Each friendship is different. Each personal relationship itself is different.
I recently finished my Bachelor’s degree and I was suddenly faced up with the task of having to say goodbye to a large group of people after four long years together. Needless to say I was woefully incompetent at it and made an absolute mess of myself. The sheer scale of it is daunting enough. This is not just those whom you are close to but the ones whom you shared a smile with on the way back from class or when brushing your teeth in the morning. In fact those are the ones that I miss now because I genuinely do think that that might have been the last smile we shared.
But leave we did. It was hard but one really has no choice in the matter.
And we moved on back home. Back to our old haunts and our old school friends. And one thing really stuck out for me. I think schools have a much bigger impact on us than we can really appreciate. The friendships we forged at school were born from years of habit and practice in an environment when we were all growing up together and slowly being shaped. It was our first taste of a place not called home and gradually we became more and more comfortable in it. And because of that we are so comfortable with them and whenever we meet up, it’s just like another day back at school. Perhaps as kids you pick up things and learn about each other in a way that, no matter how far apart you are or for however long, whenever you meet again you’re back in that comfortably familiar zone.
With college things are different. There’s so many things happening at once and you spend so much time together that you become really really close. But there’s so much difference in everyone’s mindsets and ideas and goals. You learn to be accepting of everyone, you learn that though you may be different from one another you can coexist and become virtually codependent on each other. And that’s a beautiful thing. When you’re away from home for the first time, that smile on the way to the water cooler might be the one that makes your day. Maybe not having your parents nearby makes you depend more on your friends and thus making all the more difficult to say goodbye. Even to those small things.
The underlying trust and camaraderie you share may be the same, at the end of the day you are still friends, but what you look for in a friend can change at any given time. I read that a unique version of you exists in the mind of all those who know you probably because the not just who you are but where you were in your life, your priorities, mindsets and even your geographical location at the start of your friendship shapes how your personal relationship would go.
While the nature of the relationships themselves are different, maybe that’s because each one helps you grow into the person you are tomorrow and the blossoming of new friendships gets nudged a little towards the changing sunlight each time. With so many variables at play it’s little wonder how each sapling turns out so different innit?
Here’s hoping they grow on and flower forever 🙂