A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
But this one goes out to the dearest ones that we keep in our hearts if not by our side!
You are going to a university abroad. This means new beginnings; this means endings (or pressing the pause button until the holidays). This means many (and I mean MANY!) Hello’s; this also means Goodbye’s.
When I came to Holland two years ago I met an incredible amount of people in a very short time period; some I call acquaintances, some I call my dearest friends. My life and way of living changed drastically; my agenda had different to-do’s, my free time was dedicated to new and exciting things.
When distance gets in between, not all relationships survive. I will be straight with you: It is much easier to keep in touch and be with friends with people when you see them five days a week at school or when you live in the same apartment or go to the same piano, dance or whatever course, it doesn’t require much effort.
But as time passes, we change and our preferences, ideas, habits change with us. (Especially when you are having many new experiences in a foreign country!)
This brings out the question of: Will this friendship survive all the changes that are coming its way?
The answer is: Some will. Some friendships that are worth the effort will survive. Not all will and that’s okay. Because the ones worth holding on to will continue on, effortlessly even.
Some friends I have lost over the years and I didn’t mourn after them because I knew that they would have survived if they were meant to survive. Yet, some friendships have lasted this far and will continue on doing so despite the continents that got between us.
I have friends studying all over the world; exams get in the way, other necessities and other friends get in the way, time zones get in the way of keeping in touch. But with some friends you know that you don’t have to keep in touch constantly, you just have to know (&believe) that they are there when you need them, the way you would be there for them, whenever.
I have such friends and I am lucky to have them. Sometimes we don’t talk for months but then we meet up and it’s just the way it used to be years ago. Many things have changed yet nothing has changed.
The reason and the prompt for this specific post however is a recent meet up I had with a longtime friend. We thought we weren’t going to be able to see each other this summer, but my last minute trip to Turkey enabled us to do so. What she realized while we were enjoying some nice tea at a beautiful café was that six years ago that exact day we were together. (Thank you, Facebook Moments!) We were kids with hopes and dreams that I won’t be sharing here, now we laugh at the way we were back then and we have new hopes and dreams, we have come to places we never have imagined of and yet we are still those kids at heart. Six years later, still together.
I would like to finish this post with a quote (which also happened to be written on a magnet that she got me as a gift.)
Good friends are like stars: You don’t always see them but you know they are there.