While I wish I could say my friends have been pretty consistent since I was in diapers, I can’t. Throughout my life, most of the people I’ve been closest to have fluctuated, though there are a couple who have been there since the single-digit ages. My hometown friends are mainly people I got close to right before going away to college.
Of my seven or so hometown friends, one is the girl who’s been my best friend since 2005, one is the girl I bullied the first time I met her at age 4, three are girls I got close to in high school and two of them are my ride-or-die boys. When you go away to college, one of the biggest fears you may have is that you’ll lose touch with the people from back home. Though that may be true for some, there are the ones who regardless of how long you’ve been away, you still see them every time you go home.
And while your more recent memories may be with your college friends — the ones you made or got closer to in those best four years of your life — there’s no denying your hometown friends will always have a special place in your heart.
That’s not to say that your friendships with these lovely people won’t change a bit while you’re in different cities. You’ll go one way, and they’ll go another, but that doesn’t mean they won’t always be there – nor does it mean that they won’t be some of the ones alongside you on your wedding day.
Besides unconditional love, here are some of the things that keep you all as close as you are.
Despite everything that’s gone down between all of you, being hundreds of miles away, and those dark awkward years, your hometown friends are the OGs. When it came to family troubles or those f—boys who tore your hearts out just ‘cause, you’ve been side by side for it all. Every heartbreak. Every heart-mending. Every dark time. Every overly emotional reaction to Grey’s Anatomy (George didn’t have to die, okay?!). Every time your parents just didn’t get it. The bond you’ve formed over the years, whether it’s been 5 years or 18, is unbreakable.
Whether you like to admit it or not (because clearly Pretty Little Liars didn’t teach us anything), secrets keep you close. Remember that one time she hooked up with that one dude? Ah, good times. Or that one time you had a party when your friends’ parents were out of town (and may or may not have snuck into their liquor cabinet)? They don’t judge, so it’s easy to confide in your hometown friends about stalking your new crush’s exes (and him too, I guess) or that time you went three weeks without shaving anything and looked like a 40-year-old man.
Whether it be coming over in sweats or even full-on pajamas (because why the hell not), or talking to their parents as if they’re your own, your comfort level with your hometown friends is unparalleled. They’re comfortable enough with you to tell you that you look silly or to openly say when you’re being mistreated by another friend or SO, even if you don’t want to hear it.
Every time you’re all in the same city and have enough time, you try to get together for a girls’ night with cookie dough, movies and, of course, wine. Sometimes you get so caught up filling each other in on your lives, you even forgo the movie and just sit around the dinner table, talking and sipping. Those little traditions keep you guys close. Even if it’s just getting ice cream for a hot minute or going to the local diner – I mean it works for Betty, Veronica, Archie and Jughead, why not you guys too? – just getting together as often as you can helps maintain that bond.
5. We’re family
“Friends are the family you get to choose.” You chose each other.
So, if you’re going away to college, and you’re worried you and your hometown friends won’t make it, don’t. There are too many things keeping you tied to each other and connected to not stay close. You’ll make it work.