4 ways friendships from high school change at university
Many people don’t stay in touch with the friends they made in high school after graduation, either by choice or simply because it was too difficult to maintain the relationship.
It’s okay for those relationships to end, but I don’t think it’s true that high school friendships have no meaning or value, or that those friendships can’t grow with you.
Here are a few ways that high school friendships can change when you go to university:
1. You could lose touch entirely.
Maybe you got in a huge fight at grad and never patched it up. Maybe you lost touch over the summer. Maybe you decided independently to “move on.”
Maybe it was just too difficult to relate to each other without being stuck in classes with them for seven hours a day, or maybe you simply lost touch.Maybe you go to the same campus, but never see each other and are fine with that.
Maybe you’re still Facebook friends and occasionally like each other’s photos, but you know it’ll never go beyond that again. It’s okay if that happens. But if you had wanted to stay friends, and it was entirely them who ghosted on the relationship, that can be hurtful.
But keep in mind that there are lots and lots of people in this world, and you’ll definitely find new friends who are excited to get to know you. Not to mention that it’s 100% a blessing in disguise to not have someone around who remembers you when you were in a braces-Belieber-Inuyasha hormonal tornado. Now you can pretend it never happened.
2. Maybe you keep in touch, but find that you’re just at different places in your life.
This is what’s happened to my roommate. He still plays Dungeons and Dragons via Skype with his old high school friends, and goes to see them every so often.
But he’s found that, while he still has good experiences with them, he’s noticed that when they’re all together, his friends just perpetuate the old high school drama they used to deal with, and haven’t managed to move past that.
None of them seem to have really “grown up”, which is okay, but it’s left my roommate feeling exhausted at re-hashing the same old arguments they had when they were fifteen.
3. You could stay very close to your high school friends, or at least depend on them for most of your social interaction.
If you go to different schools, this could lead to you feeling isolated at your new campus or in your new city. It’s fine to stay in touch, and many relationships we make in high school are valuable, and could last a lifetime, or at least far past graduation.
But it’s also important to keep moving forward, otherwise eventually you might find yourself getting left behind. You could feel lonely and feel like you need your high school friends more than they need you as you watch them move on without you.
It’s important to give yourself a chance to make new friends at university, partly just because human interaction makes most people happier, but also so that you can move along a little bit and not feel stuck in the past, like the glory days ex-football stars in cartoons who still wear their class ring at forty.
Moving on is easy to say, but not exactly easy to do. But taking the first step and giving it a chance could lead to lots of really lovely friendships and interactions.
4. You could stay close friends and have the pleasure of watching your friends grow up, and feel super proud of them and how they’ve grown since you first met them.
I’m personally still close with my five best friends from high school, and it’s honestly so lovely to reconnect with them and see where they all are in their lives.
Sometimes I fall into the trap of comparing where I am in my life to where they are in theirs, but I try to keep in mind that everyone walks a different path, and happiness and success have different meanings for different people.
Regardless of whether high school was the best time of your life, or you’ll be glad never to speak to anyone you met there ever again, the most important thing is that you’re doing your best to be happy now, in your new circumstances, with all the new things you care about.
If the friendships you had in high school are worth holding onto and add love and value to your life at university, then do your best to keep them! Send a text, set up a Skype call, try to visit during reading week!
But if those relationships have run their course, I think it’s okay to respect that and to move forward, meet new people, and let yourself forget forever that you used have Beyblade battles during recess, if you feel that was a low point in your life.