A Tribute To Old Friends
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A Tribute To The Old Friends We All Still Love

Staying close with high school friends after going to college is not easy, but it's well worth it.

A Tribute To The Old Friends We All Still Love
Juliana Strobing

A few weeks ago was National Best Friends Day. The day is celebrated by funny, cute, and sometimes embarrassing photos and videos being posted on social media to recognize one's best friends. And, though you want to be angry at this friend for posting a picture of you on Instagram with ten chins, on the inside you feel all warm and happy that you have received this honor. This day really got me thinking. I had embarrassing photos posted of me by several of my friends from college. I asked myself, "Are these my new best friends? Have my high school friends been replaced? Is my greatest fear of college actually coming true?"

I was emotionally confused. I love my new friends, but my high school friends are the people that were there for me after surgeries, freak allergic reactions at tennis tournaments, and stayed with me during the hardest years of my life. How could physical separation for nine months make us create completely different lives for ourselves? But, what they warn you about is true: everyone changes in college. And this doesn't necessarily happen for the worse or better; it just happens. I never stopped loving my high school friends, and they never stopped loving me, but we stretched from Alabama to West Virginia when we all dispersed, so we had to have had some different experiences that shaped us in different ways.

Lately, I have really been missing school. All of my friends and my parents work, and my job still doesn't start for another few days; I am bored out of my freakin' mind. All I can think about is getting ice cream with my friends when we should be studying and laughing until we cry at Vine compilations in the sorority house. I remarked to one of my high school friends something along the lines of "Gosh, I just want to go back to school already," to which she replied, "But what about me?"

This stopped me in my tracks. She was right. What about her? While I'm at school I miss her, and all I can think about is how she drove me home from school every day after my surgery senior year, and how we used to call ourselves "domestic" and make incredible gourmet dinners for just the two of us. I even pulled out my Jewish guilt to get her to come to visit me for a weekend. Here comes that emotional confusion again! How can I have two completely separate groups of best friends? No fair! My mind likes simplicity. I like to say that these are my people and if I'm with them I'm happy and if I'm not I am sad. But no, I have done this weird thing called emotional maturation, which is fancy for saying I can create new friends while staying close with my old friends, just in new ways.

Sometimes, these changes are hard to accept. Coming home from college, I expected this summer to be something like a vortex back into senior year of high school. I think it goes without saying that it was not. I had gotten used to the senior year philosophy of 'spend as much time with your friends as possible and cherish every minute you have,' and halfway expected that same philosophy to continue. But, alas, we are all "adults" now and cannot cherish every moment we have with our friends because we have jobs, new friends to miss, and parents that missed us so much that we start having to be at more family dinners. I felt isolated.

I missed my new friends, and my old friends didn't seem to be 100% there either. I think a lot of people can relate to this. So much change just happened in the last year, it would be nice to have some things just stay the same at home, but the rest of the world kept moving, too. To alleviate this feeling requires an amount of trust in yourself and your high school friends. You have to trust that even though you feel like they're not all there, they still are and you can work out a day to be "domestic" again, just like old times. Also, you have to trust yourself to be okay with the changes that have happened. This is not easy in the slightest, but it is so important. And, though it seems like the world has been flipped on its head, there will be a few times when you get together with these old friends and it feels exactly like the old days. You'll have those all-day hang out sessions reminiscing about how stupid you used to be and "that one time."

At the end of the day, I know that my friends from high school will always be in my life, but so will my friends from college. It is easy to compare them and make them compete in your head, but there's no point. I love all of my friends so much, and on every National Best Friends Day from here on out, I will have the longest Instagram story out of all of my followers, because I have been blessed with amazing friends from all periods of my life.

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