An Open Letter to All the Friends I’ll Leave Behind


Let me preface this post with this line: I could not be any more excited to leave home in just a few months and start a new life.

All of the years of work, the countless hours spent studying, and the late nights that became long days have been in preparation for this move. 2016 is still a new year full of potential, and everyone has major changes coming up. Like me, many seniors are anxiously (and impatiently) waiting until they can leave home. Others may be finishing up their college freshman year, sophomore year, and so on, while some may be encountering a new job, a new move, a new whatever. Despite the differences in circumstances, soon enough we’ll all be on our way to a new outlook on what we call normal.

What I didn’t realize is that in starting a new life I’ll be leaving an old one behind. Soon, I’ll call a new city my home and be a visitor to Grand Rapids, a native who’s outgrown what my childhood home has to offer. But I’m excited. My anticipation has yet to peak, but thinking about being able to study something that I could do for the rest of my life is awe-inspiring. Thinking about walking down new streets and finding the best places to study and to eat is provoking my wanderlust. Thinking about all the adventures and memories I’ll make with brand new friends has me a little nervous, but mainly exhilarated.

What I didn’t realize is how much I’ll miss what I have now. I’ll miss getting those texts from my childhood best friend asking if I want to go work out. I’ll miss sitting on a bridge in the lazy Sunday morning sunshine, legs dangling over the edge, with a girl who’s more me than I am myself. I’ll miss those late nights driving just to talk and those midday ones when the music is blasting, being sung off-key and perfectly from mouths that can’t (or won’t) stop smiling.

What I really didn’t realize is that in a few months, when I’m making new memories with new best friends, that’s what all my old friends will be doing too. We’ll always be high school best friends, but that might be all we ever will be. Empty promises to meet up when we’re all back in town, polite invitations to come visit… and I guess that’s what we’ll become: visitors. We’ll visit Grand Rapids on breaks, and visit our friendship when we can. That may sound fairly dolorous, but I know my friends and I will always have our friendship. I know we won’t talk as much, see each other as much, or be there as much in general, but knowing I have these friendships as a constant in the midst of all these changes helps keep me from being in a permanent state of nostalgia. And who knows? Maybe we’ll all be put back together in a place down the road; but right now, the road is beginning to split, and soon enough we’ll all go our separate ways.