An Open Letter to My Friend Who’s Leaving to Study Abroad

To my friend going abroad,

Back to school is supposed to be an exciting time for everyone to reconnect with their friends they haven’t seen all summer. But this year, we’re doing the complete opposite – saying goodbye as you leave to study abroad for the semester. 

I knew this was going to happen for a long time. I helped you pack and move out of Iowa City. We went over your travel plans several times, from layovers to AirBnBs and everything in between. We stalked your new address extensively on Google Maps to see where you were living. You reminded me of the time difference (several times) so I would remember not to FaceTime you in the middle of the night.

And yet when it came time to say goodbye, I still cried. I suck at goodbyes, especially knowing there’s going to be a literal ocean in between us for four months. You rolled your eyes at me and told me to buck up, which made me laugh. Then the elevator door shut like a scene out of an overly-dramatic rom-com, and that was that.

Going to school without you is going to be weird to say the least. I’ll miss our weekly Cactus dates (sometimes multiple times a week), where we absolutely destroyed a large queso every time.  I’ll miss FaceTiming you every time a minor inconvenience occurs in my life. I’ll miss laughing with you until we’re literally wheezing, or you telling me for the umpteenth time to quit my whining. I’ll even miss arguing over music, or your never-ending attempts to convince me to get my nails done. From outfit feedback to serious life advice when I’m feeling overwhelmed, you’re my go-to. I’ve never seen Grey’s Anatomy, but I know enough to know you’re my “person.”

It’s hard to imagine that at one time, you were just some stranger I sat next to at work. We may not have been best friends for life, and we both have other friends outside of each other, but you know things about me that most people don’t. You’ve been my hype-woman when I’m down, my therapist when I’m an emotional mess, the kind voice of reason when overreacting.

All of this sappiness really just boils down to this: I’m so grateful to have you in my life, and I hope you have so much fun hopping all over Europe this semester. I know we’ll still FaceTime when we can (thank God for international phone plans!). I know you’ll come back with crazy stories that you’ll tell me over Cactus chips and queso just like old times. I know we’ll spend hours looking through hundreds of photos and pick up right where we left off. But until then –I miss you already, and have the time of your life!!


Your Favorite Overly Emotional Friend