Point/Counterpoint: The Importance of Keeping in Touch With High School Friends

Pro: Stay Close to Old Friends

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Point/Counterpoint: The Importance of Keeping in Touch With High School Friends

Graphic by Amanda Mattesi

Graphic by Amanda Mattesi

Graphic by Amanda Mattesi

Camilla O’Keefe, Junior, Features Editor

With millions of students worldwide leaving their hometowns for college, it begs the question as to whether one should or should not stay in touch with childhood friends and family. College is a new world and a new opportunity for many people; one can reinvent themselves practically overnight. But if one becomes homesick, does one just push those feelings away? And do the memories of high school that consist of awkward haircuts and badly-matched outfits disappear, or do they still lurk in the heart? It is important that students still stay in touch with friends and family during and after college since they were the ones who shaped them into the person that they are today and are people they can always rely on.

If one is feeling homesick during his or her stay in college, who else would one call but their parents, siblings, or friends? Who else would send adorable pictures of one’s dog, cat, or fish? Homesickness affects about 69 percent of college students severely, and there are many tried and true methods to combat it. Many people say that being more involved in extracurriculars and making new friends fights homesickness, but according to Professor Mark Beal of Rutgers University, it is critical to balance both new relationships created in college and relationships back home. He adds that it is important for students to know that college does not mean they are completely cut off from family and friends, for they can always return. By creating such a mindset, students not only cure their homesickness, but strengthen bonds with old friends.

Furthermore, one must preserve ties with high school friends and family since they, ultimately, assist in shaping one into the person they are for a lifetime. The closest of friends have each experienced each others’ highest and lowest points, and have helped each other in even the worst of times. No first-year college student can expect to find a bond as deep and bountiful as those they share with childhood friends in the first few months–even years–of college. In addition, family tends to consist of the people who one sees for almost every day of their childhood. As a family raises a child, a family sculpts the mind of said child, thus practically manufacturing how the child will become as whole. To completely break away from the people that one has spent their entire life with plainly does not make sense.

Staying in touch with family and friends you have known practically your whole life is important. It is critical that one finds a balance between old and new friends.