I ended up sticking around high school for a fifth year, and this past semester was way quieter than what I’d been used to. Sure, I had another friend group to keep me entertained, but to call the experience “The Grade 12 Chronicles: Part Two” would be like calling my elementary music class a professional orchestra. It just didn’t compare at all. And all I had to do was take a quick walk through the school halls to know that something wasn’t quite right.
“What gives?” I asked myself. But then I realized that the people I’d spend the last four years growing close to no longer felt close. A handful of kilometers doesn’t seem like all that much until it’s between you and the people you really care about. And while I can’t speak on your behalf, there’s just something about long-distance socializing that never quite clicked for me.
This feeling impacted me in more ways that I expected. You know that one person you always greet with a smile or a wave on the way out of third period? That person isn’t there anymore, either. Sure, the minor characters in your secondary school life probably never made a bad day turn good, but you know what? Every once in a while, it would be nice to know that they’re doing okay.
That’s why I need to write about this. Losing touch with high school friends sucks, and I’m sure a lot of you have branched off from even your best friends. Thankfully, this issue isn’t all that difficult to repair—you have plenty of opportunities to contact your friends, and it’s up to you to act on them! I’m no expert in social studies, but I firmly believe that it’s always worth maintaining your good high school friendships. Here are four things you can do to make sure that happens.
Make the Most of the Holidays
When I say “make the most of the holidays,” I don’t mean you should eat half a tub of candy cane-flavoured ice cream while it’s still socially acceptable—no. You can totally do that if you want, but that’s not what I’m trying to say. What I mean is that you should spend a few hours away from family photos and forkfuls of food to meet with friends. Grab a coffee, walk around downtown, take some sleds to a giant hill, or just talk and reminisce. There’s nothing wrong with revisiting the past every now and then, so why not add “catching up” to your budding list of holiday traditions? This is one of the few times where your whole crew will be in one place, and just like high school, it won’t last forever. Savour it.
Plan Trips to Other Campuses
As much as I’d love to sit in my pajamas and wait for my friends to show up at my residence with beer and Chinese takeout, there will be times when they can’t do that. You know what that means, right? It’s time for you to take a road trip. Book a weekend off from work way in advance, get ahead on your assignments, and find a set of wheels to take you the distance to see your amigos. If you can’t get a hold of the family van, don’t let that be an excuse; you can take public transit (it’s not that bad). And who knows? If you venture off to your friend’s school, you just might fall in love with it and apply or transfer there yourself. Take a tour of the campus and get a feel for the school’s social life while you’re at it. You know, the whole two birds, one stone thing… however that saying goes.
Take Advantage of Summer Break
If there’s anything twenty-odd years of living in Canada has taught me, it’s that summers are absolutely great. I can’t stress how much you should enjoy the summertime—after all, there’s plenty of room for reunion in there! Text your friends to arrange a day at the beach or even a week on the road. Catch up on life. Stay up and swap stories until ungodly hours. You’re sure to have at least some time during the summer to do this. I don’t mean to be dramatic, but wasting even a minute of your precious summer break is equivalent to some form of torture.
Visit Your High School
Nothing is stopping you from wandering back into your school atrium and into some familiar classrooms. Use school productions, reunions, and sporting events as excuses to stop by and catch up with the classmates and teachers that made your teenage years worthwhile. While high school may seem like a chapter in your life that you’re totally done with, think about this: that’s probably how you felt about nap time. How do you feel about naps now? Exactly. At the very least, you’ll never really know how much you miss it until you go back. And I’m not saying that just to get people to visit me, either. I promise—scout’s honour.
Now here’s where you fine people need to apply these tips, take initiative, and reach out! Pick up the phone, shoot a few texts, or hold a giant Skype call; it’s your first step to making sure that you and your best high school friends will never fall out of touch.
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.