The summer before I headed off to college, adults wished me good luck. They would nostalgically reminisce over their past, fondly recounting how they met their best friends or significant others in college. I spent the summer eagerly anticipating all the scenarios of meeting my best friend and all the things we would do together.
I met her within the first few weeks of school running down the streets of JPA. It was electric. We were constantly by each others side every day. From going to classes and visiting the dining halls together to sharing the same bed at night, we were inseparable. When I closed my eyes and envisioned ten years into the future, the one thing I felt certain that would be constant was her.
What no one warned me about was that college is the most condensed experience of growth and change. It’s a journey of constantly new beginnings. Before I knew it, we were each chasing our separate visions of our futures. Conversations focused more on the past and we were living in the what once was, unable to move forward in synchrony.
I admit, it was perhaps the hardest reality to come to terms with in college. But it made me realize that things aren’t always taken for granted, making me treasure each unique memory with old and new friends more. At first, I tried desperately to merge my current self with my past to salvage old relationships. But I’ve learned now that I cannot regress growth for the sake of the status quo.
I still attribute my friendship with former best friends as the cause for my greatest growth and rise to independence in college. Our memories together are untouchable bubbles of golden, snapshot moments where I still find comfort in them years later. But that is not to say that in the future, paths may re-align and intersect. The electricity can always be reignited.