What no one tells you when you’re growing up is that one day, all your friends are going to leave you.
I’m 22 years old (turning 23 in a week, HINT), and I’m at that point in life where things really start to change. I thought that college was going to be a turning point in my life. To some extent, college was a big change, but overall it was more of the same thing. My friends were still around and we weren’t making any big life decisions. Passing freshmen calculus was my main concern.
Since graduation a switch in the universe definitely got flipped. Actual life choices started being made. Yes, your undergrad is important in the scheme of life, but it’s not nearly as important as the decisions you make after you graduate. You might choose to live with your parents and work for year. If you’ve been in a long-term relationship you might get married. Hell, you might join the Peace Corps and work in another country. These choices will change everything.
Undergrad is a wonderfully sheltered place.
During the year or so after graduation, all of my friends applied for graduate school. They’re all lovely, talented and intelligent people so obviously they were accepted. I also got into graduate school. And so, like Pangaea, my life started to show some cracks.
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m really happy for all my friends! I’m happy for myself too. This is where I’m supposed to be going in life, but man, it is hard to see everyone start to split off from me (yes, I do consider myself the center of the universe).
I already started my graduate program. It’s at the same university where I completed my undergraduate degree. I didn’t have to move, and that’s part of the reason why I chose to stay here. I’m quite happy with my choice. However, my friends are all going to different universities across the nation. I’m talking cross-country moves to New York and New Hampshire.
My point is: I’m sad that they’re leaving me, BUT I’m very happy that they’re going after their dreams. Mostly, I’m happy. I’m also a selfish person though, so I don’t necessarily want them to go.
I’m sure that I’m not the only 20-something year old dealing with their carefully curated world changing drastically. So how do you deal? (Also known as, how I’m going to cope.)
1. You make sure that you find ways to maintain your friendship (Skype, Facebook, etc.).
2. If they’re in town, then make time to hang out with them.
3. Birthday cards!
4. Try to get to know some more people. They’re not going to replace your old friends, but they might make the transition a little easier, and who knows? You might meet someone who is going to be a really good friend to you too!
5. Cry into your pillow at night (just kidding…sort of).
So yes…I’m a little sad that my friends are moving away. I’m really going to miss them. I do, however, realize that there is no way to keep things permanent. It would go against nature. This is just part of life, and I’m going to try to accept that. Even in this situation that, frankly, is depressing, I’m trying to remember that these goodbyes aren’t forever.
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