Leave college, not friends


Photo credit: Grant Garnsey

For the last four years I have called Chico home. It was in Chico that I gained some of my best and most cherished memories. Whether it was choosing to live in the dorms to living downtown, or deciding to rush through Greek life, to the decision of going out or not, my Chico best friends have been by my side.

In four years, people who were complete strangers have become my best friends. We may have only known each other for just four short years, but really it feels like I’ve known them my whole life. Chico has given me best friends who conveniently also double as my mentors, going-out buddies, study buddies, therapists, coaches, partners in crime, roommates, sisters, boyfriends and caretakers, to basically family.

I couldn’t imagine my college experience, or life for that matter, without having them with me through it all. Now that we are seniors and the inevitable thought of graduation and moving out of Chico is nearing, I’m terrified.

I’m not scared of working, entering the real world or living on my own. I’m scared of having to live without my Chico best friends.

Sure they’ll still be in my life and we’ll keep up communication, but it will be different. I won’t be able to wake up and walk to my roommates’ room to just hangout or borrow a shirt. I won’t be able to ask my best friends to walk down the street to come over and talk about boys or something I’m stressed with. I won’t be able to go out on a Tuesday with my girls or have nightly movies and sleepovers. I won’t have access to my best friends at any given moment.

When I start to really think about it, I honestly get really sad. It’s unrealistic to stay in Chico forever and have as many roommates as your lease will allow. I know that there comes a time to move on and with every new day, that time is approaching.

After graduation and moving away from Chico, everything changes. Everyone starts building their adult lives. Maybe that’s moving back home or taking a job in your dream location.

Or maybe that’s taking some time off to travel around the world. Maybe it’s trying to start a family. Whatever it is, it’s mostly something you’re doing for yourself on your own.

But does graduating and leaving Chico mean you have to leave your friends too? No. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Yes, there will come a time when you and your best friends will probably move in separate paths. Yes, you will all be busy. And yes, it will be geographically inconvenient to hangout. But it isn’t impossible.

Leaving Chico doesn’t mean you need to leave your friends. I guarantee that when you think back to some of your best and worst times, your Chico best friends were there with you.

I strongly urge you to stay connected with them. Plan an annual summer trip and make it a tradition. Make it a priority to check up on the people that have helped you throughout college. They’ve been your support system for the last four years, there’s no reason they shouldn’t continue being there for the next 40.

I owe a lot to my college best friends. They’ve aided in making me, me. And I like to think that I’ve helped make them, them. We’ve grown to be more than best friends, we’re a part of each other. We’ve helped one another find ourselves and make the last four years the best four years.

When I look at my college best friends, I know I’m looking at some of my bridesmaids or future children’s godparents. That’s how much they mean to me. So shout-out to Whitney Hall, Hazel Street, Cedar Street, WREC staff, Alpha Phi, the journalism department and most importantly, Chico. I am forever thankful for you and I promise that me leaving Chico isn’t me leaving you.

Julie Ramos can be reached at [email protected] or @julie_ramoss on Twitter.