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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

I dabbed my eyes with a ball of toilet paper, hoping the eyeliner I spent so much time on hadn’t smudged. Pressing my lips together tightly and sniffling my nose, I took a deep breath and stared blankly into my reflection. You almost couldn’t tell I had been crying. Not that anyone was sober enough to notice, or care, anyways. With one more deep breath, I turned off the bathroom light and opened the door, the pounding music and strobe lights instantly infiltrating my bathroom tranquility. 

After two years of feeling left out, putting more in than I get back, and not feeling valued unless I was high enough to entertain a whole room of people, it’s about time I wrote this article. Not only will this force me to finally follow through with this breakup, but also show other people they deserve better friends. 

“We party together because we’re so busy, and by the end of the day just want to get drunk.”

I didn’t realize I was unhappy in my friend group until other friends and family pointed out how odd their behavior was. I don’t know if all my friends have been sober at the same time; we only ever spent time together at night with the shared goal of “getting fucked-up.” This was fine when we were freshmen and experiencing our first taste of freedom, but once we outgrew the dorms, I longed for “day-time friends.” I tried to plan fun activities with them, like bowling, movie nights, and backpacking trips (anything to get off their damn couch), but was either completely ignored, plans fell through, or, most irritating of all, they insisted on pregaming. Why do we have to be high to hike up a fucking mountain? 

“I don’t mean to be flakey, I’m just so tired all the time.”

Borderline alcoholism and weed reliance aside, I soon came to realize this group of people who I had once imagined attending my wedding were actually shitty friends. More often than not, when we made plans, one of them would cancel at the last minute, very few of them supported or even showed interest in my successes, they often hung out without me, and it was nearly impossible to get a text back from them. One year we organized a Secret Santa, which was eventually canceled; I was one of two people who actually bought another person a gift because the rest of them forgot. However, I put up with their unreliability, blatant disregard for my feelings, and general lack of motivation for years. 

“You never check in on me, even when I’m at rock bottom.”

I’ll never forget the day I showed up late to a meeting with a professor because my friend called me in tears, and I ran across campus with my backpack to comfort her. And yet this same friend accused me of never checking in on her. It’s kind of hard to check in on someone who takes days to respond to texts and never answers calls. I will be the first to admit I could have called my friends more often, but I can’t name a single time they randomly reached out to see if my mental health was stable. Friendship is a two-way street, and if you are going out of your way (like sprinting half a mile in jeans) for someone who can’t answer your frantic calls when you are sobbing, your relationship is not one of mutual respect. 

I wish I could have stood up for myself earlier, but this dynamic is no longer healthy. I am tired of the excuses and expecting plans to be canceled. I am done drying my tears in the bathroom when my friends speak of living together and fail to mention my name. I am burned out from sending texts and never receiving responses. Quite honestly, I would be ashamed to introduce any of these people to my family. But most of all, I am exhausted from trying to keep people in my life who are too busy coming up with new ways to get drunk faster, high for longer, or some mixture of the two, and waiting for them to see me as something more than someone to party with. I deserve so much better.

And so I found other people who, while still partying occasionally, were willing to roll out of bed in the morning to do “day-time activities” with me. While I sometimes feel lonely and miss being part of a big friend group, I remember how good it feels to actually have a Friendsgiving, wake up for yoga, and go out for coffee together. If there’s one thing my old friend group taught me is that I would rather be lonely than uncontrollably high and underappreciated.

Sko Buffs!