Going to college is perhaps the best and worst thing that has ever happened to me. In the best category are a few obvious things: getting to meet new people, exploring parts of the country you never would have suspected, studying things you genuinely enjoy, and finally, experiencing your first flirtations with independence and decisiveness. But sometimes all of the change and new experience can make one uncomfortable, and the discomfort can quickly outweigh the excitement. In these moments, I find myself longing for the familiar. I long for my bed at home, my hometown friend group, the familiar risers of my high school choir room, and of course, my family (including my dog a.k.a. the best dog I’ve ever met in my entire life, please don’t fight me on this one).
As someone who simultaneously longs for adventure and comfort, I anxiously await the moments where I feel as if my two worlds, college and home, are melding together. This beautiful reality was achieved this weekend when one of my best friends from home flew into Boston from Philadelphia. She brought a piece of home with her and simultaneously a desire for adventure. The funny thing is, I’ve been going to school here in Boston for a bit over a year, but the city seemed entirely new to me with my hometown pal by my side. We enjoyed some of the classic Boston perks, the Public Gardens, window shopping down Newbury Street, loaded nachos from Sunset Cantina, and a stroll down the oh-so-beautiful Bay State Road, filled with an eclectic mix of university dwellings and frat houses. We enjoyed the daily grind, a packed schedule that consisted of classes, work, various responsibilities at the college radio station, and the occasional a cappella rehearsal. And lastly, we enjoyed the social, completing service projects with my sorority, a cappella mixers, delicious food, shopping, and the simple but oh-so-perfect night in with roommates. It was a perfect weekend and the only thing that could have made it better was if my friend extended her trip a couple more days (or weeks?!).
Through my in-depth analysis of this joyous weekend, I’ve come to the conclusion that the beauty of the long-distance friend is twofold:
Distance makes the heart grow fonder — We are lucky to live in a day and age where technology allows us to keep in touch with our long-distance buds with ease. Between Facebook posts, Skype sessions, and the occasional Snapchat, it almost feels as if we are a part of each others lives even when we aren’t. Yet, no matter how much we try to keep in touch, there is still a feeling of distance; a feeling of separation. But this separation makes the reunions all the more special, bringing me to my next point…
REUNITED AND IT FEELS SO GOOD — Getting together with your long-distance friends is magical…there’s no other way to describe it! And the best part is, when friends reunite, they typically pick up right where they left off. They add a bit of familiar magic to your new everyday life, making the new and uncomfortable easier to handle.
My long-distance friend is likely working on her next graphic design project in her apartment at the University of Pennsylvania while I lie in my bed at Boston University writing this article. While I am sad to see her go, I’m so thankful she came and visited me, because here’s the really remarkable thing about long-distance friends: they actually help you increase your appreciation for and fascination with your new day-to-day life. And with this newfound appreciation, we become less nostalgic for an earlier time, allowing us to live presently.
Soon, I’ll be searching for cheap flights from Boston to Philly so we can do it all again. Or maybe I’ll go to Chicago so I can see my family and sit at our dining room table for dinner. Or maybe Florida, so I can hang out with my co-counselor from sleep-away camp and we can stuff our faces with processed foods in our pajamas. Or maybe Iowa, Missouri, or any of the other places my pals are living these days. But until then, I’ll be going about my new day-to-day life, working, studying, creating, and of course, thinking of my long-distance friends quite often.