Thursday, December 29, 2016

Alma mater friendship in a box

True friendship lasts forever. We, six college students, were convinced of that when we graduated one by one in the cause of one year 33 years ago. When we enrolled at the Leiden University to study political sciences, we became close friends that shared our college lives in that old Dutch academic city. Six young people, two female and four male, of complete different backgrounds and all with our own individual outlooks on life, somehow managed to be a very coherent group. That would never change.

Or so we thought. But life interfered. Even though our friendship did not evaporate, it surely faded. Career, relations, moves, maturing, it all contributed to the lack of interaction that followed. I'm sure we are not unique in that, many will recognize this unintentional change of emotions that happen, without any real conviction how to prevent it. Even though some friends occasionally got together at special events – a wedding, a priest ordination, a funeral - true friendship was not reactivated for many, many years.