Dear Year 12s,
A huge part of your life is about to change. While you might have some feel for what your future days will look like (work, further study, gap year?), you're about to lose something important. It's one of those things you just don't realise what you had until, sadly, it's gone.
It's the privilege of being able to spend around 200 days a year with your friends, without even having to try and arrange it.
When good things happened, you've been able to hash it out in person the very next day with those who know you best. When bad things happened, they've been by your side without hesitation or interference from other schedules. Do you know what a gift that has been?
I'm wondering whether you have asked yourself yet; what is going to happen to my friendships when school is over?
If you want them to continue, you'll need to work at them. And I reckon it's never been easier, what with Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and any other online social medium I've failed to mention by name.
Yet, at the same time, it's harder. Because even with all these awesome apps, it's still going to be crucial to arrange your face to face time. You'll have to juggle conflicting schedules. If it's a big group of friends, things might need to be arranged way ahead of time. And it'll never be more annoying when someone commits then drops out at the last minute (for what is probably a no-good reason!).
In a way, your friendship circle will decrease because you only have so much energy and time. You'll also be trying to make room for new friendships founded through study or work or new hobbies.
It all sounds a bit serious, doesn't it? It's really ok. I'm just being one of those misty-eyed adults urging you to enjoy every last moment of this special time in your life.
But let me encourage you with my experience. In the 12 or so years since I finished high school, so much has changed. I've moved states twice, married, changed jobs, studied and had a baby. I've met many people along the way, kept in touch with a lot, but also lost contact with many. But through all this, I am still friends with a core group of girls with whom I shared my high school years.
While I don't see them often, and sometimes barely find time to send a message, we have this bond, forged through years of assignments, fun, stress and shared experiences. They are and will always remain very close to my heart.
So take heart—you're not about to lose all your friends! You'll just have to work a bit harder than you've had to before.
Pearls of wisdom
In these last days of school, you've probably had more pearls of wisdom flung at you than could be put on a necklace. Well, here's a couple more, well worth listening to because they're from the person who was the ultimate friend to all.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.(Jesus, speaking to his disciples, recorded in John chapter 15 verses 13-14)
Love your friends. Make time to connect with friends, both online and offline. You probably won't have to literally lay down your life for them, but it will cost you more than it used to. It will cost your time, your effort, your energy, and often, money (because catching up for coffee, sadly, is not free!).
What I'm saying is this: it won't be as easy as just rocking up to school, knowing they'll be there. But bear the cost gladly because a good friendship will reward you with so much more than what it has taken.
So go well, Year 12s. May you be blessed richly in your future days with good friendships of the past and the future.
Sarah Urmston lives in Toowoomba with her husband, Stephen. She loves God, her family, writing, colouring in, crochet, and creating lists. Sarah works full-time at home and seeks to faithfully serve Jesus in many different ways using the time she's given.
Sarah Urmston's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/sarah-urmston.html