This morning, I had to say “see you soon” (not goodbye!) to one of my closest university friends – Caitlin. She will be studying at the University of Florida for the next year during her year abroad, whilst I complete my degree here in Leicester. Caitlin is a friend I made on the first day of university, as we chatted over some tea and cake about where we came from, what we enjoyed doing, and where we were hoping to go during our year abroad. I can remember her telling me how she loved Disney, and wanted to go to Florida because 1) it is a political swing state, and 2) her family go on holiday there a lot to visit Disney World. I am super glad that she is lucky enough to be going to the exact place she has wanted to for so long!
Admittedly, I have spent a lot of time this past year (and A LOT of time this morning) crying about friends leaving for their year abroad, but I know that we are going to remain great friends, message and snapchat each other probably daily, AND we are lucky enough to have FaceTime, which has got to be the next best thing to actually being with each other! I feel particularly hard hit, as due to the nature of my course, the majority of people from my year are going to be studying abroad for the next year, and whilst not going was completely my choice, I know that I am going to have to make a really big effort to make friends with those returning from their time away and entering their fourth year. Another thing I have done to try and ensure that I make friends, is run and be elected as the President of the American Studies Society, so hopefully I will get to know and spend a lot of time with students in all of the other years.
As I joined university with plans to go abroad myself, and therefore be on a four year course, I have decided to substitute the year abroad with completing a Masters degree after my Bachelors. Whilst this means that I will have a postgraduate qualification, this also means (and is definitely not the reason why I have chosen to do it… lol) that I will be here when my friends get back from the USA. I will be able to spend another year with them socially, and I am also planning to live with Caitlin too – so finding us a house will keep me occupied and excited during this next year!
I guess what I am trying to say, is that if you have friends moving away, whether that be for a year abroad or in industry, if you have friends from older years who are graduating and heading elsewhere, or maybe if you are moving to university and are going to be distanced from your school friends – there are ways around the sadness, and true friendships will always stay exactly the same, even after being separated for long periods of time. Whilst I am sat here, still unsure of how I am going to cope for the next year, deep down I know it will be okay, and I need to make the most of what I have right now and be excited for what will be in the future. Also, I am absolutely buzzing to receive postcards from all of the amazing places that Caitlin will be visiting and to have a pen pal! This morning has been very emotional, but I think that just shows how great a friendship we have, and I know that nothing will have changed when I see her again in a year. <3