I don't think I've ever truly said goodbye before.
Sure, I've said plenty of goodbyes in the past. But none like this. None of the others felt as real as this. Or as sudden.
I guess the first time I had to say goodbye to people was right before going to college. Goodbye to all my high school friends. But that was more of a "see ya later" to anyone I really cared about. We all come home for the holidays, and I'm still able to see any of those people if I really want to. Plus, my best friend from high school ended up going to school a couple miles south of me. No real goodbyes there.
College is the first time I ever had to say goodbye to a bunch of people and know that I might never see them again. But freshman and sophomore year, that didn't matter too much. Sure, I had some good friends who graduated both of those years, most of whom I never saw again. But I wasn't extremely close with them.
This year, I've formed the closest friendships I've ever had in my life. Some of them came from living in a fraternity house and spending time with these people day in and day out. Some of it came from partnering on homework for some very challenging classes. As lame as that sounds, it got me very close with a select group of people.
And now, I'm realizing that I will probably never consistently spend time with these people again. Sure, I might see them once or twice if they come back to visit their alma mater. But after that, after I move away from Chicago, it's entirely possible that these people will be nothing but a series of great memories.
I don't want that to happen. Facebook makes it easy, in theory, to stay in touch with these types of people. But in practice, it's not as easy as it sounds. Our lives are constantly changing and evolving. New people enter as others leave.
I guess that's just life.