Over the past Christmas holidays, I managed to get lucky. How so? I managed to, by purest chance, be in the same city as 5 of my best friends from university. For you to understand just how lucky this actually is, I need to tell you where we all currently live: Vancouver, Calgary, Ottawa, Krakow (Poland) and Sydney (Australia). We met up in Burlington, Ontario; having travelled nearly 30,000km all told. To put that in perspective the circumference of the world is only 40,000km. What did we do, having travelled so far? We went bowling. It was awesome.
(Bowling ally scene Across the Universe -Image Source)
One of the best things about college/university life (and I think most people will agree with this) is being totally surrounded by your friends at all times. Most people’s social circles expand quite a bit in college, when unlike high school, you truly find yourself among peers. People interested in, and studying the same things you are. College is a highly social time of our lives. I, despite preferring an evening at home in sweats watching Netflix, found myself going out 3 and 4 times a week. Grades often suffer, but I’d argue at the valuable experience of building the friendships you will cherish for the rest of your life.
However college doesn’t last forever. When you throw your caps in the air at graduation, you can think of their scattered landing as symbolic of the scattering of your much cherished social circles. Some people will move back home (a shockingly high percentage back in with their parents, but that’s a topic for another day). Some people will pursue post graduate studies across the country, or with increasing frequency around the world. Many people will need to move to where the jobs are, some will choose to travel for a year or two.
As you enter the next big chapter of your life, you might find yourself doing so, like me, alone. To pursue grad school, I packed up my civic, moved half way across Canada, and set up in a new life, a new apartment; and set about making new friends. And without the alcohol fuelled social bedlam of college orientation/resident life/campus bar nights; it wasn’t as easy as I remembered it to be.
Of course things like skype, facebook, twitter and blogging make it much easier to maintain those long distance friendships. But they do certainly change, in ways I’m still beginning to understand. Some grow stronger, others slip away. You gain new friendships that grow to be stronger, more supportive than any you had before; you also have times where you feel very alone. And the Christmas holidays take on a new meaning, rather than travelling home mainly to be with family, you also will go well out of your way to see those friends.
How do you keep in touch with friends spread across the country? the world?