Monday, January 28, 2013

The Best Thing to Say When Someone Is Leaving

A few years ago, a close friend of mine was preparing to study abroad for a year, everyone was really excited for her. I was very happy for her as well, but there was something else that I had to tell her. Something really important that I wasn't sure how to bring up. So the night before she left, I wrote it an email. I explained that while I thought she would have an awesome time, she could always talk to me if anything was wrong. I said that it can be hard to talk about things that are a problem when everyone is expecting you to have a great time, and to know that I wouldn't think it was weird if she didn't like something.

This, to me, is one of the most important things to say when someone is going to college, going abroad, getting a new job, or doing anything new that everyone assumes will be a great experience. Looking back now, I would even add that I'll support the person if they change their mind and decide to return home. It's a hard topic to bring up because you don't want to talk about things going wrong when someone is excited, but you can think of it as preparation.  No matter how excited someone is about going on a hike, they should still pack a first aid kit in case someone gets hurt. You're not taking away from your friend's excitement - you're being part of their back-up plan.

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