Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

To begin by being corny, my grandmother used to tell me that friendships you make from high school onwards are here to stay, and I think that she is incredibly right. It can be hard finding the people who are willing to welcome you and whom you can love and care for in return. Teenage years are a slippery ride wherein some people like to put on facades which blind them and others from the trippy side. Even as we try to be authentic, groping darkness for our most genuine self, it is so difficult. But it is also the phase when forgiveness and compassion are most called for, cementing relationships against the deals of time, distance, and human misunderstandings.

You need to stay in touch with your high school friends because alongside your family, they have an immense capacity in understanding who you are and who you are able to become in the future. I’m referring to close friends who stand by you during tough hours of course. When you are moving to a completely new setting for college, you are given the liberty of first impressions. You are meeting people who have no idea about your hometown, your culture, and ultimately the person you are presumed to have always been. You can do things that our past self was too intimidated to undertake, say things which feels foreign at your lips, and be immune from the rigidity of expectations or inclinations. But you are also prone to losing sight of your better self who’s already growing from the past and the people who help you recover are your friends, calling you out whenever you’re acting up.

It is not hard to feel alone when you are in a situation completely devoid of your family, your friends, your familiar surroundings—all the pegs which nail you down. Being in touch with people who so invariably believe in you is crucial when you are plagued with self-doubt and over-whelming adaptations pleading to be internalized. I was not aware of how much I need a support system until I am forced to function without one, or to calm my head and find it back on my own. Having a reminder from time to time that the newness of the challenge cannot undermine my strength helps to an immeasurable amount. Life is not a molehill one quickly surmounts after harping on the motivational musings, but at least I feel less weird of a human individual, for someone else can empathize with my situation, my thoughts, and my feelings.

If you seclude your inner self more than I do, you can learn so much just being an impartial set of eyes to other people. It is fascinating to observe how my friends make their decisions and narrate their stories from angles distant from mine. It puts things into better perspectives for me, especially as we are international students coming from relatively similar backgrounds but with diverse interests. There are certain problems whose full entity you can’t comprehend on your own, and for the longest time you may be acutely aware of this. You run into them again and again, managing to scrape through them in highest hopes. It takes some removal and an honest friend to break the opaque glass.

I can’t argue against the possibility that maybe at some point, we will have to let go. The fact that sometimes people grow apart is too vast for anyone to refute. But if it happens, it should be on good accounts. I don’t think I’m giving a friendship a fair chance if I simply stop responding to my friend’s messages because of schoolwork and call it quit one day. It would be more or less me losing to the world and the vertigo it essentially operates around that juggles us from time to time, from place to place, without an interval to catch our breath. I find the time to ask my friends “how yr doing?” and let them into my world even at times it seems mind-bogglingly mundane if I’m making sense. Chances are that some of them will part ways in accidents beyond our consciousness, but as they visibly leave, I can thank them for the time we spent together and tell myself we did the best we could in honor of our friendship.

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Chi Thuy Le likes to think she lives bi-continentally while writing out of Chicago.

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