Maintaining Friendships From Home While You’re in College

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This past week, I sat with my friend who had just received a long, paragraph-format text message from one of her best friends from home; telling her that they felt that they were drifting apart from each other, that she doesn’t reach out as much anymore, that when they do talk, it’s all negative.

Understandably so, my friend was distraught, at a loss for words, completely blindsided and upset; asking herself what she had done wrong and where this was coming from; when she had in fact done nothing wrong. This friend is not my only friend who has had issues like this with friends from home. 

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I’ve been fortunate enough to deal with my fair share of tension with my friends from high school while we were in high school, thankfully having now resolved any and all of that tension before leaving for college. Today, we all are still able to keep in touch and maintain our relationships with one another; even as each of us go down our very separate paths. We do so through the text group chat we have, the Snapchat group we have, and seeing each other on breaks or visits to one another; which is sometimes all you can do, or all you need to do to maintain relationships with your friends from home. 

But I got to thinking, after watching my friends go through these situations with their friends, how stressful it is to have them springing things like this into existence when there’s sometimes quite literally not enough energy or time on the other end to deal with it.

College is obviously different than high school. It’s important to remember the reality that we are in different places, we are doing different things, we’re meeting so many new people. And it’s important for us to be where we are. 

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It takes effort to keep any relationship alive. But what is fundamental to being able to dodge these out-of-nowhere long texts that seem to come at you on top of everything else you’ve got your mind on; is first, building these friendships to be the ones where you don’t need to text everyday, call everyday; where you go months without seeing each other. Then the second you see each other or talk after it’s been a while, you’re able to pick right back up where you left off. Those are the best, most solid kinds of friendships. Can’t we all agree? 

What is the foundation of these friendships is understanding… understanding that they have their majors, their extracurriculars, their new friends, and all the hard stuff too— maybe drama, maybe romantic relationships, stress with school, classes, figuring out our careers… We don’t know as much anymore, we’re not home all the time. We have to be able to accept that. Never forget about your friends, but be able to trust and understand that they’re still—and always will be—there for you.

At this point in our lives; at this age, with what we’re doing and all the people we’re meeting, it’s crucial to be the friend who understands that having that solid kind of friendship is necessary for now, and most likely, the future. The hard truth is that we’re only getting older, we’re only getting busier. 

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With all of this said, people do change, and people do drift apart. Our job is to find the people worth putting the effort in for. Always fight for what matters to you, always tell those you care about that you care about them and make the effort necessary to keep those people in your life. Don’t feel like you have to, always do what you want and what’s best for you. Keep focusing on you, keep going and keep getting through the stress, don’t allow those long text messages to make you feel overwhelmed or upset; and always understand.  

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