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28 februari 2020

Staying in Touch

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I had my first three-way last week. To clarify, it was a three-way Skype call between two friends from abroad and myself. We had all met on our exchange semester in Montreal, and now we live on three different continents, in three different climates, and—rather inconveniently—three different time zones.

It was surreal. It felt as if we would be seeing each other the following day

For my friend in North America, the time was 16:00pm. For myself, the middleman in Europe, it was 23:00pm. Finally, it was 9:00am in Australia. Whilst I was lying sleepily in bed, my friend ate her breakfast, and the other unpacked their bag from a day at university: we talked about our days, the things we missed about Canada, and what our futures looked like. It was surreal. These were close friends of mine whom I may not see again for years, but the distance between us felt much smaller in that moment. It felt as if we would be seeing each other the following day.

This all made me think of the other people I met when on exchange: the lovely, talented, diverse people I spent a lot of time with over the last semester. And yet, those people and I have failed to really keep in touch. I get my updates like everyone else, via social media; as such, the impression is that all my friends are out living their best lives. Naturally, this image filters out any negatives—most people share only the happier moments. It’s wonderful, seeing how they’re all getting on without us all constantly texting one another; but this does not mean all is well. Those who don’t use or don’t have a platform for sharing may be having a tough time, quietly suffering and wishing they knew how to best change their situation. It’s these people whom we should contact, without any judgment or complicated suggestions. If you haven’t heard from that quiet friend of yours recently, drop them a line. Reach out, get an update from them, just to make sure that at least one person has asked them “Hey, how are you?” recently. Try and reduce the distance someone may feel between themselves and the world around them, simply by being friendly.

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