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Opinion

Friendships survive across distance, time

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November 1, 2007

Hugs are shared. Cheek kissing, luggage carrying, email exchanging—goodbyes don’t have to be this dramatic.

A good friend visited me in London for the weekend. After being separated by post-high school university life for three years, we reunited in Europe. He, doing a study abroad program in Bilbao, Spain, brought me his irrevocable humor and reminiscing conversation. Their company was most enjoyable, and I could not have dreamed of any better of visitors. Their weekend holiday to London, not surprisingly, turned to a four-night party and some missed classes.

A rendezvous from an old friend at the young and beautiful age of 21 is something I can look back on and look forward to. My dear friends back home, the mates I have bonded with abroad and the sweet pals of my previous ages that I have not spoken a “hello” to in years; they may be missed but our friendships will continue to be strong regardless of the lack of an occasional phone call.

Starting out as a college freshman, I was quick to make new friends and gradually lost touch with my high school ones. To those who have run off to different cities, states, countries, continents, I have faith that we will meet again one day. For their lack of local presence is merely a measured distance. Their new location may be a fitting excuse to visit.

The people you will meet and the acquaintances made are part of the fun. Networking has become my new favorite pastime.

As everyone should know, it’s not what you know, but who you know. For instance, meeting people in hostels and even in the train stations has rewarded me with loads of free accommodation and shared meals. One after the other, each has presented something interesting as a human being. The faith in humanity that was once lost in Residence Life has now been restored.

You get what you give. I have only hoped that being generous to others will hit me back in the same loving way.

Thank you to all who have shared their couches, washing machines, bus maps and company with me as you will see wonderful things in return.

Through these people I have seen another vision of humanity. From person to person there are ups and downs—the most sickening to the most elegant. This is exactly what makes a life to live so beautiful: rebuilding the trust lost in the people onto a whole society.

-Teresa is a journalism major and a geography minor. She is enrolled in the Semester Abroad: Europe program and has done research on the River Thames in London. She is currently backpacking independently across Europe.

Teresa Aviles is a student at UW-River Falls.