The Daily Illini

Hitting pause on a friendship

By Sandhya Sivakumar, Columnist

I grew up in the same school district my whole life. Although I did go to a high school with around 3,000 students, most of my friends from elementary school remained my friends throughout high school and past graduation.

But there are people I used to see and talk to constantly just a year ago who I haven’t spoken to since I left for college. Part of that is my fault — I’m really bad at keeping in touch — but it’s also just the natural progression of leaving behind people you have nothing in common with but a time and a place.

I decided to live with a random roommate when I first moved to college. I didn’t want to room with someone I was friends with, and I was too lazy to find someone on Facebook — mostly because I hate using Facebook. The first time I spoke to my roommate was the day I moved in, and now, she’s one of my best friends.

She’s the first person I see when I wake up in the morning and the last person I talk to before I go to sleep at night. We’ve spent the whole school year living with each other and once finals are over, I’m not going to see her again for almost four months.

I go to college 2 1/2 hours away from where I live, and I go home at least once a month. Half of my friends from high school came here with me, and I see most of them every day. I’ve always had a large group of friends, but I’ve gotten used to having someone to hang out with all the time. I have someone who will work out with me at 7:30 a.m., and I have someone to take with me if I’m too afraid to grab my clothes from the dryer by myself late at night.

There’s a tremendous amount of stress as a college student. The stress of being away from home, the constant fear that you’re not working hard enough or that you’re not going to make it no matter how hard you work. The crushing knowledge that everything you do now matters, and in four years, or three, the change you’ve slowly adjusted to will become the norm.

I know right now separation is temporary. But there’s always the fear that the life free of routine and responsibility I take for granted will suddenly be only a memory and the sinking knowledge that this momentary separation is the first of many, many more.

Sandhya is a freshman in LAS.

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About the Photographer
Toni Pantone, Assistant Design Editor

I’m a sophomore from Alton, Illinois. I’m majoring in advertising and minoring in art + design. Fun fact: I’m really good at memorizing birthdays.

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