High School Friendships in College

Coming to college, like every other freshman girl, I was TERRIFIED that I would lose my high school friends. Senior year, I was driving back from visiting a college with my mom and the thought hit me all at once. I was on a tour at SUNY Albany and left early because the campus reminded me of a bland, cigarette-smelling institution and was so big I felt dizzy thinking about it (no offense to any Great Danes– it just was not the college for me). I started to have a mini freak out in the car as I thought, What if college makes me miserable?… What if I don’t have any friends to suffer through it with? I started to think about how fast my life was changing, and how the future was entirely unpredictable. I cried like a baby as I tried to wrap my head around how far away I would be from family and friends.

I went to a small, private catholic high school and had a small group of friends. We were always in the same classes, did the cheerleading together and spent weekends joined at the hip. We lived 15-20 minutes away from each other and their families became my family. From seeing them almost at every hour of every day, to only a few hours every few breaks throughout the year? I had no idea how that was supposed to work.

The first few months of freshman year, it seemed like I was constantly trying to stay in touch through texts and snapchat. I thought that if I didn’t maintain some kind of communication every week, our friendship would crumble. But, after a while, that gets exhausting. I quickly learned that friendship was not based off constant texting; Friendship is supporting one another, not forcing a conversation because you feel like you should, and sharing similar outlooks on life. In college, you slowly begin to realize, and perhaps have a little bit of a different perception of what constitutes as being a friendship.

So far, I’ve learned that the best way to maintain a LDF, or long distance friendship, is through phone calls. Yes, actually picking up your iPhone and talking into it. I will forever be the type of person that would rather talk on the phone than text. I think maybe because I can be scattered at times, and through texting, I’m limited to communicating/ expressing my whole thoughts… If that makes sense. Which is ironic, considering that I like writing… Hm. Whatever the reason might be, there is something better about having a conversation through talking on the phone (but, I’ve learned that’s an unpopular opinion, at least with most people I know).

*Side note: I actually hate being that person that generalizes the millennial generation (especially when it comes technology blah blah). However, I do have to say that it saddens me, and is one of my pet peeves, when people get weird about talking on the phone. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that I hate texting, but 9/10 times, I will be dialing a number if I want to have an actual conversation.  

One of my best friends and I always talk on the phone instead of text. When we are on our way to class, making food, or whenever we’re bored. Compared to when we text, the conversation is always more meaningful and in depth. My freshman year of college I felt that talking on the phone also kept me from being bored or feeling lonely, which are common things freshmen typically experience.

However, throughout these past three years, I’ve lost touch with most of my friends from high school. College takes up such a large part of your life– after all, it’s a whole new chapter. You become busy and consumed with school work, you meet new people and gain new interests. With all those things, we change, grow and move on to new experiences, new friendships.

But, I think that every person comes to realize that most “old” friends will be there when you need them. It’s a simple matter of reaching out. That might sound kind of corny and stupid, but it’s true. It’s no longer like we’re stuck in a high school mindset that everything is a “two-way street.” I think that as we go through college, or any new chapter in our life, we become more mature. And with that, we become more open minded and can tell very quickly who is a “ride or die” friend.

I know that for me, and for a lot of people, high school friends will always be there. You may not hang out or even talk very often, but I know that if I ever needed to talk or wanted to catch up, they would be there for me in a second.

I’ve learned that you will not stay friends with every single person that you were friends with in high school, or even some of the people you were friends with early on in college. However, it’s not sad or disappointing. Simply, it is what it is. 

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