Over the last few years I have made some amazing friends that I will always hold close to my heart. Men and women who I couldn’t imagine life without. Through the ups and the downs I have definitely made a family away from home. Anything that has happened in my life, good or bad, these are the people I’ve chosen to share it with and I am excited to continue to make memories with all of them. I can picture my wedding and see them there with me. I can imagine my kids playing with theirs. I can see us sitting on the front porch sipping on wine talking about life.
The catch is, most of these people I hold so close to my heart are older than me. This last weekend they threw their caps in the air and walked across that big stage. I’ve spent the last few days celebrating their achievements and reflecting on all the memories we’ve all made in this small town. I bounced from party to party wishing everyone well in their future endeavors. Some are off to travel the world, a few starting corporate jobs, and others following their passions and trying to create a place for themselves in the world. I truly believe that all of them are going to do amazing things in their lifetimes.
Instagram has been filled with pictures of decorated graduation caps, job offers and long captions about the whirlwind of emotions they are feeling. But as Monday rolled around the excitement of graduation died down, everyone packed up their finals things and departed to go start this new journey of theirs. And it hit me just how much I am going to miss all of these people next year. As they all move to new cities, make new friends and figure out what it means to be an adult, I am still here registering for classes and buying textbooks. I’m still the college kid trying to figure out what I want to do in life.
I’m trying to imagine going through my senior year without all of them. I’m trying to imagine the memories I am going to make and not having them in any of them. I wonder who I am going to call at 2am when I’m in the middle of a breakdown and can’t study anymore. I know we will still be friends but for this next year I can’t help but think things will inevitably be different. We are going to be in different stages of our lives. As much as I look forward to seeing everything they are going to accomplish, in a selfish way I don’t want them to leave me until I am graduating too.
I am nervous to see how the year plays out and to find out who my close friends will become. But my biggest fear of them all is that they’ll forget about me. I think about high school friends and how since coming to college I’ve only really kept in contact with a few of them. Going from high school to college was a new journey for all of us and we grew apart. Graduating college and starting a career is another huge transition but I don’t want us to grow apart. Though that is my fear I have a strong belief that won’t happen. The relationships I have developed in the last few years go much deeper and are much stronger than the ones I had in high school. We don’t just talk about popularity and boys. We’ve shared our dreams and life goals. We’ve shared our passions and fears. Through our friendships we’ve learned more about ourselves than we’ve ever imagined. We aren’t friends because we are in the same classes but became friends from extracurricular activities that we chose to participate in.
To the girls I played club volleyball with we became friends because of a love for the game. We became teammates and had each other’s backs both on and off the court. To the girls in my sorority, we share the values of our organization and y’all became my actual sisters. Then to my intramural crew, y’all have had the greatest impact on me. We started off as co-workers but soon found out we have the same passions, values and hobbies. We’ve all grown up so much together and I truly believe I have created lifetime friendships.
I have to remind myself that it’s just a year. In one year I will be walking across that stage and throwing my cap in the air embarking on this new journey. And I know that they will be there to give me advice and show me the ropes just as they did when I was a little freshman in college. I know that they will always pick up the phone when I am in need. When you are friends for life, one year is going to go by so quickly.
Next year is going to be different but I know it’s going to be okay.
So to all my friends who graduated this last weekend, congratulations! I’m not always good with words and so I may not have fully expressed how proud I am of every single one of you. I am your biggest cheerleader and want to be there for all your victories no matter how small but I’ll also be there if you need words of encouragement. Thankfully we have FaceTime and get ready because I am going to visit every single one of you.