There’s nothing like meeting a hometown friend

Seeing friends over winter break is fulfilling, worth the wait.

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Photo courtesy Annie Ink.

Friends come in all shapes and sizes. While that statement can be taken literally based on body type, that’s not really where I’m going with this.

What I’m referencing is the fact that there are many types of friends. Some friends are only good for a few laughs, and some are good for a study partner. And some seem to transform your life into a “Gossip Girl” episode with all the drama they cause.

There are also new friends and old friends. The new ones are no doubt important and influential in our lives, but I truly believe there’s nothing quite the same as an old friend you’ve known since you were little.

Over break, I talked to a friend I graduated with. He asked me if I kept in touch with many people from our class. I told him other than my best friend from high school, Maddie, and a few others, I had grown apart from the rest. He was surprised by that. I told him I had made friends at college, and they are simply a bigger part of my life now.

But what he said next really made me think. He told me college friends were important, but, in the end, there really isn’t anything like the friendship you have with a hometown friend.

I realized he was totally right.

Transitioning to and through college means the alteration of friendships. For me it wasn’t much of a gradual process — I lost touch with my high school friends rather quickly. I met great new people here at UND and it quickly became my new home. I wouldn’t trade my life here for anything, but there are still those few close friends from my childhood that no new friend could ever replace.

As much as I love my life and the people I’ve met at UND, sometimes it just takes a friend I’ve had all my life to truly understand or appreciate a certain situation.

I have a friend from my hometown that has been with me through thick and thin. Maddie and I went to grade school and high school together, we were on the same sports teams and we quickly became best friends. I know I can go to her with anything, and she will understand. That’s the key — she has known me all my life and can, therefore, give me advice and support like no one else. That’s what makes these friendships with hometown friends so unique.

Having a friend that has known you for so long is an advantage. Personally, I can go weeks or months not seeing and minimally talking to a friend from my hometown, but as soon as we both come back home, it’s like nothing has changed while we were apart. We talk and spend time together like it was still track season in our senior year of high school. It’s comforting to always be able to have that someone in your life who can change and grow as much as you do, but will always remain a close friend.

Many of us came to UND from different towns, states and even countries. We can all empathize with the needs and desires to meet new people. But that also means we understand how much hometowns and the friends they hold mean to us.

Carrie Underwood sang it best: “All the faces that won’t forget you, and when you’re lost out in this crazy world, you’ve got somewhere to go, to get found. Thank God for hometowns.”

There’s no place like home, but what’s more is there are no friends like the ones from home.

Mary Ochs is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected].

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