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To All the Friends I (Not So) Secretly Miss

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Columbia Barnard chapter.

I have a confession to make: I miss my best friends. It’s a statement that many people are too afraid to make in college, due to the pressures to “begin a new life” and all those other joke statements meant to increase the anxiety of freshmen. I definitely possessed a fear of saying it out loud. There is a stigma against the girl who says that they miss someone on the first day, or the second day, or really any day. It’s seen as a sign of disrespect to the new people you surround yourself with. I’m even guilty of this. There have been many times when someone will say that they miss a friend from home, and I’ll feel this instant sensation of annoyance that my company isn’t worth enough.

The compensation period always hits people relatively early on as they try to fill the holes left by home friends with individuals who fit the archetype. Yet what I have come to learn is that there is no way to perfectly replace someone, and you shouldn’t try to.  

I am the girl who has had the same best friends since middle school. They have seen me at my worst (come on, it was middle school! Can it get any worse?), and I hope one day they will see me at my best. While there have been additions and subtractions, I have never lost that feeling of being whole that I have when I’m with them. They inspire me to be a better person, and I inspire them to watch another episode of television instead of studying.

This might be the hardest thing I have ever written. Not for the subject manner, but because this feels a lot more raw than all my other pieces. This is the core root of what makes me… me.

It made me feel extremely secure to be in a friend group as strong as ours was. We were known as the friends who had been together the longest and yet didn’t have any real problems, as there were no real fights or anything of that nature. How could Warner Bros. make a film about a friendship like that? There would be no drama, but that ease of our relationships is something that I would not trade for the world.

Being in a friend group often means that you’re never alone, which was a crutch throughout all of middle and high school. Most of the time I was not referred to as Lizzie, but rather my friends and I would be referred to as one single individual. We would make jokes about being the same person, but, thank my lucky stars, we are not. I love them with all my heart, and I know they feel the same, but the reason we work so well together is because we all contribute something that the others don’t. No one would be able to wear ugly clothing and too much makeup like I can, just as I would not be able to talk about basketball, or a comet, or even some cute guy on the 6 train.

There has yet to be a larger honor for me than to be their friend. There are very few things that could take the top position in my heart. Sometimes I just wonder how the most amazing people in the world and I could find each other and realize that we could have the realest friendship in the world, and then I look around my dorm room and feel a bit less secure.

Our photos are taped onto my wall. Sometimes they make me sad because those times are gone, other times they make me feel the warm-and-fuzzies because those times happened, but mostly they get me excited for what is to come. We are still so young and the navigation of this new stage in our friendship will be something taped on the wall years from now.

I came to college by myself, but I know they will always be there cheering me on, ugly clothes and all.

I miss them, I really do. I really freaking miss them, and I hope that they miss me too.

Elizabeth Karpen

Columbia Barnard '22

Lizzie Karpen is 2022 graduate of Barnard College, the most fuego of women’s colleges, who studied Political Science and English with a concentrations in Film and American Literature. To argue with her very unpopular opinions, send her a message at @lizziekarpen on Instagram and Twitter. To read her other work, check out Elizabethkarpen.com.