Without thinking much of it at the time, I moved back to my hometown after graduation, which is about 3 hours away from Hamilton. It took a while to hit me that I wouldn’t see the same people I saw every day for 3 years as often as I’d like anymore. We apply to post secondary school for a great education with a goal to have a career at the end of it. However, we leave with something more—lifelong friendships and memories. They say the friends you make in college are the friends you have for life. If I look back on my college successes today, I know that my closest Mohawk friends shared those moments with me.
“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.” – Jon Katz
The quote above has some great points about why holding on to a friendship is healthy for everyone. As someone who currently has quite a few long distance friendships, here are some of the parts that I can relate to the most.
Hang in and stay connected. There comes a time in everyone’s life that a friend is needed someway and somehow. Through the power of social media, Skype and texting, there really shouldn’t be an excuse to not keep a connection after graduating. Remember that it takes two. If you want to maintain any type of relationship you are going to have to make an effort as well.
Don’t be too busy or tired. Whether it takes a week, a month or a year, make time to reconnect. A quick phone call, a simple “how was your day?” text, or even a drive out for a visit. Plan in advance for a mini reunion or better yet, attend a reunion/event that the alumni association hosts. With a solid bond, chances are that every time you see each other, you’ll pick up right where you left off.
Most importantly, don’t take them for granted. Friends, new or old, are people who shape our lives and are a part of who we are today. The people you used to see every day at Mohawk College or another school are those that know you well and share common interests with you. You need friends, but don’t forget that they need you, too.
I am proud of the education I left Mohawk College with, but I am most thankful for the friendships that were made and I have kept throughout my journey as well. It’s “powerful stuff.”
– Lu Ann Pannunzio
Follow Lu Ann @teaaholic