If there is one thing I am a solid champion at (other than burning cheese on the outside of a grilled cheese sandwich to a perfect crisp), it's moving. I've always been an "all in" kind of person, and as such, I've so far upheaved my universe with a college transfer, a move to Nashville, a move back to Virginia, and the move that hopefully ends all moves: New York next month. As you can imagine, my best friends and I are scrambling yet again to do all the stuff we have to cram in together before The Big Moving Day arrives.
This becomes an all-too-familiar theme in our 20s: Best friends coming and going, only to come back and go again, because the beauty of this time in our lives is that we have no idea where we're going to land—and often we don't have any real intention to land at all. Yes, it means that more often than not, you and your lifelong besties are scattered across the country (if not the globe), but it doesn't make you any less close. In fact, it gives you the awesome opportunity to make sure you do all of these things before you or your best friend head to their new home:
Go on a food tour of every local place you both love
This will inevitably result in the Everest of all Food Babies, especially if you happen to live in an area with great food. This is particularly hazardous for me since I tend to choose places to live because of their great food. But when you're with your best friend, the two of you somehow summon the digestive fortitude to make this work. You must eat ALL THE FOOD...because who knows when you'll be able to eat it together again?
Have at least eight conversations about how fast time is flying
Literally half of the conversations I have with my best friends these days are some approximation of "AHHHHHHHHH! TIME IS GOING TOO FAST!" This is a necessary part of the process of acceptance, because distributing the "AHHHHHHHH" over time will lessen the despair when it actually happens that you leave.
Have a night in with wine and cheese
This isn't just any wine and cheese night—this is the last wine and cheese night. So obviously, all bets are off and hangovers aren't real and there is no such thing as lactose intolerance, because duh.
Reckless clothes shopping
Odds are, if one of you is moving away, you're both going to go through a big transition in your life. I'm sure there are more legitimate and meaningful ways to emotionally prepare yourself for these challenges, but until you find us something as cheap and convenient as Forever 21, that's how we're gonna cope.
Sync your Netflix queues
Because nothing will solidify your long-distance bond as much as texting each other "HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP HOLY CRAP" when that guy does that thing in season 3 of that show you're watching together from afar.
Do that one thing you always talked about doing and never did
Everyone has that one hypothetical thing that wanted to do together, like taking a road trip or visiting a fancy museum exhibit in that impossibly hard to get to part of downtown. For me and my BFF, it's getting fancy tea and fancy sandwiches at a fancy tea-and-sandwich place because I'm a giant, raging cliché.
If your emotional state ran on a battery like an iPhone, then sleepovers would be the figurative way of recharging it. And if one of you is leaving soon, you're going to need as much of it as you can get. You'll need the memories of your fun sleepover times to stave off the inevitable loneliness you'll feel without them in the coming weeks.
Indulge in a fated Pinterest fail
You already know it's going to be a disaster, but that disaster is just a metaphor for how your lives might have been if you'd never met each other.
Marathon your favorite movies
Nothing will make you appreciate your everlasting mutual awesomeness more than when you both quote "or WORSE...expelled" together for the fiftieth time.
Have a get together with all your mutual friends
Even though you're not going to go through this whole list of "My Best Friend Is Leaving!!" rituals with your entire group of friends, it'll still feel all warm and fuzzy to get them together for one last despicable round of drunken Cards Against Humanity. You gotta do it.
Shamelessly try to convince your BFF to move with you
Or, you know, just lure them into a dark room, shove them into a human-sized suitcase and roll merrily along. They'll be totally fine with it once they get over being in a confined space without proper oxygen for half a day.
Take one epic selfie to end all selfies
This is it. This is the selfie that will speak multitudes, that will represent the entire nature of your friendship, that will live on long after you are but ashes in the wind. Also, it's your figurative way of peeing on your best friend to mark your territory so new friends see you in their profile pic and understand right off the bat that They Have Nothing On You. You might be out of sight for now, but you are never out of mind, and you are always and forever BAE. Thus speaks the final selfie.
Honor your most sacred traditions
All best friends have a tradition entirely unique to them, littered with inside jokes that absolutely nobody can decipher into regular human language. You may not even remember how they started, but you do know that they'll never end, and although this certainly isn't the last time you'll do it, it is one of the most important.
Make plans for what you’ll do when you visit each other
This is the only step that will truly ease the parting blow. You need to know when you'll be visiting/Skyping/whatever, so the separation anxiety to come will be tempered by the countdown to visiting. Plus, if one of you is moving, the other one obviously has to come visit to assess the new digs. You may be spending some time apart, but there's no real reason to worry—nothing could ever keep you apart for long.