It’s so strange to me. I log onto one of my many social media accounts, and there you all are, living your lives, ones that I only see through pictures and posts now. I remember meeting you—all of you—for the first time. What my initial impression was, the moments we started to get to know each other, how our group grew, and how for the first time in my life I felt included.
I met some of you before high school even began; some of you I’m lucky enough to still call friends. The age of social media keeps us connected even if only through likes, comments, friend requests, and post sharing. I’ve seen you experience four more years of school, I’ve seen you make new friends, I’ve seen you fall in and out of love, and I’ve seen your dreams come true. I walked across that stage at my high school graduation with some of you, and four years later I watched you graduate and find yourself via your Facebook status. Although that thought may come across depressingly modern, I’m grateful for the social world in which we live.
We may not be a part of each other’s lives anymore, but at one point we were. At one point I imagined attending your weddings, causing a ruckus in the old folks home together, and spending our adult lives side by side. But life happens. Unfortunately for us, life happened rather quickly. We went our separate ways in our sophomore year of high school. Our school closed and we all transferred. Some of us stuck together, others branched out; some we just fell out of touch with. Then all of a sudden, we found ourselves holding onto our diploma and entering our college years.
High school friendships don’t always last beyond high school. College introduces us to a whole new world. A new way of thinking, a new, diverse set of people and an environment we weren’t entirely used to. Before we know it, we’ve graduated and jumped right back into the classroom to earn our Master’s or we’ve leaped into the giant ocean of the unknown. While all of this mega change is happening in each of our lives, we transform and grow, and the people who were once by our side become strangers. We grow apart or we merely lose touch, but it doesn’t mean the relationship that once existed wasn’t good. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t what we needed when we had it. It doesn’t mean those friendships and those memories lose their credibility.
We meet the people we do at certain points in our lives for a reason. Our friendships had their ups and downs. There was drama, there were fights, but there were also sleepovers and concerts and jokes that made us laugh so hard we were on the verge of peeing our pants. There were balloons on birthdays and random parties because we wanted a reason to eat in class. There were countless tagged pictures and posts, and there were tears when we realized our time all together in one place was coming to a close sooner than any of us expected.
I wanted to take this moment to thank you. Thank you for being my people when I needed you to be. Thank you for giving me a place where I felt safe, a place where I could learn about myself and the meaning of friendship. Despite the fact that our minimal communication is through the internet, I appreciate the fact that I can still check in on you. I can still congratulate you when you land the job of your dreams. I can still smile when you post pictures of your life now, even if I’m no longer there experiencing it with you. Know that no matter where you ended up, I’m still cheering you on.