One of the biggest fears for incoming college freshmen is what will happen to their friendships with their high school friends after they leave. Will we still speak? Will we have time for each other? When will we see each other next? Will our friendship survive?
Moving to Berkeley was one of the most exciting and heartbreaking times in my life. I was ready to be on my own and start fresh in college. On the other hand, being away from my best friends caused me heartache. I have been around these people for four to 13 years of my life. We saw each other every day, talked every day and spent hours working on homework and projects that we would always wait until the last minute to do.
The summer leading up to our freshman year of college was filled with sleepless nights reminiscing about the good ole days before we had to grow up and actually be adults. With nostalgia hitting hardest during the last week of break, my friends and I spent every day constantly reassuring one another and promising that nothing would change. We knew it would be difficult, but we were determined to keep our promises. A year later and our promise still stands, and here is how.
Communication is key to any type of relationship. The first few weeks of the fall semester were filled with daily text messages and video calls whenever time was free. I spent time scouting places around campus where the wifi connection would be strongest so our time together could not be wasted by a poor connection. The transition to college was less difficult with my best friends (virtually) by my side.
As the semester went on, my friends and I found less and less time to text and video chat. We were all swamped with assignments, studying and other extracurriculars. Even though we did not communicate as much as we were used to, we definitely used social media to see updates about our lives, and whenever we did have time, my friends and I would always make sure to send each other fun updates and “miss you” texts just as a little reminder that we have not forgotten that the others exist. The amount of communication does not determine how strong a friendship can be. I have gone weeks without speaking to some of my friends, but when we do end up speaking again, nothing has changed.
Physically being around someone is a whole different feeling than seeing them through a screen. If you are lucky like me, you will end up at a college not too far from home. Living only an hour and a half away from my hometown definitely helps whenever my friends and I are feeling extra needy with each other. Planning out when we will see each other is a whole other ballgame. Many plans fall through because of last minute obligations, but eventually, my friends and I do find that one day where all of us are free. Now, this is easy to do with friends nearby. On the other hand, you could have friends in different states, and maybe even different countries! These are the friends that make winter vacation, spring break and summer vital. It is ALL ABOUT PLANNING! Whether you plan to hang out for few hours or for a whole day, planning is essential to making sure you make the most out of the little time you can physically be with each other.
Having friends who are staying local, traveling to the next state over or even going a whole time zone away can be challenging, and commonly end friendships. However, not ALL friendships have to end! My first year of Berkeley has defied all the odds and I am ending my year with the same friends plus some new college faces. I know college can be scary and lonely, but with the right people and mutual understanding, you can make it out alive! Friendships are strong, and distance only makes them stronger!
Lead Image Credit: NBC