What’s in a Goodbye?


It’s May. My classes have ended, my school’s library has swapped to 24/7 hours, and I am in the midst of finals season. It’s time for me to pack up all my things and leave campus while desperately ducking and dodging all of my friends’ goodbyes.

I am not a huge “goodbye” person. I always joke that I only hug my parents about 5 times a year and 3 of those are designated for the end of breaks when I say “goodbye” to them and go back to school. The words, when weighed down by the understanding of a long-term separation, always feel so permanent. It symbolizes change and transition, which are two things that make me incredibly nervous, especially as I have come to enjoy the place that I am at now.

In high school, I didn’t actually have a booming social circle. More accurately, I didn’t have real friends, which is part of why the move to this current chapter of my life didn’t feel particularly disruptive. It’s easy to say goodbye and experience these changes when you aren’t leaving that many meaningful relationships behind. Now, I have healthier and more sustainable friendships, so saying goodbye is harder because it challenges a set of routine and uplifting connections in my life.

Saying goodbye also forces me to acknowledge the future. I would love to say that I will maintain a good relationship with my current friends into the future, but I am very aware of how specific circumstances are shaping our current experience. In just one year, many of the forces that draw my circle together and help sustain it will be gone. I can’t promise these relationships will last and that is a difficult thought to wrestle with.

Goodbyes are imminent, but I must remember that they are not a forever. Though people may come and go, I will always have meaningful relationships in my life. They may not be with the same set of individuals, but I believe that I will always have access to a loving network of friends and family.

What does goodbye mean to you?

Thanks for reading!

Until next time, have an awesome rest of your day and an amazing rest of your week!

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