Starting college can be a big transition. You’re moving to a new place, starting a new school and classes, and faced with making new friends in an unfamiliar environment. And, of course, there’s that whole “becoming an adult” thing. But, you’re also leaving a lot behind. Every new beginning means that an old chapter must come to an end. Leaving behind our friends at home may seem difficult, especially if they’re going to be a long distance away from you during the school year. Something I made sure to do was to spend a lot of time with them during the summer after high school. Of course, going to college doesn’t mean you’ll never see your friends again, or that you will no longer be friends with them. Good friendships will last if you put effort into them. It may seem hard initially. Coming into Caltech, it’s a sharp adjustment and many are caught up in the excitement of Orientation, Rotation, and starting classes. It may be hard to remember to check your phone frequently and to make time for phone calls and such. Rest assured that if you have other friends going to college, they’re probably going to go through similar things you will. In this transition period, it can feel like you’re going to immediately lose touch with people that mean a lot to you.
So, you’re at Caltech, classes have started, and you feel comfortable in your new routine. How exactly do you keep in touch with friends from home? Typically the best way is to continue using what you have been using originally. Whether it be a groupchat, discord server, or even just communicating individually, whatever has been used in the past is the best way to go. Personally, my high school friends and I have a discord server we’ve used for years now.
Discord is great if you want to use your computer for gaming with your friends, but honestly anything works. Doing activities like gaming with your friends allows you to do fun things together over long distances. I also recommend watching movies/videos and giving virtual room tours.
While Discord and other kinds of social media are all well and good, at the end of the day, nothing can replace meeting up with friends in person. Going back home when school is out of session is a great way to make sure your friendships stay alive while growing with people you’ve been close to for years. This coming year, I’ll be going home for the winter break and over the summer for at least one month. Things like this are what keep your relationship alive. Relationships need time, attention, and effort to be fully taken care of. If you have those things, you’ll be just fine.
Sometimes, things don’t work out. Not everyone is meant to be in our lives forever. Not everyone you’re friends with now is going to be a friend for life. And that’s alright! Characters will come and go in your story, but the pages will keep on being written. Trying our best is often all we can do. Friends come and go, the important thing is to do your best and keep on making more.