I’m starting to realize that even if someone had given me a “College Survival 101” book (as if such a thing exists), I don’t think anything could have prepared me for what I would experience during my first year and on…specifically with friendships.
One of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with is growing apart from the people I was really close with in high school. I understand that we’re all going our separate ways now…different school, different friends, different path…but I don’t think that means just simply give up on the people who were there for you.
I can’t even count on one hand the number of people I still talk to from high school and we’re all in our third year now (more or less…I’ve got some younger friends as well). It’s hard. I understand that it’s a new and exciting experience…we’re learning how to be on our own, but I feel like a lot of people get so caught up in it that they just simply forget about everyone else and they don’t even see how it affects others. My hardest year in terms of trying to maintain my high school friendships has to be my sophomore year. Here’s why.
During my freshman year, my friends and I were thrown into these different environments and we were each others’ “safety zone” because of the familiarity. By sophomore year, you really learn who your real friends from high school are because they’re the ones who try and make an effort. This was really tough on me because one of my best friends just completely stopped trying. I knew him since sixth grade and he was really there for me during high school and I was there for him. We grew super close, practically like brother and sister close and to have that all ripped away was tough. I took it personally, even though I knew it wasn’t really my fault. There was nothing I could do about it. By junior year, I’ve learned to accept what has happened and I’m not as affected as much. I realize that life must go on. In turn, I’ve gained many new friends in college. I know God doesn’t take away something good without giving you something better and I am truly blessed to have met the people I have so far. Not only are they all pretty much in my major, but I’ve never clicked with a group of people so easily and so quickly.
That’s not to say I can easily look over the ones who HAVE made an effort to remain friends with me, and that is where I should be devoting my time and energy to. I do have a few friends from high school that I try to see during the breaks…it may be tough because we’re all on different schedules, but we make it work. One of my friends holds this annual holiday party, and that’s where I see most of the familiar faces I left behind. The thing is, whether we still keep in touch or not, everything still seems the same…we all talk about high school, we all ACT like we’re in high school again. It’s actually a lot of fun and it gives us something to look forward to at the end of the year.
But it’s always going to hurt a little, but this is part of growing up. When I was very little, my mom always told me that friends are temporary…they won’t be in your lives forever. Now I know what she means by this. I have taken so many pictures with my friends and I guess this is my way of holding onto the memories. They may have grown up and changed, but when I look at that picture, I can delve back to the exact moment that was taken and I will smile. I truly believe that God has the right people lined up for me and that certain people are placed in my life for a reason. I know my life is just beginning, and I have many more people to meet.
Was it or has it been difficult for you to keep your friendships from high school last throughout college?