There are countless warnings about leaving parents, siblings and pets when students leave for college. There is preparation to leave the town you grew up in, a job, life as it was once known. It’s all hard, yet the part that still continues to hit like a truck is parting ways with your very best friends.
First off, I definitely had an uncommon situation. My friends and I were inseparable. Everything we did was a group activity, and every day was an adventure. Then, the three of us went to separate colleges. I’m currently eight weeks into my second semester, and we knew going into this that collectively we would be all right. Long distance friendships always prevail if they are meant to. With such a mutual reality, the situation is possible, but it does not make it any less difficult.
A 2018 study conducted by Cigna and Ipsos using the UCLA loneliness scale reveals that “Generation Z (adults ages 18-22) is the loneliest generation and claims to be in worse health than older generations.” Without technology’s capability to give me contact to my best friends, that loneliness would, without a doubt, be intensified. Our friendship gives me strength, comfort and hope. Long distance friendships provide a continued connection, persevering in bond.
It is important to recognize that every friendship situation is different, and I believe that our situation happens to be the luckiest. An article from Elite Daily speaks on long distance friendships, sharing that “Even though your best friend is 3,000 miles away, you can still foster a connection and share a love for one another. Distance isn’t an obstacle if you don’t allow it to be.”
With that, we make a consistent effort to not make distance an obstacle. We are lucky in the sense that our families make countless efforts right along with us, aiding us in unconditional support and love. We constantly update each other on little and big things, talk on the phone, plan different ways to see each other and know in our hearts that nothing really has to change if we do not give it the power to. Separating for four years of our lives is a reality that I so badly wish we did not have to face, yet the beauty within our unbreakable bond provides the strength to make the situation possible.
There are many different ways to continue friendships despite distance. My best friends and I make the effort, often unconsciously, and continue to remain the same despite nostalgic difficulties. Long distance friendships invariably triumph if they are meant to, provide continuous comfort and are difficult but not unmanageable, especially if you get as lucky as I am. So, to my best friends: I know, you know, we know, and we’ve got this.
Lauren Patterson is a freshman studying journalism. Please note that the views and ideas of columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk to Lauren? Tweet her @lpaatt.