Leaving Home

I’ve been thinking a lot about high school and who I was when I attended college. It may be because a reunion is being planned for this summer, but I also think it’s because Stephen just went back to college for his last trimester.

Lisa, one of my best friends in high school.

I think about who I was at 17 years old or even at a 19, Stephen’s current age, and how it compares to what kids know today. I was a very naive young adult. My brother enlisted in the Navy when I was still in high school, so he experienced being away from home quite a bit.

I was the first girl in my family to go away to school. My oldest sister commuted to college, and my school was only 40 minutes in Albany at The College of Saint Rose. For me it may have been half way across the country. I remember the first night in my dorm with my roommate, Michele. I walked out of my room and called my parents on the pay phone in the hallway. I bawled my eyes out and begged them to come get me. I wasn’t use to being on my own, and the thought of not sleeping in my bed, and the responsibility of doing well was overwhelming. It took me about a week, but I managed to slowly get into the flow of school.


The Roomies, 1984, Greenville High School Graduation

The Roomies were some of my closest friends in high school, and we hung out together during our weeklong senior spring break in Florida. For a long time we stayed connected, but life gets in the way, and it becomes harder and harder to take the time to get together. I think of Stephen and how he and his close friends make sure they get together during their breaks. It’s easier at that point, but I remind him that if you want to stay connected with someone, you have to do the work. It’s easy to think we are connected when we text or post photos on Facebook, but it’s almost a disconnect. We aren’t really seeing that person or getting the true essence of who they are right now.

Janine and Joy

Yes, that was me all Freshman year: just barely hanging on by a thread. Second semester was better, and I made friends who were more in line with my values and ways of thinking. I learned a lot about myself and that’s what college was about. I have remained in touch with a couple friends from college, but others mainly on Facebook or if I get a Christmas card. I would love to see some of my friends again, but I know I need to make the effort.

The best part about leaving home and going to college was coming home and seeing everyone I missed. Now coming home means being with my immediate family, and I need to make the effort to see those friends who meant so much to me in the very important years of my life.

I hope Stephen stays connected with his gang of guys, whom I consider to be my boys, too. They reflect different parts of Stephen’s personality, and they have been there for each other in great times, and in very tough times. It’s those heart lifting and heart wrenching experiences that produce the bonds of everlasting friendship.

You can always come home or you can create your home wherever you are and invite others into it. I guess I have some friends to reconnect with and invite to my home.

What childhood friends do you stay in touch with? How about college or those early work years? Who have you lost touch with and would like to contact? How and when will you do that? No matter how much time has passed, it’s never too late to reach out and reconnect.

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