On Post-Grad Friendships

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

"I wish there was a way to know you're in the good old days before you've actually left them."

Andy Bernard said this in "The Office." I have the quote framed in my living room. I wish there was a way, too.

Now, I see my senior year in college as the "good old days," when I would see my closest friends every day. Someone would always be a two-minute walk away if I was bored. I had a group text going where the conversation never had to restart, because it never really stopped. We would hang out in an empty computer lab, goofing off until 2 in the morning singing Disney songs.

I didn't realize at the time how easy I had it. Now, living in different towns, with our own work schedules and personal lives, we're no longer able to see each other whenever we want. And even though it's been a year since I graduated, it seems like it wasn't until recently that it really started to sink in, because while I knew that of course things would be different, I guess I never realized how that in turn would make things feel different. I felt separated. Distanced. In some cases, forgotten altogether. It's not a good feeling.

I'm not perfect either, though. I forget to respond to texts, and I've pulled the "Yeah, we should definitely do that!" line without following through. But I love all of my friends so much and I hope they know that, because every day I'm doing my best to be a good friend and a good person.

I'm grateful for all of their personalities. For offering to spontaneously spend the day with me when I need to get out of my apartment. For sending me pictures or links they thought I'd like. For watching shows together, separately, and texting each other throughout. For making me laugh. For listening.

Adulthood keeps us busy. We won't always be face-to-face, and we might go days without talking, but it's important that we preserve and cherish our friendships, even in the littlest ways. Tell the people you care about that you care about them. Say good morning, say good night. Wish them luck on their interview or presentation or whatever difficulties lie ahead. Check in on them. Compliment them. Make them feel like they can conquer the world, because that's what friends are for. Do not forget them.

Sometimes it's hard for me to avoid the nostalgia of thinking about the "good old days." But chances are I'm in a whole new set of Good Old Days now, so I might as well embrace 'em before they're gone again.

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