Missing someone?

L&S_When a friend leaves
Illustration by Ed Appleby

How I dealt when my smart-ass friend got a full scholarship to UofT

By Julie Wright,Columnist

Warning: this article is about friends and family members, and not so much exes.

Recently, my best friend of 10 years moved to Toronto to attend the University of Toronto on a full scholarship. Her high school GPA was around 3.8, in the accelerated program. Ridiculous, right? While being super happy for my perfect friend and her ridiculously good opportunity, I was super sad that my safety blanket would be residing across the country. I’m sure some other people can relate to this, so here are some tips I’ve discovered on how to deal:

Keep busy! I find that the more things you do, the less you think about what’s bothering you. Some ways I’ve kept busy are joining extra-curricular groups. Try bands, sports groups, clubs, newspapers (hint, hint), dance troupes, or really anything that tickles your fancy. If you get together with a group of people daily—or weekly—to do something that you’ll all love and enjoy, the time will pass much more quickly and the person you’re missing will be back before you know it! You can even join multiple groups.

For example, I’m in multiple bands, which meet either weekly or bi-weekly, which has helped keep me busy. Having an event to look forward to each week really strings the weeks together, and time passes much more quickly. As soon as a week has passed, you remember the last week you were here and it seems like just yesterday. It does help a lot if you’re in multiple groups or programs, but even adding one activity to your schedule will make a difference.

Talk to them. It may seem a little contradictory to what I last said, but when you miss a person and you just need them (you all know what I’m talking about, you cried for your mom once, admit it) a good thing is to call, text, Skype, or Facebook message them up and just say “Hey, I really miss you.” They probably miss you too, and before long you’ll be talking like old times. If they don’t miss you, or if they’ve also kept super busy to avoid feeling sad that you’re all the way across the country, you always have Netflix, Ben, and Jerry.

Make plans with your other friends. No, not those three. You can’t subsist on ice cream and binge watch How I Met Your Mother again. Not this week anyways. I’m talking about your other friends, the ones who exist outside of the plasma-filled screen. Go out and get coffee, take a walk, check out the aquarium, or take in a movie or concert. These are all very good options for getting out and forgetting your woes, even for a few short hours.

This may seem very similar to keeping busy, and it’s the same concept, but a different idea. When you make plans, you can also be distracted or sad and leave the other person to cheer you up! Which they will probably do, unless your friends are horrible. If that is real for you, get new friends. Seriously, you don’t need that negativity in your life—Ben and Jerry have got your back.

I hope this helps with your grief! If you’re an introvert like myself (sometimes), get some tea and listen to some happy music on a walk where you’ll be in nature; you’ll feel better. Extroverts can do that too I guess, just don’t talk to anyone with headphones on.