Recently a friend told me a little anecdote which I really agreed with, and helped inspire this post on something I’ve been meaning to write about for a while. The story went (if I remember it correctly) that there are three types of friends in life:
1. Those that you are friends with due to a situation. You’ll be friends with them within the situation but the friendship doesn’t span outside of this.
2. Friends that you make within a situation and the friendship lasts around three years.
3. Friends you have for life.
I guess when I moved away to university I was naïve about the fact I genuinely wouldn’t see some people again, I was probably too caught up in the excitement of change to realise it at the time. However, moving to university has made me really appreciate those friends who you are genuinely close to and know will always be around, whether or not you talk every day. It seems sad to lose friends in the number 2 category, but as you grow up I guess you realise everybody changes and people lead very different lives; add your own cliché here about ‘living for the moment’ ha!
I’ve always been a firm believer that distance shouldn’t ruin a true friendship and university has certainly tested this theory! In a way it sorts the friends in the second category to the ones in the third. I’ve touched upon friends from home already, but it’s great when you don’t have to necessarily talk every day, but you know when you need them they’ll be there and when you do see each other it’s the same as it always was. There’s something amazing you can’t lose when you can look back at your ‘ugly phase’ and laugh together!
There’s also something amazing you can’t lose with your friends at uni, in a totally different way, you somehow end up becoming each other’s second family; particularly those who you live with. Or you may just become their carer, as with me and AJP:
I was blissfully unaware that at the end of second year these rocks in my life would be ripped away. The demon of the dreaded placement year or study abroad or whatever other name you would like to call it. Many of my friends were now set to be flying off to various parts of the world, leaving the rest of us back here to continue to cry at how frigging depressing uni (and third year) is. The end of summer felt like one long emotional goodbye. In particular, my non-boyfriend whom I’ve mentioned before, AJP, was leaving for America. I’m not even ashamed to admit that on his official leaving night we both cried, no sorry bawled, in a club when I had to leave. Hilariously, we were actually going to see each other again the next day. Obviously I was just so sad that I was losing the best cockblock I’ve ever had? Upon the actual departing of AJP, we decided the best way to go was a chest bump in the middle of Liverpool Street Station.
Considering how big a part of my life AJP is, I was slightly scared of what London would hold for me without him. There have obviously been times when I’ve missed him a lot, but at the same time it’s made me appreciate the lols when we do speak. It’s that great time where you don’t have to put up with his smelly socks everyday but you still get to share many a lol. The internet is a wonderful thing, and Skype, Whatsapp, Facebook and obviously Snapchat have all been amazing to stay in touch with everyone. I am also a fan of good old snail mail and send out postcards when I actually remember to pass a postbox. My flatmate said that this sounded like a ‘Dear John…’ idea, but it is definitely less romantic than she was imagining, considering some of the funny postcards I’ve sent, the meaning of the lovely sentiments on them have had to be explained to the Americans! When I turned up to a pastoral type tutorial the other day, my tutor hilariously bluntly asked me ‘How are you coping without your other half?’. I’ve said this to lots of people who ask if I miss AJP, I feel like he’s still here but without actually seeing him.
Obviously life is different in London without AJP around, but it definitely isn’t all bad. I’m not crying in a cave all day, every day. I need to put a shout out in here to everyone at uni who make the times I do actually turn up to the depressing hell hole (yeah, I’m loving uni right now) actually bearable, my lovely flatmate and, of course, I don’t know where I’d be without my main galdem, who get me through life with some hilarious snapchats!
To round off this rambling post, if you have long distance friends of any kind, then I guess my thoughts are that it makes you appreciate the time you have with them more, look how happy I am on Skype ha! On an even brighter note, think of all the amazing holidays where you don’t have to pay for a hotel!
Thoughtful SJW, over and out x