Monday, December 15, 2014

The "Good' In Goodbye

Mondays are rough. Mondays are especially rough when you're having to say goodbye to your best friend for more months that you would like to count. There is always the inevitable packing after the end of the fall semester. Most students are packing their bags for a trip home for break while other students are packing their rooms to take off across the pond next semester. Studying abroad is an absolutely amazing opportunity that comes with exotic foods, beautiful architecture, lively discotheques, and countless memories but if there is one drawback, it stems from your semester of independence away from friends and family. This is a wonderful thing, and one of the reasons that I would really encourage any student to pursue traveling abroad, however the initial goodbye is not so equally wonderful.

After being in a long distance relationship, I'd like to think I've become a pro at goodbyes, but if I've learned anything, it's that for those who truly matter, the goodbye is never easy. We're not expected to be good at goodbyes, and we're not expected to all handle them the same. You're allowed to freeze up, you're allowed to be silent, and you're allowed to cry like you just got socked in the stomach. It's okay.

For those saying goodbye before a semester abroad, there are a few things to remember. First, remember the reason that saying goodbye is so difficult. Friends and family, and the memories that make goodbyes so bittersweet, will be there forever but also remember that we cannot wait to pick back up right where we left off. Second, find comfort in the technology of the 21st century. With Skype, Facebook, iMessage and Snapchat you are only a button away. The phone works both ways and communication never has to be an issue. Staying up till 4 in the morning to FaceTime will never be a burden. Third, remember that your friends and family will be waiting for you with open arms to hear the stories of your travels and see the photos of every Spanish churro you ate. School will be here waiting for you in the Fall, and your roommates will be more than ready to knock off the rest of your tasks on your college bucket list. Lastly, don't let the goodbye overshadow the amazing experiences you are about to encounter. Everyone truly is excited for your adventures and cannot wait to see where you will go in this world.

So yes, goodbyes are the worst but I would say that there is some "good" in goodbye and it is this. In saying goodbye, we discover how truly lucky we are to have people who are hard to say goodbye to. And I'm lucky that today's goodbye was a hard one. So for my best friend leaving next semester I urge you to take an unreasonable amount of photographs and never forget the pure joy that comes from receiving a postcard. I can't wait to hear about your exotic travels, European men and scroll through Instagram photos of food in the air. I already can't wait to see you in five months in Europe.

Only goodbye for now,

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