The summer of senior year brings a mix of many different emotions. As you ride the rollercoaster of excitement and dread of college, you must also face the ups and downs of friendships you thought would last forever. When I was in school I liked to believe I knew exactly who I would be taking with me into my future and who I would be leaving behind. After the last day of high school I said goodbye to many people for good, or at least till the next high school reunion. Some of them I promised to hang out with this summer. With my friends moving all around the country to different colleges, the distance will slowly cast its spell. Even those people who I saw myself with for years after high school may get lost in the busyness of life. But there was one person that I was sure would beat the odds.
We had only known each other for a couple of years, but right off the bat we had a "forever friends" chemistry. She and I managed to be exact opposites but the same kind of person deep down. During our many hang outs we would fantasize and plan for our future beyond college; from traveling to kids. It all seemed so simple before college decisions and goodbyes. At that moment, I was not worried a bit about our friendship surviving after high school — in fact, that would be when it would take off.
But we changed. She is going to college near home, while I plan to study abroad. She is taking her boyfriend to college and thinking about settling down, while I am career driven. Our ideas for the future had become different, and I had no idea how something like this even happened. By the time summer rolled around, all of our grand plans that we made in September of traveling the world and living in New York felt more like memories than ambitions.
Regardless of the reasons for our falling out, I spent the last few weeks pondering how to handle this. Part of me wants to fight and go into college optimistic that our friendship will survive, yet another part of me is realistic. I know that distance can sour all relationships, including friendships, and it will be slow and more painful than what happened when we were in school. Furthermore, what do I tell her? We promised to stay friends, but what does that promise even mean anymore? Those conversations we had in September meant something to me, and I am not sure I am ready to let them go. I can feel change coming, ready to knock us both off our feet and carry us away. All I want to do is grab onto a safety rail and hold on for dear life, even though it may be pointless.
I realize that this is what the summer of senior year is all for, living in the moment like there is no tomorrow because come September there no promises. As much as we try to plan and organize like we know what tomorrow will bring, we have no idea who will be standing by our side in one month, or one year. Summer is holding onto that railing for a few seconds longer. The best thing we can do is live with those we love and face the future with open arms.