As graduation season comes this year, you may know someone that is a part of the Class of 2017. If that’s the case, then make sure to congratulate them at every given moment because they deserve it due to their hard work and accomplishments. You do realize though, that you’re not graduating with them, and once they graduate from the school you guys go through, they don’t come back in the following school year. It’s normal to be sad; you won’t get to see them as often as you want, yet alone in school anymore. All in all, it’s hard to be happy for your friends because you’re feeling sad for their departure.
My friend, Tori (the one taking the picture) is graduating this upcoming Tuesday, as well as Jalika (blue sweater) and Yashira (red hat). Within the English department, there are so many people I know who are graduating, Tori is one of them. I met her almost two years ago in Acting I, but we became close friends during our Acting II class during my last semester in undergrad. Although I was graduating and she was becoming the senior, I was still going to see her for one more year since I was going to pursue my Master’s at CSI still.
For the past school year, I’ve gotten to see her once a week after our classes and we were able to hang out and catch up from our busy schedules. A week ago, it was our last time doing so and now she’s officially graduating. I can’t lie, I’ve felt a bit sad and teary-eyed, because not only is she graduating from college, she is also planning to move out-of-state, which sucks, yeah, but understandable: teaching in NYC sucks. Anyway, as I prepare for the tear-jerker graduation pictures that she will probably be tagged in and such, there is a method to this “sadness madness”, and anyone losing their friend due to graduation can relate to it.
- Make sure to make plans during the Summer! The beauty about the summer time is that because school is over and we finally get the opportunity to see the friends we didn’t get the chance to see through the semester time (I know I couldn’t). One thing you and your graduating friend should set up a day (or multiple days) to hang out. I could remember a lot of my high-school friends going away to college after graduation, so a lot of our summertime was spent hanging out because everyone departed at the end of the summer. You have to tell yourself that just because your friend is not going to be around as often, doesn’t mean that you’re never gonna see them again.
- We live in a world of cellphones. Keep in touch! Even if your friends aren’t around as often as they were before they graduated, you always have social media to keep you guys connected and in touch. Don’t get me wrong, it’ not ideal to keep your friendships strictly online, but when they’re long-distance friendships, social media is a good way to stay connected and see what your friends are doing in their lives and vice-versa. But make sure you actually call and text and video chat your friends every now and then so that the communication part of your friendship doesn’t go away.
- Remember that life happens. Just because your friend hasn’t spoken to you for a long period of time, doesn’t mean they forgot about you. Life after college is extremely busy, especially if you’re lining up for a career or job straight out of graduating college. Life can be overwhelming for new graduates, and constantly trying to keep in touch with friends isn’t the first things on their minds. Sometimes, being a good friend is to understand and be there for them. I know that my post-grad life hasn’t been the greatest, and a lot of my friends prior from graduating college disappeared. Remember that the only way you’re gonna keep these friends after graduation is to actually reach out to them.
- Lastly, don’t treat them differently if there’s a little distance in between you guys. Of course, you guys aren’t going to have a lot of things to talk about now that one of you guys graduated. No more gossiping about professors or classmates that annoyed you, no more relatable campus problems or insiders you have with them. In all honestly, it’s a blessing and a curse. School friendships are easy to make, but they are hard to maintain outside of the classroom because what is there to possibly talk about, right? School friendships never have a gray lining in them; it’s either you guys are strictly school friends that explicitly talk about class and school, or you actually have a connection with these friends beyond the topic of school. Don’t get me wrong, school friendships aren’t a bad thing– I have plenty of them in my grad classes– but if you want these graduating friends to be life-long friends, you gotta show them that there’s more to your friendship than just school. Don’t act differently if there’s nothing to talk about. Your friendship with this person just has to evolve and mature, and if it does, then you and your friend are meant to be life-long friends.
And that’s it! Remember that these friendships you have with people who are graduating don’t end when they leave! In a weird way, they just symbolize a beginning of a big and better one.
As to my friend, Tori– ya girl is proud of you. Congratulations!