OPINION: An editor’s take on the norm of reconnecting over break

by Clarissa Kell

Going home for the holidays is the time when you’re supposed to reconnect with the friends you hadn’t seen in forever. But what if that is not what you actually want?

I used to think the friends I made in high school were going to be my forever friends. All the people I knew that graduated before me were still close with all their high school friends. But the thing is, most people in my hometown also don’t leave like I did.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a great group of friends during my time in high school. They were key factors in me surviving that horrible place that smelled like B.O. and dry erase markers. We all just grew up and grew farther and farther away from each other.

Did my leaving have a huge impact on the reason we grew apart? Most definitely.

The first year I left for Central Michigan University I was still very close to all of my high school friends. As the year went on, the distance took its toll. I could only see them if they came downstate and visited me or if I strategically scheduled out my weekends home. It got to the point that it was too much work and we all became less available.

There was one best friend I had in high school that I thought was going to be a forever friend. We had plans to be in each others’ weddings someday, yet now we don’t really talk. After my second year at CMU we talked less and less. I noticed she only made time for me if it benefited her in some way.

I realized she wasn’t someone I needed in my life anymore when I stopped feeling like her absence was a part of me missing. I no longer felt like I needed to start a conversation with her.

I looked back at our “good times” and saw how I was blind to her selfishness— the world revolved around her. But what about me? Wasn’t I important too? And that is the thing: yes, I am important too. Why make time for people who don’t really care about your wellbeing?

I have not seen her in probably over a year and I don’t really care.

I have great friends at CMU that I love hanging out with and who make time for me. They appreciate who I am as a person.

I went home this break and the old best friend put me in a group chat with other people that I graduated with. She really wanted us to all get together over break since we all hadn’t seen each other in forever.

I was indifferent. I didn’t want to reunite with people I hadn’t seen in years. My moment came to stand up for myself and I took it. I wrote back that I didn’t care to meet up with everyone. I just didn’t want to be sucked back into high school all over again. This holiday break I spent time with my family, my childhood best friend and my boyfriend’s family. I wouldn’t have wanted to spend it any other way.

I learned to say no and I have no regrets not reconnecting to my past life, because that’s what it is — the past.