Seniors look to stay connected amidst change


Photo Courtesy of Tyler Day

Senior Tyler Day has some fun with a group of his friends after skiing at Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe, California, where they stayed for a few days at the end of February. Day wants to continue to make memories like this one, even after leaving high school.

As the 2022-2023 school year draws to a close, many seniors are beginning to focus on their life after high school. Whether they plan on staying close to home or traveling far away, every senior has a new journey to look forward to after they are handed their diploma at graduation. However, not everything in high school has to be left behind, including the friendships that students have made over the years. 

Many seniors have spent their thirteen years of schooling building up and developing relationships with one another. But as the clock ticks onward, there may be some lingering worries over whether these friendships will last after the school doors close. 

Well, it’s time to put all those worries aside! It may not be possible for friends to see each other every weekend while leading their post-secondary lives, but there are certainly ways that relationships can be grown and maintained, even while friends are apart.

Summers are always a great time for students to hang out since many students will be returning back to Washington as soon as college classes come to an end. An added bonus is the lack of schoolwork and stress during break, leaving more free time for students. Going on big, exciting trips is also an option now that many seniors can drive themselves and others around. Taking a summer senior trip or making a fun “to-do” list might just be the thing to solidify long-held friendships before any changes take place. 

“I’d say that I feel bittersweet about leaving high school and leaving my friends. I’m probably going to be far away and there are lots of unknowns about next year. But, I am excited to try something new,” Senior Sierra Craig remarks.

Craig plans to major in architecture in college and also plans to attend a far away school, while most of her close friends are staying local. 

In order to make the most of their summer, Craig and some of her friends plan on making a bucket list filled with fun activities. One such activity is tennis at Washington Park, which Craig and her friends try to take part in on a regular basis. These summer get-togethers will give the group fun memories to take with them as they venture beyond high school.

But, students don’t have to wait until the summer to see their friends again. In the digital age, it is easy for friends to shoot each other texts on Instagram, Snapchat, iMessage or any other social media platform they so choose. Friends can also view one another’s stories and posts, adding positive comments to them or sending private messages. 

“[Friends] could just start with a regular texting group chat and share videos and pictures. Also, on every [social media] platform you could make a group chat to stay connected. I know one thing my brother does is that he’s always on Zoom calls with friends,” Senior Tyler Day says.

Day plans on attending Penn State University and wants to continue to stay in contact with the people closest to him. 

Video calls are another great way for friends to stay connected and show each other around their new campuses or homes. In fact, seeing a friendly face can be just what someone needs to light up their day. 

Students should feel encouraged to send texts or phone calls. A simple “I miss you” or “How are you doing” text from a friend can be just what is needed to maintain a long distance friendship. 

Above all, the important thing to remember is that all friendships change, and that change does not have to be a bad thing. Friends who care about each other will grow and adapt to it, whether that is through break hangouts, fun activities or virtual check-ins. 

“If your friendship is strong enough, no matter what — you’ll find a way to stay in contact with them,” Craig says. 

So, good luck on your next steps, ‘23!