The Fast Track Guide for When Your Best Friend Is Transferring

In 2015, one of the best people I met in college decided the four year, dual major and overall study headache was not the life for her. My best friend was dropping out of the University of Rhode Island.

This meant I would be weathering the last remaining semesters with a lack of tight curls bouncing by my side. I thought about if she was making the right choice for herself, how I was going to find someone to fill the silence when she was gone and how we were going to handle all the plans we had promised to follow through on. From the first time my friend mentioned she needed to change schools, I receded into myself and thought about personal issues.

1. It’s not about you. It’s about them.

As much as it hurts when a friend even mentions the thought about packing their bags and heading three notable cities, five hours driving and 348 miles away, they are mentioning it for a reason. Sometimes that reason can be mended- a friend had a bad semester and needed help buckling down in class. Overall, your friend is mentioning it because there is a greater opportunity for them that is not on the same campus and- while you both have an indescribably close connection- going to college wasn’t about meeting one person, it was about opening the Pandora’s Box of endless possibilities.

2. Positivity

Switching schools is hard work. There is opposition from all sides whether your friend should be going or not. In a few instances, your friend will be able to transfer all her credits seamlessly and make a transition into a new part of her life without hindrance. They are, however, going to run into numerous roadblocks that need to be handled sooner rather than later: transfer credit forms, dropout forms from current school and people from different areas of their life asking if she is making the “right” decision.

As a friend, you want her to stay more than anything, but you also know how much she is stressing over the entire ordeal and want her to be happy. Encouragement and a show of faith in your friend’s actions go a long way. Think less “I’m going to miss you” and more “this is incredible and you are doing amazing work."

3. Make new plans.

Long distance friendships are hard. You want yours to stand the test of time. When all the crazy has died down and the paperwork has been sent in, make plans to visit. Plans to follow through on- not just visiting plans- for concerts, events or something solid that a date can be connected to.

You are losing a friend on one campus, but gaining a chance to visit them on another.

4. Keep in contact

It takes extra effort. A little more than just commenting on an Instagram photo. People can fall off the radar when they are not in the campus-wide vicinity. Think text messages, sending over Facebook Events or videos of a group of people saying, “Hello!” just to show that she is not erased from her previous school.

Be kind and courteous. The friends in your life are making big changes and important decisions now more than ever. You want your friends to stay with you for a reason. Now it’s time to show them.