everyone is off for Thanksgiving. A time to celebrate what we are thankful for with our friends and family. Tables full of hot soups to warm our chilly bodies, turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, stuffing, sweet cranberry sauce, an array of pies and desserts, you name it.

So why are people so quick to switch gears from October 31, a time to dress up, trick or treat and attend Halloween parties, to November 1st, a time that has become all about Black Friday and Christmas? We've lost the meaning of Thanksgiving. In my opinion, stores should not be open on Thanksgiving Day. As mentioned it's a day to spend with family. You can shop for those best deals and stand in line for hours the following day and days leading up to Christmas.

We live in a time where everyone is busy with their own lives and family, and it's difficult to get together with everyone's schedules. So on Thanksgiving, it's the perfect time to surround yourself with family and friends, enjoying a meal together, counting your blessings, showing gratitude and appreciation, and catching up on everyone's lives. Truly a day of Thanksgiving!

So I encourage all of you to prepare for Thanksgiving and focus on family, friends, and gratitude. Next time someone talks about Black Friday or Christmas before Thanksgiving, stand your ground, make your voice and the holiday of Thanksgiving be heard.

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