I lose close friends every year. They haven’t disappeared from this earth. They’ve just sort of disappeared from my earth.
Due to distance, and the fact that people change (an upsetting but natural occurrence), I’ve lost track of many people since high school. Heck, I’ve lost track of people since college, and I’ve only been out for six weeks.
When the loss is fresh, or when you can feel the separation happening, it’s incredibly difficult. The first summer after my freshman year of college was particularly rough. Already I could tell that people whom I thought would be forever friends would be firmly stuck as “high school friends”.
Here are some examples:
- The Young Friend: I was a senior in high school when she was a freshman, and our age difference tricked me into believing she would be in high school forever. Now, she’s at college and making new friends, growing into herself, and taking on more responsibility. This equates to less time spent with me.
- Friends from Clubs (the school kind, not the drinking kind): When I hang out with people in the comfort of an isolated atmosphere, and don’t see them outside of it, do I really know them? I’ve mostly found that we have little to talk about other than the club we were in.
- The Really Long Distance Relationship: This one is the worst. My best friend throughout middle and high school lives on the other side of the country. I’m still not comfortable with this fact. 3,000 miles away, three hour time difference, and three times I’ve seen her in four years.
And some more for whom I don’t have personal anecdotes:
- The Couple that only hangs out with each other.
- The Adult Friend who has their life together with a 40-hour work week and is too busy for you.
- The Friend You’ve Known the Longest, there’s not much to talk about except “old times”.
It seems bleak, but it isn’t all that bad. I sometimes forget that I’ve grown as well. If I had to give myself a label it’d be The Friend That Is Bad At Texting.
But, if you’re looking for a silver lining, there is one. I still see these friends from time to time. I still have fun with them when we do hang out. So even if I go four months without speaking to these people, I still consider them my pals. Is this normal?
To quote my favorite high school band, blink-182 (whom I have also lost touch with), “I guess this is growing up.”
Arlie Johansen graduated with a BA in English from SUNY New Paltz, which has lead to her current career: working in retail. On a normal day you can find her lurking around on job posting sites, re-watching The Office, and trying to make a good cup of coffee. Check out her website, www.arliejohansen.com, to see more of her writing.