You’ve heard that people don’t stay friends after high school. This, however, is not entirely true because some people do. It’s hard, but some friends will make it through graduation, exams, and formal, and still manage to come out on the other side strong.
But for most of us, we say goodbye. Uni, work, travel, and life will get in the way. We’ll lose touch and stop seeing each other. Going from being with someone six hours a day, five days a week to figuring out your own plan is a hard transition to make. You’ll say goodbye, from the late deep night talks to the laughing fits where you’re giggling so hard it hurts and tears start running down your cheeks. To the walks home from school and hours spent lazing around at each other’s house, gone will be the days of bubble tea runs and sleepovers.
You won’t be able to look across the room at each other and burst out laughing at some inside joke. You’ll say goodbye to overanalyzing a boy’s text and sending screenshots to your friend whenever you have a fight.
You won’t do it on purpose. You’ll promise each other that you’ll be best friends even after graduation. Maybe, for a little while, you will. You’ll make the effort to see each other and take time out of your regular life to make it work. Maybe.
But eventually, you’ll get busy. Work will get hectic, or you’ll have a million uni assignments at once. Maybe you’ll go away on a gap year and come back without an urge to catch up. You will meet new people who make you laugh and take up your time like your high school best friend did. You’ll try and organize a time to catch up, but your schedules will always clash and it’s easier to just say you’ll do it later. “We should catch up soon!” becomes the opening line of every conversation, but you never see their face. Later, never comes, and you go weeks or months without properly talking to each other. You won’t message each other every day, and when something happens—good or bad—you’ll reach out to someone else.
Messages will be left on read until you get a chance to reply to them properly, but you’ll get sidetracked with something else. Until one day you find something that takes you back. Maybe you’ll be cleaning your room and find a photo of the two of you in seventh grade, or the song that you both used to sing together will come on the radio. And then you’ll realize it has been months since you heard from them. You won’t know what’s happening with their life, and they won’t know what’s going on in yours.
It won’t be your traditional break up with slammed doors and shouting. You won’t be able to yell your frustrations or vent it over angry texts. You two will drift, until you just stop talking. It’s a harsh truth, but it’s a part of growing up: Some people just won’t be there until the end.
And the worst part? There won’t even be any hard feelings; just a dull ache that reminds you that you miss them. But despite all the heart ache and the nights where you wish you could call them and pretend nothing has changed since high school, you’ll realize that it was inevitable.
You’ll make new memories with new people. You’ll find new inside jokes and weekends to spend with people that you didn’t grow up with. You’ll share your stories with brand new faces and make friendships that actually will last a lifetime. Some of the new people you meet will be by your side when you graduate uni or get a promotion at work or decide to finally go traveling. Saying goodbye to your high school friends is hard, but it means you get to say hello to the people that will mean the most to you in the years to come.