Thing 1 and Thing 2


Margaux MacColl

On a typical afternoon after school, Caroline McKechnie ’15 and Hadley Ward ’15 would be lounging on the grass, recapping in depth every conversation, every piece of gossip and every interaction that had occurred that day.

A few hundred feet away, Oliver Hickson ’15 and Jake Berman ’15 would be on the track, standing side by side, leading the cross country team together as friends and as captains.

Later in the night, you would find Nikhita Shankar ’15 and Sky Guinta ’15, dancing and laughing together on table tops.

All these eccentric pairs have something in common— they are all examples of that inseparable and incredible bond known as best friendship.

But a separation is coming— a separation more drastic than summer camp, more permanent than vacation. The separation that faces many students as high school dwindles to an end: college.

Most best friends are forced to part ways after they toss their graduation caps, while some choose to attend the same college; however, both scenarios come with their own set of challenges.

With Ward attending George Washington University and McKechnie attending St. Andrews University in Scotland, the two will be an entire ocean apart.

“It doesn’t feel real,” McKechnie said. “Even with internships it was weird not seeing Hadley all day.”

However, they have no plans to let distance deteriorate their friendship. In addition to figuring out the time difference so they can text each other at ideal points in the day, Ward is hoping to see One Direction in Scotland in October and is planning to stay with McKechnie.

Berman and Hickson will face a similar struggle since they’ll be 200 miles apart, with Berman attending Bucknell University in Pennsylvania and Hickson attending John Hopkins University in Maryland.

Hickson describes the separation as “strange” and “sad,” but since they’ll both be on their college’s cross country teams, they’ll see each other at the track meets.

There is, of course, the option of going to college together.

“If we went to college together we would die, probably,” McKechnie said.

“We would die of exhaustion,” Hadley joked.

Shankar and Guinta agree, saying while their love for each other is mutual, what they looked for in schools was vastly different, with Guinta opting for warmer weather at University of Arizona, and Shankar preferring the cooler climate of Pennsylvania at Lehigh College.

Abby Lustig ’15 and Rachel Doran ’15 see otherwise. The best friends of 15 years will both be attending Cornell University together in the fall.

The two didn’t intentionally apply to the same school, but when they found out they both were accepted and were going, they were thrilled.

Lustig recalls both of them rushing to Saugatuck Sweets and buying celebratory Great Cakes cupcakes together— the same cupcakes they used to munch on after their ballet practices in preschool.

Once the excitement subsided, the girls had to acknowledge the potential drawbacks.

“When you go to college with a good friend, there’s always the possibility that you and your friend will isolate yourselves, and you’ll enter and leave college only with that friend,” Lustig said.

However, there is tremendous comfort in knowing that in a school of strangers, there will be one familiar face a dorm or two down. “We’re kind of small reminders of home,” Lustig said. “And we can be right there for each other in tough situations.”

Regardless of whether or not friends are sticking together the next four year, Hickson knows that parting ways is “just a part of life.”

But a best friend is forever, and he has no worries about him and Berman losing touch.

“We’re going to stay friends for a very long time.”