As the school year comes to an end, many international school students will experience the pain of losing good friends. I’m sure all international students will go through this at least once in their lives – or, they could be the ones leaving their friends behind. From what I know, most of the kids who leave have diplomatic parents. Personally, I’ve lost my best friend and numerous close friends throughout my years at the Western Academy of Beijing (WAB). The pain of losing them could be unbearable at times.
Two years ago, my best friend moved away. I was devastated; we’d been friends for five years and knew everything about each other. She was the one I confided in when my parents were mad at me and vice versa.
Don’t get me wrong, I was ecstatic when she was accepted into Choate – a very prestigious American boarding school – but I couldn’t help but think, “What will happen to me? Will we lose contact? Am I going to be friendless now?”
As an eighth grader, the thoughts running through my head might have been extreme. Nonetheless, I was terrified at the aftermath of my best friend’s departure. Constantly, I would think about who I could go shopping with or who I could complain to when I had exams or torturous assignments. I couldn’t fathom how I could survive without her.
Two years later, I’m surrounded by people I love. Despite the fact that I lost my best friend, I actually managed to get closer to some people that I never thought was possible. It’s not that my best friend was holding me back, but one person’s departure can also be a fresh start.
Both of us work really hard to make sure we’re still in contact with each other, whether it’s fixed Skype calls really early in the morning or really late at night (got to remember the time difference) or coincidental Facebook surfing, which leads to an excited "ping" from the bottom right corner of the screen. If it’s a friendship worth fighting for, maintaining contact is the number one priority.
How do you get over losing a best friend? I don’t think you can ever really get over your best friend leaving, but if you join new clubs and keep an open mind about meeting new people, you’ll feel more at ease about the whole situation. It’s a painful process, but it’s one that we all have to live through.
Sophie Li is a Grade 10 student at the Western Academy of Beijing (WAB). Last week, she and fellow student Christian Neoh interned at beijingkids as part of the school’s World of Work program, which offers sophomores their first real on-the-job experience.
Photo: Blondinrikard Froberg (Flickr)