The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Ask Ali: Scared of Leaving

Dear Ali,

I’m really afraid to graduate high school. Everyone is so excited to leave this suburban bubble and move on with their lives, but I’m legitimately worried about relationships changing with my best friends, being on my own in college and just not seeing some of these people ever again. Do you have any last-minute advice before graduation? How do I maintain relationships with my best friends?

 

Sincerely,

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Scared of Leaving

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Dear Scared of Leaving,

Even those of your friends who are “excited to leave this suburban bubble” are still feeling your same trepidations. I promise you, there is not one graduating senior (myself included) who assumes that all of their current comforts and relationships are going to stay the same. However, our generation has a huge advantage over that of our parents – we have the Internet. As corny as it seems, we are connected to people from literally all over the world through e-mail, video-chatting programs, and social networking sites.

My advice is to download Skype, if you haven’t already, and make a pseudo-schedule for when you plan on talking to your friends from home. You won’t be able to talk to them every day, but you can decide to have real conversations (not just a few text messages) with at least 2 friends-from-home per week. Remember, college is partly about making new friends, so you don’t want to trap yourself in the past, because it will just make you homesick. However, if you set aside two hours of your week to focus on catching up with friends from home, then you will not feel as though you are losing control of your old life.

Another positive thing about your friends from home is just that – they’re from home. As long as their parents don’t move away, they will be there at breaks, over the summer, and certainly after college graduation when everyone is broke and living back in this “suburban bubble” with their families. This is in contrast with your college friends, who will probably be a lot less convenient to visit when you’re not at school. So try not to neglect your new friends in favor of freaking out about missing your old ones.

In terms of “being on your own” in college, there is a big difference between being alone and being independent. Yes, you will be more independent; punishment-inducing authority figures will be few and far between. However, the entire culture of college is built to support people like you. All the other freshmen will be in the same situation, and there will always be an RA or a roommate to assist you when you are confused about how to operate the laundry machine or when you have no idea where the best/cheapest snack food is located.

Also, remember that your parents still exist — they don’t evaporate when you turn 18 or when you move into your college dorm (even if you want them to). While you don’t want to remain too dependent on them, your parents will still be there to help you if you really get yourself in a bind.

The moral of the story is that you have tons of people to help you, including me. Y’all know where to find me — if you continue to need advice in college, don’t hesitate to reach out (your letter just won’t be published on this website). You’re going to be just fine.

 

Sincerely,

Ali

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