Changing with the Times - A Friendship Evolution

As a freshman, the first time one returns home from college is beyond noteworthy. In fact, it’s almost monumental.  After months of freedom, independence, having no curfew and a plethora of opportunities to meet new people, one realizes how much of an influence the college experience has had on them.  For most people, this moment occurs when returning home for Thanksgiving break.  We notice a huge change in ourselves. When we look at ourselves in the mirror, we don’t see the same person we have seen for the past 18 years.  Whether it is our interests, viewpoints or the people with whom we care to surround ourselves, the reality of our new existence stands firmly in our path as we plan our next steps.   One of the hardest thing we must come to terms when returning home is the idea that we may not be the same people we were when we left.  As a result, our friendships with people from home may no longer be what they were.

At school, we have met people from other parts of the country or even the world. We have learned about different things, outside of our hometown bubble.  We have met people with different points of view; people who have had incredibly different lives and experiences than we have had; people with different interests and hobbies.  Along with our independence, all these new friends and people have allowed us to grow and change as a person. Growth is not a bad thing, however, when we grow as people and grow closer to new people, we inevitably grow apart from others.

If you find that when you go home, your relationships with your old “best friends” no longer feel the same, do not be upset.  Instead, recognize and accept that you and your interests, values and goals evolve and mature as you grow. Nothing lasts forever, including friendships.

As your time in college continues, coming to terms with the loss of old friendships gets easier.  You come to realize the friendships that are truly important as you continue on your journey, and the need to foster them. The ones you find important will be the ones who ultimately bring out the best in you, encourage you and celebrate your successes with you.