My last post, “People Here, People There” was actually more about the people here than those there, so today I bring you PHPT Part 2 to even things out a bit. I’ve been thinking about the “people there” a bit more anyway.
In college, it can get weird to talk to the people there (people who I’m separated from by distance), especially the ones who used to be close people here (people I’m close to by distance). People there don’t see you regularly enough to know all the details of daily life. “People here” and “people there” are relative terms that change depending on where you are and how long you’ll be there. Right now, my people here consists of the students and faculty on campus, and possibly the people I interact with at my volunteering center.
Family can become people there, because even though I’ve been communicating a lot with Mom and Dad, they don’t know everything. All the little details about UB (like the fastest way to get from NSC to Bert’s during the inter-class rush), the quirks of my friends that are big enough to make them who they are but not big enough to mention, the level of cleanliness of my room, the current state of my academic progress: these are all tiny things that the people here know without asking, but which separate me from the people there. And that’s okay. There’s no way they possibly could tell all of the people there everything, and if I wanted them to know everything, they’d probably have to move in (which I doubt Rachel would be okay with). I think this is a part of the growing up experience.
My high school friends are people there, particularly because they are having vastly different experiences than I am. We make an effort to stay in touch in various ways. All of these different technological forms of communication make it easy to stay updated on the big things. But they are “people there” even more than you all are, because I have a pretty good idea of what your lives are like after living with you all my life/your lives (whichever applies). My high school friends, however, have gone through the same crazy transition that I have and I just don’t know how to get around their campus, much about their new friends, what their dorm rooms look like, or any more than a vague idea of what classes they’re taking, let alone how much they like each one or how well they’re doing. We’re just trying to stay updated and make sure the big changes are out in the open.
And that is weird beyond words. It makes it hard to have some real talk, because you spend a lot more time in conversations describing your life rather than discussing it, if that makes sense. It’s a shift in communication style and even though it’s a big change, I think that the people who are important will stay in your life. I graduated knowing that I wouldn’t talk to most people very much anymore, and others I still haven’t spoken to since I left in August.
I’ve been keeping in touch with Corey, Bry, and Erika pretty regularly via phone. I get the occasional text from Laura or Facebook message from Sarah and hearing from a “person there” always makes me smile. Some people, like Gretchen, I didn’t talk to except during my visits to the high school over winter break, but it was still great to see them all. Hearing from an old teacher is always a special treat, too.
One of the important things to keep in mind is that even though I might not talk to the “people there” every day and they might not be as involved in my life as they used to be, they’re all still a part of my life. Not quite involved, but still a part.
To all of my “people there”—you’re a part of my life even though we’ve gone through some changes. You are important for me to talk to even when it’s mostly description and less discussion. You’re my people even though you’re my people there. I miss you and I love you. It’s almost March break, when you can be my “people here” again!
Lots of love,