Advice for Awkward People
Somehow, I’ve made a lot of friends who are seniors. I really don’t know how this happened. But after this semester, there’s a huge possibility that I’m never going to see any of them again — and that terrifies me.
It wouldn’t terrify me if I was okay with keeping in touch with people after they graduate, except I’m not. And even now, sometimes I feel like I’m slipping away from my senior friends' lives because they’re all preparing for future jobs, applying to grad schools in their hometown, or just getting ready to leave Carnegie Mellon in general — and in comparison, I’m not even halfway done with my undergraduate career yet. It’s just that they’ve helped me to get me through so, so much this year, in every sense of the way, and I have no idea what school will be like in the future without them. I just really want these people to be with me for the rest of my life, because of what they’ve done for me and how they’ve helped me grow. I’m afraid I’ll end up losing them forever, because I might gradually stop texting them every day, or they’ll stop texting me and forget about me. Or, what if I forget to call them at some points, and just resort to being bad at keeping in touch and therefore sequentially lose all my friends and then go back to square one...again. Can you help?
Feeling Really Existential Since Half My Amigos Notably (Are Going Away Indefinitely Now)
Dear FRESHMAN (AGAIN),
Change is hard, but you’re not the only one experiencing it in this kind of situation. On the other side, a phase of your friends’ life is ending, and a new one is beginning. I don’t want to discredit your problems, but I want to remind you that they’re going through a lot too. Remind yourself of that in the future, when you miss them. Because, they will miss you too, possibly in the exact same moment. Text them or try to hang out online during certain times, because your presence and correspondence will bring them joy when they’re struggling. Never, ever feel like you’re bothering them or that they’re tired of you because if they’re truly your friends they will never be.
More importantly, don’t think of the future just yet. You still have eight more weeks with your best buds, and you should truly cherish all that time you have with them. Spend less time worrying about the future and embrace your present, making newer and possibly stronger memories with them than you have in the past year. Dwelling on negativity could possibly dampen all your memories with them due to the thought that they’re leaving; rather, nurture those memories so that you can go back to them when you’re going through rough times yourself. You can even express these creatively, so you have a beautiful visual reminder of these people who have changed your life.
I can’t deny that these last few weeks will be hard while you're balancing cherishing all your time with them and mentally preparing yourself for a college future without them. But, don’t put yourself in a box filled with fear and sadness. Turn it into something positive, and fill your future with excitement by the prospect of their return trips and even more exciting adventures.