Keep Your Friends Close

Emily Christian, Columnist

With eighth grade coming to a close, more and more of my friends have decided that they won’t return to Horizon Honors for high school. For me, receiving this news is always heartbreaking. I don’t want them to leave, as the majority of the time I see them is at school. But this time, I intend to make an effort in staying in touch with them. Because I know none of them are moving out of state, I feel it will be relatively easy to stay in touch.

This may just be a me thing, but I am very conscious about giving out my phone number. Therefore, most of the chatting I do with my friends outside of school happens in Instagram direct message. I know this isn’t a very stable way of messaging, as users may not check their Instagram or may even delete their accounts, but I feel more secure with my personal information. I know that staying in contact with my friends in the long term will require they they have multiple ways to reach me, including my phone number. I can become more accessible to them to make up for the lost real-time conversation.

Even with a sure way to text, talking will always be more effective. Phone calls feel awkward, but I can always rely on video calls. For me, seeing a friend’s facial expressions and hearing the tone of their voice makes it feel more real. Talking isn’t one of my strong points, but FaceTime appeals to me as it allows for a real-time conversation with someone without having to be with them. Making plans to meet up can be difficult, but taking a few minutes⎯or a few hours⎯to talk in the comfort of your homes shouldn’t be a big deal.

Once they leave, I will encourage them to attend school events to support Horizon Honors without taking classes here. I know that I’m always ready to go to fundraisers and events at my old school, so I’ll encourage them to do the same. Spending time with friends in a public setting always seems to help strengthen ties, so if a friend is free and a school function is soon, I won’t hesitate to invite them.

Having a reminder of my friends at hand will help me remember to contact them. This could be a picture, a gift they gave to me, or something they made for me. Something small and sentimental, just to keep them in my thoughts.

If I want to keep my friends close through my school years and when I need them most, I plan to go to any extent to do so. And hopefully, considering all the time we’ve spent together, they’ll do the same.