Tonight I said goodbye to three of my best friends. Over the next couple of weeks, they're leaving the country, each for least one year. I've had friends leave before, but not three at once.
I could say it's easier having given them going-away presents and getting to see them one last time before graduation. I could say it, but I don't know if I believe it. It's certainly more real, now, since we've given them our gifts, but I don't think anything could make it easier.
Over the past four years, a bunch of us from various parts of the country have grown close. We've faced essays, exams, Friday morning lectures, Teaching Placement, weird masses, explicit films and bad hangovers together. We've celebrated birthdays and Christmases and completing exams. Now, though we face departure and new currencies and strange cultures and different timezones, we can still celebrate new beginnings. New jobs at home and abroad, new challenges academic, social and professional, new lives to be explored and survived and celebrated.
Life won't be the same with them gone, but even goodbye and good luck doesn't mean The End. We might not see each other often, any of us, but I don't believe this can ever keep us apart.
We're friends despite national borders and county lines, no matter how long it takes to get us all in the same room again.