Stacy is a senior art student living in Brooklyn, NY. Over these 4 years of college, she has lived on 2 campuses and had 9 different roommates. She is a self proclaimed “expert” on being a level headed college student.
If time travel were possible, we could take a trip back to the year 2011 to my senior year of high school. I had a great group of some really amazing friends. Every Friday we would see a movie or go get some food or whatever our little teenaged hearts desired. Limited to of course what cool high school aged humans could do with limited funds and when our parents would let us borrow a car.
Now, this wasn’t very long ago. But a lot has changed in the four years I have been in college. Including my friends. Everyone knows that when you go to college, it’s very out with the old and in with the new! But no one tells you the same will happen with your friendships…
I would guess that I am still close with maybe a handful of the people I thought I would always be friends with. You know, the people you see standing next to you at your imaginary wedding. And to me that is quite terrifying. By definition, a friend is supposed to be “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.”
So how have the ties that once seemed made of steel be so easily severed? Where did those feelings of affection run off to?
Unfortunately, it was as simple as going away to school that made some of my friends disappear. Okay, they didn’t disappear, they just became less available. As I’m sure I’m guilty of as well.
My first two years of college were spent in upstate New York, about five hours from my hometown in New Jersey. So distance obviously severed some friendships simply due to a lack of visibility and existence in each other’s lives. Skype calls began to slowly cease and only one time did friends visit my campus. Not being around meant out of sight, out of mind.
The more severe reason I lost relationships was due to new found freedom. Now, I am proud to say I never was very much into the party scene that the dorms of college life pretty much forced down your throat. Unfortunately, a lot of my friends did succumb to the thrills of sex, drugs, and alcohol. Because their lifestyle choices were not even close to the decisions I was making in school, I lost interest in them. So I guess I can take the blame for the loss of those friendships. But as someone who believes you go to school to gain an education and not learn how many shots it takes for you to get sick… I just lost interest in the stories some of my friends would tell me when we found time to hangout during breaks.
But the worst part was being told I was boring and should make time for parties.
Another problem that occurred with my old friendships was dating. Suddenly, someone told all of my friends at the same time to get into serious relationships. Apparently Cupid skipped me and made me the third wheel with all my friends. So I stopped getting included in things. It has even gotten to the point where my couple friends will go to New York City, where I now live and go to school, and won’t even mention being in the area.
But I don’t regret losing all these friendships. Which is the scariest surprise of all.
Out with the old and in with the new… I have gained strong, loving friendships over the last four years. Some, much like my high school friendships, have already faded away. But others I could never live without. Yes, I know I said the same thing is high school. But this is so different. It’s hard to explain how different it actually is unless you have lived it.
Whether you want to believe it or not, you figure out who you are in college. You are not Peter Pan – you grow up. You find out what’s important to you and how you want to spend the rest of your life. And most importantly, you find out the kind of people you need in your life and you surround yourself with them. And if you’re like me, you’ll weed out the ones holding you back.
Now, as I prepare for graduation, I am apartment hunting in NYC with some of my closest friends. One I have roomed with since sophomore year and she makes sure I’m taken care of and that I’m doing my work. Another I can always count on for a serious, understanding talk on pretty much any topic. And lastly, my friend that always makes sure I take breaks from the real world and keeps me sane. I have learned that these are the type of people I value and need in my life. They contain some traits that my high school friends could not possess if it came in pill form.
So whether it be different interests or distance or whatever lies in between, if and when you start to lose touch with people, I hope you understand it’s not all bad. What I want you to take from my experience is that, yes, losing your friends completely sucks. But in the unknown world of college life, new friendships await. And they could be just what you need.