How to Lose Your Friends and Influence People

Freshman year, everyone is lost and looking for friends. You find them in your residence halls, sports teams, clubs and organizations and classes. While there is an inevitable familiarity or attatchment to your freshmen squad, there is also some necessary distance. As a junior, I've heard sophomores complain and worry about losing their freshman friends. I remember exactly what this felt like. 

Sometimes this difficulty is cemented by distance: there's no guarentee that your buddies from your first year will end up living close to you. Housing is crazy and frequently you and your friends will be strung out across campus, some in Terraces, some in Emerson, some in off or on-campus apartments. This might seem like a technicality, but proximity definitely makes a difference. While the begining of the year is coming off of the momentum of freshman year and summer (everyone wants to see each other and catch up), as the semester drudges on and people become busier it can get difficult to make time for people who aren't in your immediate view. 

More importantly, however, you might find that your original friend groups drift apart for ideological reasons. I want to preface this by saying: IT'S OKAY! When I hear people complain about how their old friend groups produce nothing but drama or tension, I think "Just leave!". There is nothing shameful about growing out of friends. It happens. The important thing is to remember that it is no one's fault (especially not your own). Instead of letting the need to keep close with old friends stress you out, just let go. Find instead people who fulfill you, that can have the hard conversations, that can talk to you about your work or your life in ways that don't degrade or judge you. These people are usually found accidentally - when you aren't looking to expand your circle all of the sudden there they are with their love and acceptance. If you find these characteristics in your freshman friends, than CONGRATULATIONS! You're in the 1%. For the rest of you, there is nothing shameful in phasing yourself out of these circles. If you don't what tends to happen is that the lack of real connection breeds toxic atmospheres in which friends are constantly looking for external validation of each other's friendship instead of genuine caring and stability. 

In short, ditch your "friends": there's a huge possibility they were never really your friends to begin with. 

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