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How College Changed My Friendships from Home

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

In all honesty, I was pretty naive when I came to college freshman year. There’s a lot of things in college that I was completely wrong about; I thought classes would be easier, I thought the food would be better, etc. But, one of the biggest things that I was wrong about when coming to college was how my relationships with friends from home would change. 

Like most 18 year olds entering college, I came with a solid friend group from high school. We spent the entire summer before college together. With all the COVID-19 shut downs limiting the amount of people I hung out with, it only strengthened my relationships with the friends I was able to see. The summer before freshman year, I felt closer to my friends than I ever had in the past. I just assumed that these tight-knit bonds would remain unchanged during my first year of college. I was completely wrong. 

I remember going to my best friend’s graduation party in July, just about a month before we both moved to our separate schools. Everyone there was making jokes about us being apart and what we would do without each other. Me and my best friend were always together. That summer we did everything together; we worked at the same place, hung out everyday, and we tried to spend as much time together as possible. I laughed along with everyone making these jokes and didn’t allow myself to actually think about if our friendship would change.

Later that day, during the party, one of her other friends, who I had never met before, came up to me and began talking to me. She was about 5 years older than us, she had just graduated college and was ready to give me lots of advice about my upcoming college years. We exchanged a little bit of small talk and then she abruptly asked, “have you thought about how your relationship with her is going to change?” I was a little taken aback by this question. I genuinely had never even thought about what would change and how our relationship would look different. She went on to tell me how no matter what I thought or how strong of a relationship that we had, our friendship was still going to change. At first, I was a little annoyed to hear this. I wasn’t ready to process the idea of us being apart. She continued on to explain how we were both going to find other really good friends and how often we communicated was going to change. She reassured me that this didn’t mean our relationship would change in a bad way, but that it would certainly change. 

After the party and getting all of that advice, I slowly allowed myself to think about the potential change that would occur within all my relationships from home. But, in all honesty, I still refused to accept that my best friend and I’s relationship would change. 

August came and we both moved to our respective schools that were over 900 miles away from each other. We both were excited to be at our new schools and excited for one another, but our friendship changed almost instantly. I remember wanting to tell her everything about my ‘college life’ and fill her in on all the details. My desire to share everything with her came from the fact I missed her always being a part of my life. 

It only took a couple weeks for me to start noticing the changes. With all my friends from home, it became harder and harder to find time to call. Our calls became further apart and less frequent. Even texting became a challenge. Slowly, I received less texts from friends and I stopped texting them as much. The change from summer to first semester was gradual, but was a huge contrast.

When people told me that my relationships with friends were going to change, I only ever assumed that it meant it would change in a bad way. My relationships with people from home have all changed, but not necessarily in a bad way. I don’t feel ‘less close’ or ‘distant’ from my best friend from home; we’re still ‘close’ but just a different type of ‘close’. I still tell her all the important updates and go to her when I need to talk, but we’ve both grown and changed in immeasurable ways. 

She’s not the exact person that I first became friends with during high school, and I’m not the same either. Our relationship with one another has grown and changed along with us. We’ve had to learn how to communicate in a more effective way. We obviously aren’t experiencing the same things and we don’t know all the same people, we’ve learned how to talk and bond over the small connections we still have. 

Even though so much has changed, when we’re all back home in our hometown, everything feels the same. We laugh about the same jokes and gossip about the same things. We’re able to interact and hangout just like we did in high school. With all the distance and time apart, the time we do get to spend together becomes more meaningful. Despite all the growth and changing, we’re still the same people and still care for one another in the same ways. 

I was so scared and apprehensive to let go of my high school friendships. My friends from home and I have all made great friends at college. I’ve become incredibly close to so many great people from college, but that doesn’t mean that I’m less close or not friends with my high school friends anymore. Our friendships had to change alongside us, but that doesn’t mean that was a bad thing. It’s hard to feel close to friends when you’re not actively making memories with them. But, I’ve learned in the past year, that you’ll learn to make connections with them in other ways and can still continue to bond even when being hundreds of miles apart.

Hey! I'm a current Economics student at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.! I love Spotify playlists, hammocking, coffee, and expressing my voice through writing!
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