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Forever Friendship: How I’ve Maintained My LDR With My BFF

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

With graduation right around the corner and friends already making post-grad plans, it’s felt overwhelming to begin to visualize a future without my best friends around me 24/7. Throughout these past two years at UMass, I’ve developed lifelong friendships with people I never would’ve imagined meeting.

And while I am anxious that I might lose touch with some of my closest friends as we all move on to this next phase of our lives, I find myself confident in my ability to stay connected despite the physical and emotional distance we’re sure to experience come June.

My best friend, Fotini, and I have been inseparable ever since I met her by the lockers at Charlotte Prep middle school. As part of a grade of under 30 kids, Fotini and I became incredibly close incredibly fast. As a new student, the kindness and generosity she radiated were enough to tell me that she was someone I could trust and confide in. Not to mention, we had the best times doing the most mundane of things like watching Gossip Girl and eating Goldfish on her couch.

After eighth grade graduation, however, my parents told me we were up and moving to a suburb of Boston. The news not only was devastating to me, but was terrifying for Fotini as well. We had a bond like no other and had no idea how we were going to get through high school without each other.

We quickly learned that we had nothing to worry about.

What has made me and Fotini able to maintain our strong friendship over the past nine years has been our constant willingness to be honest with each other. In long-distance friendships, and relationships, it can be easy to become distracted by what’s going on in your current environment. Throughout high school, Fotini and I were both busy with different activities like sports, theatre, and making new friends in new schools.

Fotini and I used this unique opportunity as a bonding moment, instead of one that would push us further away from each other. Being able to confide in one another as we entered new schools without each other was something that I think both of us will always be grateful for. The same is true when we moved to different colleges. Instead of viewing our physical separation from each other as something that would hurt our friendship, we turned it into something positive.

And this isn’t to say that Fotini and I were constantly on the same schedule and were able to FaceTime all day every day, but our willingness to prioritize our friendship shines as bright as ever, even to this day.

Another factor that has contributed to our ability to stay close is the mentality of not taking things personally. At first, when we both moved onto our freshman years in high school without each other, there was some jealousy concerning the new friends both of us were making. Both of us realized that we needed to take a step back and remember that just because new people are being added to our lives, it doesn’t take away from the ones who were in it before. The same also applies to having differences in schedules. Taking such things personally just gets in the way of actually finding a time to chat and catch each other up. Throughout the years, we’ve discovered that even a five-minute phone call is better than nothing at all.

Don’t get me wrong, maintaining the closeness that Fotini and I still have to this day hasn’t been easy. But when you have a friend like her, there’s no doubt you’ll want to put in the hard work to keep her by your side throughout the years.

Reflecting on Fotini and my’s friendship has reminded me that staying in touch and remaining close to my friends post-grad isn’t impossible. If anything, I feel more encouraged than ever to make these friendships last a lifetime. My friends mean everything to me, and I couldn’t possibly imagine letting something as trivial as distance get in the way of our connections.

Fo, you’re a friend like no other and I can’t wait to see where life takes our friendship. Thank you for your constant support and love throughout the years.

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Kiley Smyth

U Mass Amherst '23

Kiley is a Senior at UMass Amherst studying Journalism with a concentration in Public Relations. She is also pursuing a certificate in Film Studies!