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Balancing High School and College Friends

Coming into college, everyone from college counselors to mothers told me and my friends that it’s totally normal to be nervous about making new friends and it’ll be fine, but they didn’t clue us in about what happens after those new friends are made – specifically in the context of our already established friendship webs.  Here are the dos and don’ts of striking a good balance between the new friends you make and the old ones you want to keep.   


DO: Make an effort to know your high school friends’ college lives

You don’t need to know who all of their new friends are, but chances are that with Jewish geography, the connections are endless.  Plus, it’s not fun to listen to a story where you don’t remotely know the people involved, so it’s better for everyone if you actively listen and can genuinely contribute. 


DO: Lean on them for support

The first weeks of college are overwhelming, and there’s no point in pretending that you’re living your ~best life~ on day 3.  Your high school friends are your home friends, and as such act as extensions of your family. There’s no shame in admitting to them that you’re having a rough day.    They’re your original people and know how to cheer you up. 


DO: Make time to FaceTime them 

Not to sound like an Apple promo, but FaceTime really is amazing.  Sometimes the best pick me up is just seeing a familiar face, and it’s cathartic to do something as simple as virtual napping together.  


DON’T: Always leave the room to FaceTime

Sometimes with schedules it’s inevitable, but you have to remember to live in the now.  College friendships are still new and developing, so it’s wise to split your time efficiently. You don’t want to always disappear into another room for hours and miss out on potential friendship building.  A simple fix is to set up FaceTime dates. You’ll have something to look forward to, and it prevents the constant disappearing act.  


DON’T: Measure your college friends next to your high school friends 

Relationships take time, so there is no point in comparing just yet.  You had years back home to develop and strengthen your friendships, and it’s only been about a month in college.  The comfort will come, faster for some than others, but you can’t expect everything to snap into place instantly.  


While these Dos and Don’ts are good to keep in mind, it’s okay to look at them as blurry guidelines as everyone’s experiences are different. This list is not foolproof. However, it is what I’ve learned through trial and error as I’ve completed my first month of school.

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