By Amanda Vining, Regular ContributorAugust 21, 2015
With summer ending and the new school year about to commence, August is a time of transition and new beginnings. Two of my best friends recently moved out-of-state to begin graduate school: one at Yale Law in Connecticut and the other at Duke University in North Carolina.
I am so happy and proud of my friends for pursuing such prestigious higher educations, but it’s hard to see friends move away.
I felt extremely lucky after I graduated from college in 2014, because many of my closest friends stayed in Austin to pursue careers or graduate study. I didn’t go through the harsh transition of having my best friends move away as soon as we walked the stage at graduation. My friends and I were privileged to have an extra year of seeing one another on an almost daily basis, hanging out at our favorite spots around town, and always having someone with whom to devour a gallon of ice cream when one of us had a bad day. With the new school year about to begin and my friends starting school in other states, I’m beginning to feel the loss of not having my friends in close proximity.
The end of a chapter can be a bittersweet thing.
Especially with graduation from high school and college, when everyone moves in a different direction, the conclusion of a chapter and the beginning of a new one is both exciting and sad. It can be lonely when you find your social group and support system scattered across the world.
image via etsy.com
It’s a wonderful thing having social media to provide us an unprecedented opportunity to stay in touch. I have spoken to my friends every day since they moved away. But no matter how many Facebook chats or Skype calls we share, it’s just not the same as meeting for dinner every week or having a spontaneous sleepover after staying up all night chatting and binge watching a CSI marathon.
With my friends and I living geographically apart, I am challenging myself to strengthen other relationships I have. It requires a lot of bravery and persistence to put yourself out there and create new friendships. Thankfully, I have my local I AM THAT GIRL chapter for support. Through the chapter, I have met incredible women with remarkable stories whom I admire. I have also taken up a new hobby in Circling, a form of group meditation and self-exploration, through which I’ve met several new friends. With these two social groups, I have many opportunities to build new friendships.
The adjustment period between having friends move away and building a new support system can be awkward and nerve wracking, but I trust that, like all transitions in life, there are amazing new relationships waiting for me in the future.
I wish that I could say that it’s easy when friends move away to other parts of the globe, but I know that my best friends are pursuing their dreams and I couldn’t be happier for them. I love my friends, and I would never want anything less for them than the realization of their dreams. As for me, this is an opportunity to put more time into my other friendships, like the relationships I’ve formed through my IATG chapter. New beginnings come with endless possibilities, and I am excited to meet new people, learn their stories, and build authentic friendships. I am also excited to follow the adventures of my friends who have recently moved away, and I know that we will stay in touch and together achieve our dreams, even if we’re in different time zones.
Have you ever had a close friend move away? How did you handle the change? Tell us below!
Amanda lives in Austin, Texas, where she strives every day to be as BRAVE and BeautyFULL as she can be. She graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a self-designed degree in Children’s Rights, and Duke University with a certificate in Nonprofit Management. In her spare time, Amanda can be found scouring Pinterest for her latest craft project, drinking coconut mochas in her favorite coffee shop, and creating content for the sexual violence prevention organization and blog, Talk About Rape (www.talkaboutrape.com.)
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