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Career > Her20s

A Girl’s Guide to Saying Goodbye

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

Goodbyes suck. I’ll be the first to say it, it’s the worst word to exist. It’s also a word that seems to be the hardest to get out. I’ve had my fair share of goodbyes in the world, some that hurt and some that didn’t. I’ve been the one receiving the goodbye and the one that had to say goodbye first. No one likes saying goodbye because, after it all, someone gets hurt. It’s not an easy word, but there are things that make saying goodbye easier.

Everyone get cozy and grab some tissues, today we’re gonna talk about saying goodbye and letting go.

If life was simple, saying goodbye would be just as easy as saying hello. Unfortunately, life isn’t like that. The first thing I want to talk about is how you know when it’s time to say goodbye. Whether it’s a platonic, romantic, or any other type of intimate relationship, the first step is knowing when to say “when.”

Knowing when enough is enough is hard. For me, the hardest part is being able to voice when I’m unhappy, but that’s just the anxiety in me speaking. In theatre, the most nerve-wracking part is taking that first step onto the stage, after that, it gets easier and easier. It’s the same thing when it comes to communication. Saying the first word is the hardest part because the floodgates begin to open. You can’t take words back, that’s why it’s so hard to get them out. So, how do we figure out when enough is enough? Well, that’s a hard question to answer. It seems that young women fall into this pattern; we figure out what our boundaries are after they’ve been crossed. In relationships, this can be anything from jokes that you don’t find funny (in a serious sense), actions that make you feel uncomfortable, or a lack of respect for your personal space. Once these boundaries have been crossed, you can feel a sadness that’s hard to comment on.

Personally, I have to have a physical representation of what I want to say. There are actually some aspects of psychology in that (again casual plug that I’m a psych major). Thoughts are driven by emotions, but emotions are constantly bouncing around in the mind. They can be irrational when they’re stuck in the mind. It’s like trying to catch one fly in a swarm and then trying to examine it. Writing things down gets the thoughts out of your head. They then become tangible things that can be pondered and possibly changed (that’s why journaling is good for mental health).

Once you get the thoughts out, they’re easier to mess around with. It becomes easier to figure out what you really want, whether it felt like a goodbye was needed but there’s a possibility to salvage things. If a goodbye is the road you want to travel down, then you have to know how doing it will be best for you.

Abigail McGhee

Winthrop '26

Hey guys! My name is Abby and I'm a freshman at Winthrop! I'm here to write about the crazy things that college students go through and how it applies to me as a psychology major!