Keep Your Friends Close

Contrary to what that very leading title may have you assuming, this post has nothing to do with enemies (that mention doesn’t count). Don’t feel bad if you made that assumption though, it’s my fault for using half a cliché.

I am, however, going to talk about friends. Primarily, the fact that I have this knee-jerk reaction to find it fundamentally weird that my twenty-something peers (read: Facebook friends) are still friends with the people they were friends with in high school (side note: I love that colloquial language is acceptable in non-academic writing, meaning that I didn’t have to think of a more intelligent way of saying “knee-jerk reaction”).

Allow me to explain myself:

I think we can all admit to being “Facebook stalkers” (or “creepers,” or “lurkers,” depending on your preferred slang) from time to time. If you tell me that you’re not, I simply don’t believe you (certain middle-aged parents or senior citizens may be exempt). I’m not entirely sure why, but lately the prey of my late-night Facebook stalking has been the people I went to high school with. 99% of whom I have not seen or spoken to in 5 years (granted there is a geographical factor here, but I’ll get to that soon). And while I wander from profile to profile I realize that many of these people have retained the exact same best friend, or friend group, they had in high school.

The number of people I call friends, on the grounds of regular or semi-regular communication via social media, who I met pre-university is exactly 2. (Yes, I’m counting social media interactions because I communicate with everyone via social media these days, as I live in a different province and/or country than virtually everyone I have ever known). So, as I’ve mentioned, a large part of this has to do with geography. If you ask me where I’m from I will tell you I’m from the place that my parents currently live. But, if you happen to be one of the people who has actually heard of that place, you will start asking me questions about going to high school there, and other things of that nature. To which I generally reply with something like: “Welllll, that’s not actually where I’m from. I’m kind of from everywhere…” And then I will proceed to give you the somewhat long-winded account (which I have perfected over the years) of a girl who has lived in 2 countries, 2 provinces, 1 state, 7 cities, and 12 houses and/or apartments. This happens to mean that I spent exactly 3 years and 2 months as a high school student in a town in New Jersey, and 8 months as a high school student in a town in Ontario. But neither I nor my parents, currently reside in either of those towns.

So, while me knee-jerk reaction is to find maintaining close friendships with people from high school well into university and post-university life unnatural, I quickly realize that I need to take a step back and recognize that the vast majority of people I know are people who have maintained close friendships with people from high school well into university and post-university life (aka, it’s obviously not unnatural). My next instinct is to realize that the majority of people I know go away to university and make new friends, but then go home for holidays to the same hometown and the same friends they have always known. So if you are one of those people (and chances are that most of the people reading this are – especially if you’re reading this post after clicking the link to it on my Facebook profile and/or your Facebook News Feed, because that probably makes you one of the people I’ve been talking about this whole time) it makes sense that you have retained those high school (maybe even elementary school) friends. And I salute you. Because, barring best friend break ups, unavoidable (but mostly amicable) growing apart, and moving around a lot, there is absolutely no reason not to be friends with the people you have always been friends with.

And to my own high school best friends, Liz, Kayla, Sarah, Brittany, and Jen: although the main factor in our growing apart is undoubtedly the fact that I moved back to Canada in October of Senior year, I’d just like to bring you all back to the theme song of our 8th Grade Dinner Dance (Jen: I know you’re a year older, but just go with it): “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life),” by Green Day. Because in all the cheesy, clichéd, and overplayed glory, they’ve always said it best:

For what it’s worth, it was worth all the while

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6 thoughts on “Keep Your Friends Close

  1. Aside from not moving back to Canada and permanently residing here, I feel like I was reading a snipit of my life.. I was a friend collector of FB and realized after growing apart I did a HUGE clean up (after deleting fb for over 6 months), went from 600 friends down to ONLY the people who i would go out of my way to wish a happy birthday, got down to 80 – most of which are family..

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  2. Awww I miss you. And can relate. I have a vast number of facebook friends, but they are all the people who have affected me in some way in my life and I like to see that they are doing well. Like you, through living in so many different places you become attached to people when you’re there, but know when you separate, you are most likely never going to see them again. My friends now live over 5 different continents- will I see them all again? Probably not, and that’s okay. But I like the ability to be able to message them when I randomly find my way to their area (which surprisingly happens quite often) and I can reconnect and form a newer, stronger bond. You never know, our paths may cross and we can be awesome together again. But for now I shall just continue to facebook stalk you and make sure all is going well for you.

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