I have mad respect for people who have stayed in touch with ALL of their friends from high school.
Besides casually seeing each other at hometown parties or awkward Target run-ins, I can count on one hand how many people from my high school that I still keep solid communication with. There's nothing personal, there's no bad blood, but we couldn't keep the promises we made in high school.
I won't be at their weddings or be at their kid's first birthday party. We'll never get matching tattoos, go shopping together in Paris or whatever else we said we would do together after we graduated. What we actually did was went to different schools, found different interests and grew apart. And for a while, that really sucked.
I didn't make a lot of friends in my freshman year of college, honestly. I was desperate in trying to keep up as many relationships as I could that I didn't let anybody else into my life. I made friends in the classes I was in and occasionally we would get lunch together if we both didn't have anything else better to do, but I felt a lot of isolation. I hated it. I remember my second semester of freshman year thinking, I need to stop trying to save what one was and create what could be. And I'm so glad I did.
I met one of my first college friends shortly into the second semester of my freshman year. My sophomore year was a game changer. My junior year was a routine. This was the new normal. I had people in my life who made me laugh so hard I couldn't breathe, showed up for me when I needed them and brought so much to the college experience that I never knew I could have. A college experience I didn't know I wanted. And now they're graduating, I'm graduating... and I don't want our stories to end.
As my friends prepare to move cities, states and even countries, I selfishly want to hug them and cry "please don't leave me, I don't want to feel alone again". I don't want our memories to live in pictures for me to look at five years from now, I want them to be in my life or at least in my recent text messages.
I want to be there for them when the world challenges them. I want to see them achieve their ambitions.
I don't want to lose the midnight FaceTime calls about how much being an adult sucks. I don't want to lose the inside jokes and spontaneous adventures.
I don't want to lose my friends.
Alas, we all must move on with our lives. We have dreams to turn into realities and we can't always stay still when there is something waiting for us on the other side. This year I said goodbye to many of my friends and wished them well in all of their adventures post-graduation and I will soon graduate myself. With a "best friends forever, right?" pinky-promise to all of them before we part ways and enter adulthood, I hope more than anything that this is a promise we both all can keep.