This was the final journal prompt from my creative writing class today. Somehow it turned into this. It’s cheesy.
How do you say goodbye?
You don’t. You say “see you later” because even if there is no way in hell that you’re ever gonna see this person again, there’s that small inkling of hope that you will. So you give them a bear hug and a heartfelt “I’ll miss you,” and you part ways knowing your collection of tolerable people has just diminished by one.
But if they’re really important to you, and you really mean something to them, then it won’t even be a goodbye and you wont be sad because you’ll already have plans to hang out later. It’s not as hard to say goodbye to the people I’m closest to because I know they’ll always come back. It’s the people I barely know, that I’m sad to goodbye to. All of the people that you see everyday for four years, gone, just like that. I know I won’t lose my real friends, but it’s all the random people in my life that I’m sad to lose today.
You’ll lose the funny girl you only talk to in your English class, and that one kid you’re always partners with in gym because neither of you know anyone else. You’ll lose the class clown in your math class, and you’ll lose all the names in your phone that got there because of school projects. You’ll lose all the Facebook friends you see in school everyday, but have curiously never spoken to. Somehow, even though you barely know them, these are the people you’ve made the most memories with.
That’s the funny thing about high school. You spend four long years creating these relationships with people. You share your secrets and joys and your failures with these people, you trust these people, you love these people. You put so much effort into building up these relationships and in the end they get broken and torn down by nothing more than an acceptance letter. It’s evil, really.
But in the end you will always have at least that one person, that one best of all best friends that you know you’ll stay friends with no matter what. The problem is that people get busy and lazy and forget to text back. And that’s what scares me. Yes, social networking keeps us in touch, but nothing is very personal about a few favorites and retweets every once in a while. I know it may seem effortless now, but a few months down the road, you won’t be having lunch with these people every day. You won’t see them for a long time and things will get awkward for the both of you and sometimes you just won’t want to talk to them. But that’s how you know your friendship is worth it; You bother to put in the work.
Today my Astronomy teacher gave us this advice: “You will be better served trying to maintain the relationships you’ve already created rather than trying to start new ones.”
While I don’t agree with the second half of that statement, I think he’s right. You can’t just throw away something you’ve been working on for over four years.
I’ve tried the long-distance friendship thing before and it didn’t exactly work out. And even if we do somehow manage to keep in touch I’m afraid we won’t be the same people we were in high school. It’s inevitable, though. I know that a year from now I won’t be the same girl I am today, and I cant expect any different from my friends. I think I changed a lot in high school. And though it may not have been noticeable to my friends, I know they changed too. We grew as people, and we grew as friends, but the fact of the matter is that we grew together. My biggest fear is that one day we’re all going to grow apart.
I’m not saying change is bad. It’s a good thing and I hope that college changes all of us for the better next year. People aren’t meant to stay the same. But when you change together, and you see each other every day, you don’t notice these changes. But I’m scared that I’m going to change, and my friends are going to change, and when we meet again we’ll be strangers.
Moral of the story: Friendships take work and commitment and love, but that’s what makes them special. Don’t take your current relationships for granted because one day you might just look back wonder what could have been.