Far Friends

By: Rose Mannas

Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, University of San Francisco

If you want to feel better about going to school far away, let me make you feel better: All of my high school friends attend schools within 5 hours of home, and I am the only person who chose to attend a school more than 26 hours away.

There are so many hard things about leaving your high school friends and paving the way for yourself at a school where you know nobody. I want to make this post tell you that you CAN do it. Let’s talk about the hard stuff first:

• During the first few weeks of freshman year, people who go to school with high school friends will cling to each other. It may rip you apart to see your high school friends still hang out with each other during college when you are so far away and don’t have that safety.

• They can go home much more easily. I have missed so many family events due to the high costs of going home and the great lengths it takes to get there. Friends who go to school with each other can carpool and make those weekend trips home for birthdays.

• The whole experience can make you feel as if you made the wrong choice. I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I thought I made the wrong decision in choosing to attend the school I did.

These are the negatives, and they are pretty scary. Negative thoughts can dominate you or even drive you to think about transferring schools. I don’t want you to do that. With that said, here are some positives I found.

• Your friends will differently of you. Moreover, just because they hang out with their friends from high school, they do not think any less of you as a friend.

• They move on. My high school friends who go to the same college hardly hang out with each other after their freshman years of college. While they may cling to what is familiar at first, most people start making friends in their major and classes and move away from high school friendships. While they don’t always lose their friendships, they definitely aren’t as pertinent as they seemed your freshman year.

• What you are doing is truly an accomplishment. Chances are, your friends and family admire you for having the courage to try something completely new on your own. Make them proud and stick it out!

• You will make your own friends too. I came to a school where I was the only Texan I knew. I am part of a nursing society and those girls have become some of my closest friends. Of course they aren’t exactly the same as high school friends, but these friendships are stronger in some ways because my friends understand what I am going through.

The bottom line is don’t be stressed about going to school far away from friends, even if they seem to all be going to the same schools as each other. It is a step in the right direction toward adulthood to forge your own path. Don’t look back! Moving to California was one of the most difficult life choices of my life, but I definitely do not regret my decision.

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