To the friends I left behind in high school

Sometimes you can’t stop your friendships fading away

It’s the night after your high school graduation, you’re hugging your friends, making promises to see each other over the summer, telling each other that you hope the other has a great summer and to keep in touch. Then you go on your way to have a family dinner, or go to a party, never suspecting that one day you might never speak to them again.

As the summer goes on, you text each other less and less. Plans to see each other have to be cancelled because you’re getting ready to leave for college, or you have to go visit family, or something else just comes up. You still try to keep in contact but, it’s beginning to get tougher. Soon you leave for college, maybe you get to say one last goodbye, maybe you don’t. You make sure that you have added everyone on Facebook, so that everyone will know how everyone else is doing, just in case you lose touch, or something happens. Then you go on your way, leaving a life that you lived for years, to an exciting but also maybe frightening life ahead.

When you get to college, you make new friends, hang out with new people, still though you try to keep in contact with everyone back home, whether through texting, video messaging or just commenting on a photo posted on social media. You just want to make sure all of your friends are OK. Even then, the connection between you and your old friends is dying, and you feel like no matter how hard you try, you can’t stop it from fading away.

As winter break begins to roll around, you try to make plans with them again. You just want to catch up, see what’s going on with your old friends, how they like their new lives as independent people. As the day comes around to see them again, it’s exciting, you missed your friends so much, but only something has happened. They don’t seem like the people you left behind.

They tell you that you have changed, that there’s something different about you. At the same time, you are thinking the same thing about them. These weren’t the people you laughed or cried with. They looked the same, but something was different. They knew it too. When surrounded by people you used to know, you not only noticed the way they had changed, but how you had changed as well. The jokester now takes things a little more seriously, the nervous friend was now a little more relaxed, these were small changes, but it impacted the friendship, even if just in a small way. You left them, wondering what happened. Then you realize, you grew up.

With growing up you gain a lot of things, and you lose a lot of things too. Friends might be one of those things you lose. Sometimes you don’t want it to happen either, you will hold on to that friendship for dear life until its costing too much to hold on any longer. Life is funny like that, it will give you something, but then ask to have it back, and that’s OK. Just wait and see, sooner or later, you will have more friends to surround yourself with, and they will be just as good as the last.

UT Austin