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College too short to put barriers around you and pals

Oct. 11, 2000

In just a few months, I will graduate, and this has given me a lot of time lately to reflect on many things that have bothered me a great deal throughout these formative years. One that stands out most in my mind is friendship.

I remember running into one of my friends from high school quite often in between classes here our sophomore year, and she'd always say: 'I'll call you; we have to have lunch!'

But she never did.

So many times I have heard these empty promises made between friends. It is just too easy to become involved in a close circle of friends and forget about the ones who you may not see on such a day-to-day basis. Some may simply want to leave these old friendships behind for new, but it is so important to not let this happen and to take the time to remember these other friends as well.

While I don't regret many things in my life, one thing I really do regret is the way I have reacted to close friends in the past, especially the way I reacted to my best friend. Instead of seizing the moment while I could, I let one of the most important rel

ationships in my life slip away.

When I was a junior in high school, my best friend told me she was moving to California. It seemed as though throughout my whole life, my closest friends were always moving away. I became so angry with the news that another one of my best friends was moving away that I didn't even want to deal with it. I just didn't know how to react, so I instinctively began putting a wall between us before she ever even left for California.

I began looking to others to fill the void of her departure; I just didn't want to have to face what was happening, and so instead of spending time with my friend before she left, I started spending all of my time with my boyfriend instead of with my best friend.

When I saw her at school, I would always say, 'I'll call you tonight.' But I never did. I don't think she ever forgave me for that.

Before I knew it, she was gone, and I realized how selfish I had been. I should not have been so afraid to accept this change in our lives, and I should have taken the time to seize the moment we had together before she left. After I realized what I had done, it was too late. My best friend was gone, and things were never the same between us. She could never understand why I was being so cold, and she told me how hateful I was for not being there for her when she really needed me. I had not even taken the time to realize how this change was affecting her life.

I have never been able to forgive myself for losing my best friend. I should have called her when I said I would, and I should have been there when she needed me the most. So my advice is, instead of simply telling a friend, 'I'll call you,' or 'we have to have lunch,' seize the moment, and actually make that call. Nurture your friendships, even if it means you might get hurt when the friendship fades.

(Staci Antonson is a senior French and journalism major from De Soto.)