Throughout your college career, you will encounter people that will help you in your transition to adulthood. These are the people you will basically spend your entire daily life with; they’re the ones you call when you got that job interview, they’re a shoulder to lean on when you get dumped. They’ll support you at your best and at your worst. They’re your friends, and they act as your crutch while you’re at college.
Something that not a lot of people want to think about is what happens after college. While you’re excited that you’re graduating and leaving college, it might be a little bittersweet. Navigating the adult world is hard, and what are you going to do now that you and all your friends are going your separate ways?
Recently, my best friend got a job as a flight attendant. The job is absolutely perfect for her. She’s always wanted to travel, and now she’s essentially getting paid to pursue one of her passions. However, her job requires her to live at a base site that’s very, very far from our hometown of good ol’ Cleveland, Ohio. While I’m happy for her and her new dream job, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified of not knowing when I would see her next. This is someone who saw me at my ‘awkward freshman in high school’ phase and still voluntarily chooses to associate with me. You can’t just let someone like that out of your life.
So my friend and I made a plan. Once a year, we would take a trip together someplace exciting, just a couple of 20-somethings living the dream. We would go to a concert or have a spa day. Maybe even go on a road trip. We would make up for lost time and catch up on our lives.
While our plan may or may not actually happen, it’s comforting to think that there’s this shred of hope that I will see her again. No matter how hectic our lives will get, we can still make time for each other. This is what I think we have to keep in mind as our friends graduate and leave college.
My friend Sarah (who was a contributor for Edge when she attended Gannon University!) is currently living in New York City and going to grad school. Even though I haven’t seen her in almost a year, we still have a solid friendship. This is largely due to our presences on social media. We tweet at each other constantly, post things on each other’s’ Facebook walls and keep up with each other’s blogs. She’s still a part of my life and I consider her a dear friend. She even mailed me a care package with an album I’ve been lusting over for a while!
Just because someone is physically no longer with you doesn’t mean they’re gone. With a long distance friendship, you get what you put in; it’s all about a mutual effort to stay in each other’s lives. In today’s age of social media, you can still keep up with your friend’s daily tribulations. Or, you can plan semi-annual visits. Also, never forget the therapeutic value of a phone call from your best friend.