I can’t tell you how many college blog posts I’ve read that talk about the breaking off of a high school friendship. Some writers argue that it was imparted by them because “people change, circumstances change, yatta yatta yatta”. Others say the separation was dealt to them for usually the same reasons. Either way, I don’t see why so many feel that after high school it is time to make such rash relationship adjustments.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that it is always healthy to maintain old friendships/relationships. Just because you have known someone a long time, does not mean that they are a true friend at all. Sometimes the younger you doesn’t even truly know what friendship is supposed to be and you find the older you, who has matured, gained self-respect, self-love, greater knowledge of self and whatever else, no longer tolerates certain friendships. This is understandable and it happens!
What I am talking about however, is the decision-making process in which you feel like you need to rashly, abruptly, or even gradually end a friendship with one person or a group of people simply because… I mean hello, College! You are moving and/or want the space to mature in whatever you choose to mature in… without your past interrupting your present. I get it… I just don’t agree with it. Here’s why:
You Never Know Where You’ll Find Yourself In Life, and Who You’ll Find Yourself Around
College is not only a big adjustment, but in a sense it is a greenhouse of personal development. You will meet an array of new people, be faced with an array of complicated and interesting situations, and be forced to make pretty important life-impacting decisions. The MOST beautiful part about college however is that you won’t be there forever… You will graduate someday (some of you will even drop out) which means you will be a wanderer on the same planet as everyone you have ever known in your life. Life is unpredictable, no matter how much you’d like to believe you have your future planned out and guaranteed, you just don’t know who you will need, who will need you, or where you will need them and vice versa.
Because Everyone in Your Life has Helped You Become Who You Are Today
Whether it is noticeable or not, those who are in your past are slightly responsible for forming the person you are today. The many bad and good experiences you have shared with your peers during those crucial high school years have given you a sense of direction and clarity that you may not have gained otherwise. That is pretty reason enough to maintain a positive relationship with those who have led you to being the you of today. No, this doesn’t mean “once a best friend, always a best friend” but it does mean that wherever the friendship is today -if you could call it one at all- it may be entitled to a certain amount of respect from both parties.
Because How Cool Is It To Visit Another City/State/Country and Know Someone Who Lives There That Has Your Back?
Look at the world we live in and all that is going on in it. It is clear to see how important community truly is to our survival as humans… both physically and emotionally. I truly do believe that in order to maintain a healthy level of community, it is important to start with those you cross paths with. Then of course there is the reason that who wouldn’t want to visit *insert place you don’t live here* and know someone who can lend a hand or even just some information should you need it (and vice versa of course)!
I hope none of this is translated to “keep long distance friendships so you can get cool perks in life” or even “never let people go” because neither of those messages are what I am promoting. Rather, I think it is important to maintain healthy distances with those who may or may not be in your life simply because each interaction we have is a chain reaction. So I believe as far as it is up to us as individuals, we need to insure that our interactions are positive ones.
What is your take on long distance friendships? Do you think they are worth having?