maintaining friendships from high school through college.

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.

-beautifuldarkmystery

Was it or has it been difficult for you to keep your friendships from high school last throughout college? 

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three worst qualities (things i need to work on).

So I’m hoping that by writing some of this out, it will help me get a better understanding of myself and how I think and what I need to change, so I’m going to start with three qualities about myself that I can work on. They are in no particular order.

1. Be more outgoing. As an introvert, I often like spending time alone as opposed to being in a crowded place with a lot of people. Hence, you’ll never see me at the night club, or at the mall during Black Friday (did it once, NEVER again). However, I’m in a major that requires a lot of heavy networking…that means talking to people. I don’t like talking to people because I’m always conscious about what I’m saying…like I’m going to mess something up. I believe in psychology it’s called the spotlight effect or something. It’s basically where you think people are are observing your every move when really, they don’t care all that much and you basically are freaking out for nothing. It’s not that I’m an anti-social person. I love hanging out with my friends and being at school doesn’t bother me. I guess it’s more of making an effort of putting myself out there. It’s something every introvert is not very good at, and hopefully, I’ll be able to work on that a little more.

2. Use my words. Since a child, I’ve always been very articulate with writing, but when it comes to speaking, I feel like I’m put on the spot and don’t know what to say. Especially with things like feelings or dealing with confrontations, I always freeze and panic because it just doesn’t come as naturally to me as it does to others. This is one skill I KNOW I have to get better at because in the future, I’ll need to know how to speak for myself and know how to do it effectively. I feel like I have started to become better at it. I took a public speaking course during my sophomore year of college (it’s part of our general ed, so there was no way I was getting out of that one). But I ended up surprisingly liking it. I felt like by the end of that course, I felt comfortable speaking in front of my peers. However, it’s been a while since I took that class (or have had to do a presentation or speaking engagement of any kind), so I may be a little rusty.

3. Not be afraid to fail. I don’t know where I get this from…but I am a perfectionist. If I can’t do something right, I won’t even attempt it. I know that such a thing doesn’t exist and that we’re supposed to make mistakes, and trust me, I’ve made a fair share of mistakes so far that I’m not proud of. But I don’t know how this came to be a fear. I guess I put a lot of pressure on myself to please my parents and make sure that they’re proud of me because the last thing I want to do is disappoint them. At the same time, I have to realize that this is MY life. I need to make myself happy as well and I need to do what I need to do in order to get where I’m going. ¬†Perhaps this comes with being an introvert…we don’t like to embarrass ourselves so we try to do everything right. But I know that everyone makes mistakes. I just need to learn not to let those things get to me or take them too personally because that will ruin me in the end.

-beautifuldarkmystery

What are some things you would like to work on about yourself, if any?