Make time to stay connected with friends

Carole Hodorowicz, Opinions Editor

For the past two weekends, I said farewell to Charleston to visit my lifelong friends from home at their universities.

The first weekend of February I found myself wearing blue and gold in celebration of National Marquette Day. This past weekend, I was fully surrounded in hues of purple, gold and green with both loved ones and strangers on the streets of St. Louis.

Visiting my friends at Marquette University and Saint Louis University was not only a pleasant change of scenery from the small town setting (which often times makes me feel claustrophobic when I compare it to my life at home in Chicago) I have become so accustomed to the past three years.

It was also a chance for me to get a taste of the lives my friends have built for themselves from scratch.

Whenever my friends from home and I talk about college, I refer to it as a “second life.” On the South Side of Chicago, we share countless memories, laughs and plans to continue building our friendships.

But when the summer sun turns to a fall breeze, we return to college and resume a life that has become almost as familiar as the one we leave at home.

It is hard to believe that before college, a “second life” seemed as far away as it seemed impossible to achieve. But here I am today, catching myself calling Charleston, Ill. “home” from time to time and missing the one of a kind charm this place emanates.

And here my hometown friends are today, doing just the same.

Sharing a brief moment in the second lives of my friends was incredible. Meeting their new friends, seeing where they live and simply witnessing who they are in a new element they discovered and fostered for themselves are experiences I will always close to my heart.

Although our second lives may not overlap as easily as our lives in Chicago do, that does not mean we cannot be a part of each other’s growth.

It is no secret: the older we get, the harder it is to find the time to do the things we unknowingly take for granted with our friends. As we get further in our college careers and closer to our futures in the “real world,” finding this time to spend with our friends takes second place.

Of course, doing your best and working hard are important. But keeping in touch with your friends and loved ones and sharing your lives—both first and second—with each other is equally as important.

Make time to call, write, visit your friends and share moments outside of the lives you participate in together at home.

Though you and your friends may be growing from different vines every time you return to your different universities and get older, that does not mean your lives will stop intertwining.

Carole Hodorowicz is junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].