Communication is Key
Going away to college means exactly that. Going away. Leaving your friends and family that you have known since birth. It’s a big step, no doubt. It’s what separates the men from the boys, the amateurs from the professionals, the weak from the strong. It is what fully defines you as a college student. You realize you’re no longer in high school when you can’t sit down for a home cooked meal every night after a long day of class. It hits you. And for many, it hits them hard. It’s a huge shift, and for those who don’t like change, that shift feels like an earthquake. Luckily, our generation has grown up in an era where everything has become instant, especially in the communication aspect. Now a days, I can send a text and a friend of mine from home can get it within the same thirty seconds of sending it. I can see my old pals’ reactions to stories I tell over revolutionary inventions such as Facetime and Skype. I can even upload all of my pictures from my weekends directly to Facebook and see how my friends celebrated their weekends just the same. I don’t think that the young adults of our generation truly appreciate our technology today. Back then, you would send a letter to someone and hope that they get it three days later. However, in a constantly instant world, it is always nice to get what is now known as ‘snail mail’ or a good old-fashioned letter. This past school year, I’ve been so fortunate to receive all kinds of cards, letters and care packages from friends and family all over. Getting mail while you’re away at school is exceptional. There’s truly nothing else like it. I always get chills right before I turn the key to my mailbox. My heart beats fast, my hopes get up and I pause my breathing ever so slightly. When I receive a letter in the mail, it shows love. It shows that someone took the time to sit down and think about you even for just five minutes. They took the time to go to the store, buy a card and write something long and meaningful, or short and to the point. It shows character. For that person, it would have taken them less time and money to send a quick text or email, but they chose not to. I always see people’s handwriting as something that is so special. In a text message, everyone’s words look the same. The same Helvetica message is always typed out clear as day upon opening my messages app on my phone. When you go away to college, there’s a lot you’ll miss, but there is even more you have to look forward to. Even though you won’t be able to see your friends from high school or family everyday, they are always a text away. Just know that. But, going away to college will prove whom your true friends are. Many people will lose touch with you. It’s no one’s fault, it’s just life. People will come in and out of your life all of the time to teach you lessons, help you grow and show you love. Yet, it’s those who go beyond the Sunday afternoon: “Hey. What’s up? I’m bored” text that truly care about you. The ones who send you the cards just to say hello, the ones who will talk to you on Skype for 7 hours, and the ones who will send you long texts just to say how much they love you and cherish your friendship are the ones that are your true friends. Those are the people that will help you grow the most. So here’s a tip: care for the ones who deserve it. College will separate a lot of people but it can also draw many even closer. And when it comes to communication: the more personal, the better. Buy some stamps, sit down, and write a letter every once in a while. Make it a long one. Write what you feel. Show your chicken-scratch of handwriting. Draw some doodles. Write a joke or a poem. And then, send it. I guarantee that the good deed will be recycled. Because in a world of instant everything, it’s always exciting to open that mailbox and have something for a change from a loved one and not just a boring bank statement. It’s the little things, the details that matter most in people’s lives. Always.
~Emily R. ‘17