When I left for college, I left someone behind. No, she wasn’t my significant other, but she certainly was significant to me. She was one of my best friends. We didn’t hang out all that often, but when we did, it was like we’d never been apart.
I’ve had plenty of friends throughout my life; I’m not a lonely person. I’ve had best friends who I called every day, and ones that I rarely saw but loved to catch up with. This girl was so different from all of them, though. She saw me for exactly who I was: a neurotic yet happy dreamer with my mind so far removed from my body that it was eternally somewhere else.
I left for college thinking that things would be as they always had been once I came back. They weren’t. She’s a busy person, she always had been. When I came back, we could hardly ever find time for each other. She was prepping to study at UVa the following year, always stressing and studying. I was trying to find the time to see all of my friends and family that I’d been removed from for four months.
Although we both had a lot going on, I feel almost as if it’s my fault for not finding time for her. I could’ve helped her with her homework or gone with her on errands. I could’ve found time, but I didn’t.
You see, I was still operating under the fantasy that things would be the same whenever I got around to seeing her. I kept putting her off, thinking that we would be able to pick things up again where we left off. Regrettably, throughout my entire month-long winter break, I didn’t see her once.
On the last day that we saw each other before I went to college, she gave me a present. She had recently gone on an exchange trip to Paris, the same trip I had gone on two years previously. She gave me a keychain with the four main monuments that tourists visit in Paris: the Eiffel Tower, Sacre Coeur, the Arc du Triomph, and Notre Dame.
I loved that keychain so much, even if it was possibly a little too fragile for me to carry around daily. Sadly, that didn’t stop me from doing so. Over the course of the past year, it has slowly fallen apart, not unlike our friendship.
We used to text each other often enough, just to keep up with each other’s lives. Our messages grew sparse, with only the occasional post on each other’s Facebook walls to keep us connected. I couldn’t tell you the last time I talked to her.
Yesterday, the last charm on the keychain broke off. The Eiffel tower had been standing the longest, but now it’s gone. This got me thinking about the state of disrepair our relationship is in. Should I pick up the phone and call her? Or should I do as my keychain did, and let go completely?
When you come to college, you’re going to experience changes. You’re going to grow away from the people you’ve been friends with your whole life, and that’s okay. This being said, there’s one thing I beg of anyone moving away to college; please hold on to those relationships you treasure. Don’t lose someone you truly care about. You may never know how many charms you’ve lost from your keychain until it’s too late to find them again.