They’re your best friend.
Our best friends are absolutely irreplaceable people in our lives who have seen us through the ups and downs. They know all our secrets and quirks, and we know theirs. We can’t imagine spending long periods of time away from them, but for many best friends, college gets in the way of that.
When it comes time to select a college, the perfect school for you might not be the perfect school for your best friend, so you end up going your separate ways. At first, it seems sad and you worry you’ll grow apart, but sometimes time away can be the very best thing for your friendship.
Junior rehabilitation and human services major Carly Presher said she and her best friend spent too much time together in high school, especially senior year, which caused some friction between them.
“We both love spending time together. It’s a positive and enriching thing for us to spend time together. I mean, we’re best friends,” Presher says. “But there was tension between us and it caused a negative strain on our friendship. So, going to different colleges has been a good thing and brought us closer.”
Being apart from someone you’re so comfortable with can teach you to become more independent as well.
“We were both able to develop our own futures and personalities without being heavily influenced by each other from spending so much time together,” Presher says. “If we did go to school together, neither of us would have branched out, made new friends or developed the way we have now.”
There are some big advantages to having a friend at another school. They can offer insights and experiences that someone who goes to your school may not be able to, for instance.
“You can visit them at their school and have a different experience (even though Penn State is the best experience),” says sophomore security and risk analysis major Elizabeth Armstrong.
“It’s also nice to have someone totally removed from your school, situation and relationships so if you have to call them to vent, they’ll either be on your side automatically or provide you with excellent advice since they don’t know any of the other people you’re talking about,” Armstrong adds.
Going from seeing your best friend every day to only seeing them every now and again is tough, but there are up sides. You appreciate friends more when you don’t have access to them as easily. And when you do see each other over breaks, it starts to mean more. Attending different schools allows you to be your own person and find out who you want to be, all the while knowing your best friend is still only a phone call away.
Photo by Ashley Zucker