Make New Friends but Keep the Old

When I was in elementary school, maybe like first or second grade if I remember correctly, our choir teacher would have us sing a song about friendship during one of the seasonal concerts. The one phrase from that song that has stuck with me for all these years is: “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other gold.” While gold is considered more valuable than silver, I do not believe that the song is trying to teach little kids that old friends are more valuable than new friends, or vice versa, but that they are both important. Like the precious elements silver and gold are, both should be treasured, just like both kinds of friends.

One of the best things about college is the exposure to many, many new people. Rutgers is fantastic in this regard because it is so diverse and is a place where everyone can feel like they belong. I have met many exceptional people during my five semesters here, and I treasure the meaningful friendships I have made.

Despite these new friends, I sometimes find myself missing my old friends and their warming familiarity. Social media easily helps people keep in touch, but it is not the same as having them by your side and being able to talk in person. Not counting the final papers I have due, I had only one final (that I had to go in for) on Tuesday. With that class out of the way, and only papers to think about, I irresponsibly allowed myself to take a break from academics and spend time with a couple of old friends who were back for the winter.

We did mundane things like going out to eat, driving to get gas, sitting on the couch watching Shark Tank, or seeing a movie in theaters. Last night, I went to the movies and my friend and I were the only two people in the theater. It was fantastic! We were able to voice our thoughts as the movie progressed and could laugh and holler as loud as we pleased. I value these simple moments just as much as something more exciting, like going to a concert. I believe that if you can have a good time doing something ordinary with someone, so good that other people think you’re crazy, then you have found a true friend.

The excitement level for how we spent our much-awaited reunion did not match up with the great elation we felt at finally being able to hang out again. Despite that, I find that dinner dates, car rides, and chilling are perfect ways to catch up after a semester.

As the countdown to winter break drew closer and closer to ending, my anticipation to see my high school friends increased. Now that I have seen a couple of them, I feel like my batteries have been recharged. Seeing great friends who are like siblings was refreshing and now motivates me to quickly finish the rest of my assignments so that I will be free to hang out again, as soon as possible.

I look forward to spending time with both high school and college friends over winter break, and I hope you do the same. And remember, make new friends but keep the old because one is silver and the other, gold.

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