May brings about mixed feelings in a lot of people. Most students are happy to be done with classes and finals or even happy to be finally graduating. However, being done means you’ve completed one thing and you are moving onto the next. Moving on means saying good-bye. Some students are only saying good-bye for the summer. Others may be saying good-bye forever. Saying good-bye also makes this a very sad time of year.
Transitions are hard. College is constant transition. It is hard to maintain relationships and friendships throughout the four years of college and beyond. Sharing space, classes and experiences bring people together. What happens when those things no longer exist? Some relationships and friendships move on together but some pull apart. The unknown can be scary. Even with technology making it easier to stay in touch, it still can be hard to keep up with your friends once you are scattered again across the country. Even if it is just for the summer.
Most of us have a hard time saying good-bye. A lot of people will start pulling away a few weeks or months earlier to make the actual separation time easier. When that day comes they like to either sneak away or leave with a very quick good-bye. They don’t like the emotions of good-byes and try to avoid them at all possible. If you used to watch the Office you know that Steve Carell left the show before the last season. His character, Michael Scott, was leaving his job to move to Colorado with his fiancee. He told everyone in the office that he was leaving on a certain day, so everyone planned to say good-bye to him on that day. However, he started to say good bye the day before he said he was leaving. No one really knew this was their last chance to talk to him, so they didn’t make it a big deal. Michael left the office at 4pm that day knowing he wasn’t coming back on his “final” day. He sneaks away instead of letting everyone really say good-bye because it was just too hard to deal with all those sad emotions.
This may seem like a good way to handle things, but it doesn’t allow the other people to express their emotions. Some people may feel like they don’t have any closure. It may be easier on the one leaving, but it doesn’t make it easier on the person or people who are being left.
Some people will cause a fight before they have to say good-bye. They purposefully try to push the other person away believing it will make the separation easier. This person may believe their friend or friends won’t stay in touch. Rather than risk that rejection, they reject them first by causing a conflict. This may cause the relationship or friendship to really end. While maintaining a relationship or friendship long distance isn’t easy, it is possible. It isn’t always necessary to end a relationship in order to deal with a separation. If it is what both people want, that is fine. However, if it is just one person making the decision, they risk losing great friendships to avoid possible future pain.
Some people become more clingy in the months or weeks leading up to a separation. They want to spend every waking moment with the person or people before they leave. They want to relive a lot of memories by talking about or doing things that they’ve done with their friends in the past. When they do say good-bye they become very emotional and end up saying good-bye several times before they actually leave. This is a lot of pressure to put on a relationship or friendship before a separation. Everyone has a lot going on before school ends. It can be hard to balance your friends with having to study or get work done before you leave. The added pressure of making too much time for your friends can cause conflict.
There is no best way to say good-bye. We all tend to handle it awkwardly. As this time of mixed emotions is looming before you, just do your best to be yourself. Let your friends know in your own way that you will miss them. Then remember that time has a way of working things out. You will either be able to maintain the relationship or friendship across the miles or other things will fill up your time and you won’t miss that person as much anymore. Some people are meant to be in our lives just a short time. Other people tend to be life long friends that no distance seems to be able to change. The end of the school year is a bittersweet time for everyone. Cherish your memories and be thankful to Facebook for keeping you somewhat connected either through the summer or through your lifetime.