By Kayla Smithgall
On May 9, I said, “See you later,” to my best friend, Seva. She was an exchange student and her nine months in America were up.
“I’m not going to say goodbye, because we will see each other again,” she said.
On August 26, I said, “See you later,” to my two American best friends. They were heading off to college in Florida.
“We’ll see you in December!” they said.
I had to say goodbye to the three most amazing people I’ve ever met within just a few short months.
When I said goodbye to Seva, it hurt me so much that I told myself that I didn’t want to be friends with an exchange student again because I didn’t want to go through that much pain when saying goodbye.
I didn’t know what I was going to do without being able to see her every day. When she was here, I pretty much knew her schedule because it was so similar to mine. When she went back home, I had no idea what she was up to.
There was a little voice in my head telling me that she’d forget me once she was back home surrounded by her family and friends.
Let me just say, I have never been more thankful for technology than I am now.
There is a 14-hour time difference between the U.S. and Georgia. The only time we can Skype each other is in the afternoon here, which is in the evening there.
We have Skyped each other a few times, and each call has lasted for at least two hours. We text each other a couple times a week, with updates on what’s going on in our lives.
It made me so sad when my friends left for Florida. Unlike Seva, I knew when I would see them again but I still miss them like crazy.
Like Seva, I was nervous that they would get there, make lots of friends and forget about me.
In the past, whenever I asked someone to keep me updated, they never would. When I asked my friends to keep me updated, I had a sad feeling that they wouldn’t. But they did.
I got texts when they passed through different states and where they went to do a little sightseeing. I got Snapchats of their dorm room and where they would be working. I even got pictures of what it looks like for one of them to go to English class.
Last week, I got a postcard from one of them telling me that she had already met two Kayla’s there but that I will always be the greatest.
After I received the postcard, I was no longer worried that they would forget about me. It put all my worries to rest.
Sometimes I still feel alone. Every so often, I want to do things and start to ask one of the girls to come with me, until I remember that they can’t. It stinks that I was “left behind” but knowing that distance won’t change our friendship is an amazing feeling.
As for not befriending any exchange students, that is going to be impossible to avoid because the ones that are here at SHS are pretty fun to be around.
If anyone ever tells you to not become friends with someone because they have to leave at some point, don’t listen to them. The memories that you will make are worth so much more than the pain it causes.
And don’t ever say goodbye; just say see you later.