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Forget Boys: To All of the Ex-Friends I’ve Had Before (A Confessional Letter)

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

This is an article I wrote at 3 AM when I couldn’t sleep during winter break after some reflection. I started tearing up after looking at the old photos listed on my “Featured Photos” on my iPhone. Thank you so much, Apple (I’m seriously considering switching to that cool Y2K Samsung flip phone now lol). 

Anyway, back to my serious note. I learned a lot from all of my friendships, so I’m grateful for each one, even if they faded or ended.

This is not a letter to “all of the boys I’ve loved before” like the Netflix movie (even though I met the lovely leading lady, Lana Condor last year), but rather a letter to all of my old friends.

To all of the past friends I’ve had before,

I’m talking to you, my old elementary, middle, high school, and college friends. The occasional IG story liker, the international student I met freshman year, the BFF who turned into an F (friend), the friend of a friend, and the person who made every day feel like the best day.

You represent some of the most significant pieces of my life, even though you might think you’re a stranger to me now (I left it vague, but you’ll know who you are if you keep reading).

I shared 16 people that stuck out to me (I wish I could’ve listed more, but this is already a little chaotic) and started it at four years old, because I don’t have memories before that age.

4 years old: The boy who would dress up as a princess with me (he was Belle while I would be Aurora).

5 years old: The girl who took me under her wing after my kindergarten best friend moved to a different state.

6 years old: The first boy (or person in general) that made me laugh until my stomach hurt.

7 years old: The girl that I used to pretend I was an H2O mermaid with (I was Cleo, of course).

8 years old: The girl who always bought me Japanese erasers at the library.

9 years old: The boy who confronted my bully.

10 years old: The girl who taught me how to laugh at life when I was stone-cold serious before.

11 years old: The girl who helped me feel seen in a new school of strangers.

12 years old: The girl that I bonded with over pop culture and her cousin’s music (lol).

13 years old: The girl that I would beg to quiz me every lunch period to ease my TERRIBLE test anxiety.

14 years old: The boy who checked on me when I was frustrated in biology.

15 years old: The girl who made puns about every song I listened to.

16 years old: The girl who would predict fashion trends with me in the library (some are trending today; Vogue, HIRE US)!

17 years old: The boy who would hold the door for me after class and defend me to the class for making simple mistakes when I embarrassed myself by saying the wrong answer (tbh I was just lazy, but I appreciate it).

18 years old: The girl that I bonded with over our love for our pets.

19 years old: The girl who taught me to live life to the fullest.

I wish I could have included more, but . . .

The thing that stands out about everyone is that although I don’t remember everything about each person, the small gestures of kindness and bonding moments have been engraved in my brain ever since, even if we haven’t talked in a while or won’t talk ever again. A small act of kindness is not forgotten and it can make a world of difference. 

All of us drifted for different reasons. Maybe we’re in different seasons of life. Maybe our priorities changed. Just as the world rotates, life constantly changes, and this is okay.

I still cherish the memories. Shopping for project supplies, pulling all-nighters, thrifting, and taking funny pictures. The current version of myself is a mosaic of all of these memories.

What makes all of you special is that I will never forget you. You’ll always exist in my mind, (unfortunately and fortunately) in my featured photos, and my heart.

I want you to know that I’m truly proud of all the progress that you’ve made. Deep down I want each of you to know that I’m rooting for you even if we don’t communicate regularly anymore. I love and care about all of you, but people grow and move on.

Thank you for being a part of my life and letting me be a part of yours. I am eternally grateful.

XOXO, Danielle <3

After reading this letter, maybe you can write a letter of your own to let out your feelings – write it to an ex-friend, ex, family member, or anyone who impacted your life. You don’t have to send it. And you certainly don’t have to publish it, like I did. However, it can feel really good to let it out and lay it all on the table.

Danielle is a second-year from Temecula, CA. Her articles range from sharing interviews with influential figures, discussing the ups and downs of being a young woman in LA, and spreading positive energy through diverse stories! Happy reading!