Going from seeing someone every day in high school to only seeing them a little bit over breaks can be jolting.
So, it is no surprise when some of the bonds we held most dear in our youth begin to fade.
However, those lucky few connections manage to persist, and they can be somehow strengthened by distance. Although you value the relationship that exists in each other's absence, eventually you won't be able to resist; those beautiful heartstrings that know no boundaries of space and time will inevitably pull you from the comfort of your newfound home to the doorsteps of your buddy's.
The experience that follows can be, well, rattling.
Once you are visiting the college of a high school friend, you see how truly different their life is from the one you shared at home. This brings forth a range of reactions—an ebbing and flowing cascade of emotions, rapid-fire feelings, throttling thoughts.
None of them are necessarily bad, but none necessarily good. In an effort to understand them better and simplify the complexities, I've compiled a list of twenty-one thoughts that every person has while visiting a friend from high school at their college.
1. This place is really weird.
There is no way that this is actually a college campus...
2. Do they really live here?
I can only imagine them in the context of our hometown backdrop.
3. Are they happy?
It's so different from home, how could they be? I know I wouldn't be.
4. Oh, well, at least their room is kinda cool.
They put a little touch of them into it, and it's actually cute and cozy.
5. They really seem happy here, don't they?
The way they're talking it up...they're either having the time of their life or putting up an Oscar winning facade of a lifetime.
6. Do they like it better here than at home?
It sounds like they do. It makes me feel...distant.
7. This place is actually kinda neat.
I'm starting to see what they love about this place, and I'm starting to love parts of it, too.
8. I can imagine them living here everyday.
I've got their whole routine mapped out in my head like a movie. It seems natural for them.
9. Their favorite spot to eat is hella tight.
Mmmmm I'm glad they're well fed everyday, and I may have to come back just for the food.
10. They've got pretty cool friends.
Let's just hope their friends think the same thing about me...
11. Are their new friends better than our old ones were?
They're smiling more and speaking of the new friends more highly, but didn't we all have fun together back in the day?
12. Do they miss me?
Have I been replaced? Or do I have a special place in their heart?
13. Are they doing okay in their classes?
The classes sound neat...would be terrible for me, of course, but I bet they're loving them.
14. Time to go out! And their night life is actually kinda cool...
It's way different than mine. How funny is it that there are a million different variations of having fun and getting drunk in college.
15. This is so different than my school.
The whole experience...it's wild.
16. Are they ever going to come visit my school?
It's pretty nice of me to come visit them and be immersed in their new life, but will they return the favor? That'd be so nice.
17. Would they have fun at my school?
Or would they think it's weird or lame compared to their life here?
18. Are they worried that I don't like their school?
Were they trying to make sure everything was perfect for me this whole time? Don't they know just being with them and seeing them happy makes me happy?
19. This is so different from my school but it is awesome for them.
I see them shining. This is where they belong even if it's not where I do.
20. I'm so happy that they are happy here.
It puts my mind at ease.
21. I'm grateful that we are still good enough friends that they can share this side of their life with me.
I know that things aren't the way they used to be, but the way they brought me into their new world with so much care and passion shows just how strong our bond still is. They're doing things with their life, which is great, because I am, too. As long as we can grow together and check in every now and then, I'll be very happy to see them when they reach where they're going someday, and I hope they'd say the exact same for me.
And now, though my heart lives at home and in my college town, tiny shards of it are scattered with my friends, living right alongside them in their dorms.