Best friends: the closest family you can have without being blood related. You tell each other everything, can always count on them to cheer you up, even on your darkest days, and you love each other unconditionally. One of the most painstakingly difficult things that we must go through when leaving for college is departing from our beloved BFFs. Here are the ten stages of BFF withdrawal students tend to go through when leaving home for college.
1. Constant Contact
As you and your best friends say your final goodbyes, you remind each other that it’s the age of technology. With FaceTime, Skype, group chats and more, it’s easier than ever to keep in touch! Everyday, you send each other mushy texts in the group chat saying, “Have a good day!” or “Love you guys! Miss you lots!” to make sure your friends know that you haven’t forgotten about them just yet.
2. Realization & Panic Mode
Everything is going swimmingly: you and your friends have been texting everyday, you haven’t missed a single phone call yet, and FaceTime dates are a huge hit. But suddenly, out of nowhere, you wake up one morning and it hits you: you’ve been separated from your best friends. FaceTime isn’t real, and it isn’t enough. You miss the hugs, the group cuddles, eating crappy food and watching Netflix all night long with your besties. You remember that you’re away at college, all alone, with no one to snuggle and talk drama with. Tears rain down your face, and suddenly no one is picking up the phone. All you can think to yourself is, “I MISS MY FRIENDS, I NEED MY FRIENDS, WHY DID I DO THIS, HOW WILL I GO ON?”
3. Reality Check
After days of extreme depression and agony comes the acceptance stage. The truth sinks in: you and your friends have all gone down different paths for a variety of different reasons and it’s time to accept that. Sure, distance sucks and it’s very okay to be sad about being away from your pals, but throwing tantrums and crying about it won’t bring them any closer. Time to move on, stay positive, and believe that your friendships can survive this difficult chapter of your life.
4. Drifting Away
As time goes by, friends begin to drift apart. The group chat is no longer hopping with funny GIFs and sappy text messages. Skype isn’t even an option anymore and FaceTime dates go from a daily basis to a weekly one. “Where is everyone? I sent this text over an hour ago and no one has replied yet, not even an emoji,” you may say to yourself. You begin to worry, anxiety taking over your brain, making you believe the worst scenarios possible.
5. AM I LOSING MY BEST FRIENDS?
More panic comes as you think to yourself: have I just lost my best friends? Are they having fun without me? Making new, better, funnier, smarter friends? No one has time for video chats and you aren’t even sure what’s going on in their lives anymore. You feel like you’re going insane, and you want to turn to your BFFs for comfort, but you don’t, in fear that you’ll come off as needy or annoying. All you can do is look back on your old Instagram photos and relish in the memories you and your besties made before leaving for college.
Then you spot one of your besties on social media posing with other people. It’s as if you’re a jealous girlfriend and you see your significant other cozied up to some other girl. Your heart burns with jealousy and it’s hard to even like the picture without also throwing some shade in the comment section. But then you remember: you don’t own this person, and there’s no reason why your best friends can’t hang out with other people. After all, part of the reason you decided to leave home for college was to meet new people and create new friendships. You should be happy for them, happy that they aren’t alone anymore and they’ve got people nearby that they can count on when you can’t physically be there.
7. New Friends
After being inspired by your other BFFs to make new pals, you then venture out into the terrifying social world in hopes to connect with someone, anyone. It’s certainly not easy talking to strangers, let alone trying to befriend them. There’s always the fear of judgement, whether or not they’ll understand you, and if you’ll have anything in common. Eventually, you find a group of people that you enjoy spending time with. You all get along and share laughs, which is definitely something everyone needs in order to stay sane in college.
8. BFF Reminder
Your new friends are awesome – they’re hilarious and fun to be around – but it’s definitely not the same. You have this gaping hole in your heart that only your best friends can fill. Then one day, out of the blue, you see something online or hear a song in public that reminds you of your besties, whether that be a hilarious meme or some sort of song that you all used to jam to in the car. Either way, you feel the need to report it to the group chat, as if it’s a civic duty in the world of friendship. Everyone goes bananas for it, sending a parade of LOLs and laughing emojis through texts.
9. COMPLETE RELIEF
THE GROUP CHAT HAS BEEN REVIVED! You and your friends reminisce, catch up on the latest gossip and updating one another on everything going on in each other’s lives. Your heart is enveloped by a warm and fuzzy feeling, and all the doubts and fears you previously had melt away. You and your BFFs are fine, great even, and there’s nothing, not time, distance or other people, that could tear you guys apart.
10. Realization Part II: Friends Forever
You realize that every crazy thought you had, every tear that was shed, every bit of anxiety you felt over losing your friends was all for nothing. You never lost your friends, and you never will because you guys have a bond that can never be broken. As long as you put forth effort, compassion and love, there’s no way you’ll lose your friends while in college. True friends will make sure of that.