College life is busy (or at least mine is anyway) and while that fact makes the life of a college student challenging and fun, it can also make it hard to maintain relationships with people from high school. Even with all of the technology that allows for such easy communication, the hardest part is finding the time to keep in touch. I know this sad fact only too well.
Last weekend, I realized that I hadn’t talked to my best friends from high school in weeks so I made a point to write them all emails and just find out how they were doing. For each of them, so much has happened since we last saw each other for a day during Winter Break and I feel awful for not trying harder to stay connected to their lives.
That’s the thing, though, when you are in high school you think that you’ll always have that same close friendship that you shared but it doesn’t quite work like that once the graduation caps have been tossed.
You’ll spend one last summer together, hanging out nearly every day and staying up late, laughing and talking about the past and about the future until it all blends together at 2am in a temporal kaleidoscope.
But then in the fall, instead of returning to familiar hallways, you all go your separate ways and start leading separate lives and when you don’t see each other every day at school anymore and you are excited about starting your new life and making new friends it can be difficult to maintain that familiarity with each other’s personal lives.
This is what happened to me when I began college: my friends went to different colleges, Hannah to UW-Eau Claire; Lizzy to UW-La Crosse and now Mid-state Technical College; Bomie attended UN-Las Vegas but she’s currently studying abroad in China, while I went to Winona State.
I’d see snatches of their lives on Facebook, snapshots of my friends with so many people I didn’t know and places I’d never been. On rare occasions Hannah, Lizzy and I would all be home at the same time and would catch up over lunch together, but it wasn’t the same sharing of experiences. It was filling each other in on things we’d missed.
Now I am not saying that it is impossible to keep your old friends from high school, quite the opposite.
You’ve probably all heard that relationships take work and it’s no different for friendships; you can keep your high school friends but you will have to work harder at it. Technology IS a great way to stay in touch, whether you text, email, post on Facebook, or Skype. And there is always the possibility for face-to-face meetings too whether that is over school breaks or visit each other’s college for a weekend.
Last year, I visited Hannah in Eau Claire and we had a lot of fun. I was also able to meet her new friends which made me feel more connected to her new life.
Ultimately, as your new life in college begins it doesn’t mean your old friendships have to end but they will change and you will need to put more effort into them, as I have been reminded again only too recently.
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