Ask Sophia: "Telling my friends I'm moving" (schools or states)

Q: "I need help telling my friend that i'm moving”

- Anonymous


A: I thought this question would be the perfect Ask Sophia for this week as a handful of friends and family have recently disclosed that they are moving to both new schools and states. 2 of my best friends are going to boarding school!!!! VERY SAD! I don’t really know what I’m going to do :( Before I tell you how I think you should share the news, I doubt that you will ever be 100% transparent about why you are leaving to your friend. Both have told me that they want a change and can’t wait for a different experience but I always know that there is more to the story that they may never be able to explain. While in my case, I have been on the receiving end, this post will be offering some tips on how to share the hard news.


Switching Schools

  • Who: You only really need to tell a small handful of your closest friends… the rest will learn eventually. I’ve seen people post these announcement pictures and paragraphs about their decision on social media. Literally if you tell any more than 3 people, I hope you know that the word will spread.

  • When: Tell your close friends on the earlier side so they have time to process. Not only will it hurt your best friend to know that you’re leaving but if it’s some last minute curveball, she might have felt like you were hiding this information on purpose. One of my best friends hasn’t told a lot of her school friends that she is going to a boarding school next year. At first I thought that she had to do it immediately and kept bothering her about telling them but now I completely see it differently. For the peripheral friends, there’s no point in making it some big deal if it doesn’t really affect their life and your friendship isn’t very important. I respect that my friend wants to hold off on telling the others and I am glad we are so close that she told me earlier.

  • Where: 9 times out of 10, you and your best friend will probably start crying after the news has been shared.

  • How: The primary reason people switch schools is for their education or other family circumstances. Of course you want to explain all your reasons for this switch to your friend but I think you keep it concise in the beginning - meaning make it about YOU and something general such as the need for a different learning environment. Say either that you need to shift to a smaller environment where you can focus better in class or that you want a typical high school experience closer to your house at a local high school. I think you try to keep it focused on extracurriculars and academics. While it might be true that you are tired of the toxic people or want to branch out socially, she might feel super offended.

Other tips

  • In that first conversation of sharing the news, try to refrain from talking about how excited you are about the new school or how ‘relieved’ you are to leave. These are things you can definitely discuss later but be sensitive to the fact that your friend feels like she has been ‘betrayed’ by you. ‘Betrayed’ is definitely the wrong word because you haven’t betrayed her at all… I just know the feeling of hearing this news and it feels that way.

  • Be super specific about things you guys will still do together. For example, my one friend and I meet after school most days and get a snack or dinner. Another friend and I facetime every night and catch up. For my friend going to boarding school, we have been planning our break bucket lists and when I can go visit her there. Instead of focusing on missed time together, hype up the moments you will have together.


PS: I say this in many posts but it’s SO SO SO much better to have best friends who don't go to your school. Literally me and all my closest friends go to different schools. You guys will have a nice break from each other during the day and then confide in each other about problems and issues you never felt like you could before. Trust that this change could totally enhance your friendship and be a really good thing.



Moving States


Our best family friends are moving to a new state! This was such hard news to hear. The big thing for this one is that it’s probably not your decision and you most likely don’t want to be leaving. I think you emphasize that point and use your parents as the reason to get the blame off your shoulders. You can always keep in touch but you never really know if the last goodbye is for forever. The best thing you can do is leave on a good note. Plan super fun things to do in your town and make sure you have the chance to live up your last few weeks with your best friends.



Big takeaways for either situation

  • Make this a private conversation because crying might be involved

  • Lots of planning out what you’re gonna do when you are together

  • You guys probably won’t talk about the big change until it actually happens… if your friend doesn't ask you a ton about it or chooses not to bring it up so much… know that she DOES care, she just probably doesn’t want to think about it. Your friends are outwardly happy for you but are deep down very sad. They don’t know what they're going to do without you so not confronting that it’s going to happen and keeping it as a distant reality is how lot’s of people cope!

  • Plan a night out or drive by so you can have one final goodbye with your closest friends. Long, drawn out goodbyes are sometimes harder than just something you do once right before you leave…

  • Write notes to your friends and take lots of photos!!!!


Anyone who knows a friend who is leaving - try your best to be happy for your friend! Let them embark on a new journey knowing that their closest childhood friends will always be there! It hurts and it really hard… I’m going through it too. All we can do is hope that one day we will reunite and continue from where we left off.


We got this,

Sophia


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