Failing friendships lead to opportunity


Grace Dorsey

Losing friends, whether it’s a slow drift apart or a sudden separation, is hard. Everyone has some type of an experience with breaking ties; It might be scrolling through social media, seeing a post and thinking to yourself, “I don’t know this person anymore.” Sometimes it’s a particularly intense argument, a fight that either hurt both people too much or made them realize that the friendship wasn’t worth saving.
I’ve been through it all. Relocating to five different schools, drama and perhaps not picking the best people to befriend has made me an expert at moving on.
In the summer after third grade I migrated across the world from Columbia, Missouri, to Dunedin, New Zealand. I said goodbye to my best friends, my neighbor, everyone except my immediate family. My classmates promised to email, yet they never replied back. Meanwhile, I struggled to fit in with the new culture. Every day I reminiscenced about my old life and wished to have that sense of friendship again.
We oftentimes idealize our past situations. For me at least, holding onto the past like that hindered my acclimation to the new environment. The first months were indeed incredibly lonely and being such an outsider didn’t help. Eventually, though, I made friends.
Another change, starting middle school, came with the familiar sensation of loneliness. It was an incredibly awkward situation because I was completely clueless as to why my old friends had decided to hate me. I spent hours agonizing over my actions and made plans to try and fix things. For them, it was simple: the friendship was done. Eventually though, I made friends.
After two mostly great years with a strong support system, the time to move back to America had come. Upon arrival, I decided to live in Illinois with my grandmother for five months to finish up eighth grade. The first day of school was so overwhelming. I desperately wanted the comfort of a tightknit friend group, a comfort that I had left behind in New Zealand. Eventually, though, I made friends.
Then it was time to rejoin my family here in Columbia. I started at RBHS, took in the atmosphere and ate lunch alone for the first two weeks because I was too nervous to ask anyone if I could sit with them.  Eventually, though, I made friends.
I thought I had finally made it. My new friends and I ate together every day, we had inside jokes; it was terrific. Gradually, however, mistrust and misunderstandings eroded those bonds. Then, one December day, everything came crashing down, and I was in the same spot as the beginning of the year except it was worse because everyone already had their cliques. I sat alone in the media center at lunch, putting all my energy into my school work and developing a work ethic that would carry me through sophomore year. Eventually, though, I made friends.
Nowadays there are signs of change all around me. My senior friends are focused on college essays, letters of recommendation and transcripts. Though it feels far away, I know soon enough I’ll have to say goodbye. I’ll have to get used to walking the halls without them. But I’ve learned that it will be okay, for them and for me. And in the fall of 2018, as I walk onto my future college campus, I’ll know that I don’t have to cry or idealize the past because eventually I’ll make friends.