Dealing with Old Friendships that Fade When You Go to College

Sometimes when we make major changes in our lives, we find that the relationships we use to have change with them. Many students I have spoken with are shocked when close friends from back home don’t seem as close as they had in high school. It takes some adjustment, but all is not lost forever.

Why does this happen? Sometimes situations change people. Maybe you or your friend met a new group of people that has changed your perspective on life and you both no longer share that vision you once had. Sometimes we can attribute certain fallouts to this time in our lives. I’ve seen people who could care less about high school our senior year only to become super studious once they hit freshman year. The change seems drastic, but sometimes life situations hit just the right buttons to make someone do a 180.

One of my best friends and I had a situation where things just seemed different. By the time we had reached sophomore year, we had drifted apart. We had both gone to different schools in two completely different states, but more so, it was just a time in our relationship that experienced a rough patch. We still kept marginally in touch and then, lo and behold, our senior year, we picked right back up, even though we were, in many ways, two different people. I felt strangely excited to catch back up with her, almost as if she were a new friend whose back history I knew every bit of.

When this happens, especially if you are the one caught by surprise, don’t panic! You can never force a friendship to stay the same forever, and you may not want it to. If your friendship seems to fade quickly, lift yourself up by spending time with new friends and making new memories. Just know that you can always check up on your old friend. Before you know it, you may end up like my best friend and me, with a totally rekindled friendship, or may find that you have also moved on and are quite happy where you are.

Keeping yourself busy is another great way to keep your mind on a dying friendship. It will hurt, but focusing on your studies, extra activities and just enjoying college life in general is a great and necessary distraction that also forces you to not waste your college time away.

If you feel especially distraught by your situation, don’t go at it alone! Talk to your resident adviser, a campus counselor or a campus minister. These people are specially trained to listen and help you cope with problems just like these and can give you valuable advice to follow.

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