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Tuesday, May 28, 2024
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

Sisters in separation

My best friend is like the sister I've never had, and I hope to keep it that way. That's why we attend different colleges, seven hours apart from each other.

You may wonder how this is possible. How can I grow in my relationship with my best friend if we only see each other during the summer and winter holidays?

For me, it's more difficult to grow close to my best friend when I live close to her. I have a tendency to get attached to people, as does she. When I'm home, we hang out nearly every day, our relationship becomes stale and we really have nothing new to share with each other.

In elementary school, she and I literally stifled each other. We worked on group projects together, sat together at lunch every day and our families went on vacations together. Our parents dubbed the two of us 'the bookends.'

For four or five years, we both aspired to be authors 'when we grew up.' Every free minute we had, we spent coming up with new story plots. Sometimes we were co-authors on one story, other times we wrote our own stories, updating each other on our progress. Whenever our stories were remotely similar, we accused each other of 'copycatting.'

The more time I spent with my best friend, the more our relationship became too close for comfort. We earned similar grades in school, so we competed with each other to score higher on exams. A family feud erupted when we worked on a class project together and had trouble dividing up our responsibilities.

In the eighth grade, my friend's decision to sing the same song I sang in the seventh grade talent show dampened our relationship for several months.

My best friend's mother even blamed me for her daughter's inability to make other friends in school.

With much deliberation and undue agony, I decided to attend a different high school than my friend. This was probably one of the best decisions I've ever made.

All alone in a new school, I missed my friend but felt strangely free. I made new friends and developed new interests, and she did the same.

During those four years 'apart,' she and I grew closer than ever before. We learned more about each other's personalities and interests, instead of competing with each other.

College was an easy decision for the both of us. We no longer shared the mutual aspiration to become the next J.K. Rowling – I developed an interest in journalism and she had a passion for acting. We separated once again with few regrets.

We now talk on the phone every Friday night for some 'girl talk' and life sharing. Our separation has helped me to realize a bond with my best friend I never knew existed.

Just as it was necessary – and healthy – for my best friend and I to separate for college, I believe the same applies to romantic relationships. Nothing bothers me more than hearing that people selected a particular college because their significant other attends there.

Whatever happened to individuality? More often than not, both partners will have differing career goals. Why should students turn down the opportunity to study at a university that specializes in their field merely because their significant other studies elsewhere?

And then there's the obvious – couples break up – and then they're stuck at a college they don't like with their ex.

Moral of the story: don't allow your relationships, romantic or not, to dictate your college decisions. It will only create tension for both parties.

Another old adage is proven true: absence does make the heart grow fonder.




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