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Tricks to Balancing New and Old Friends

We’ve all heard the line: “College is where you find your real friends.” I agree with that statement! When you leave for college, you’re on your own for the first time and you’re thrown into a school with brand new faces where no one knows your name. You start fresh, meeting people with the same interests and majors. You live with these people and they see you at some of the highest and lowest moments in your life. But what about the friends you’ve known for years, the friends that you’ve gone through the awkward middle school stages with and shared the golden years of high school with? What happens to those friends when you’re at college making all new ones? The answer is to keep a balance between new college friends and old friends from home. 

(A mixture of college and high school relationships, F.R.I.E.N.D.S. did it right!)

Keep In Touch!

Texting can be excessive. Personally, I’m not a fan. Texting your friends from the moment you wake up until the time you go to bed doesn’t prove your love for them! Make sure you talk to home friends as often as you possibly can without being rude to the friends you’re around at college. It’s no fun being around someone that sits and texts all the time, or stays in every weekend to talk on the phone.  

·         Plan a Skype call. Pick one day a week or once every two weeks and plan to catch each other up on the gossip in your lives. Besides, weekend adventures are more interesting when you can hear and see your friends’ faces while you’re telling them.

·         Have a show you both like to watch? Call each other on the phone afterward and discuss details. This little gesture shows you’re still in touch with each other’s interests.

·         Sporadically text. Shoot a few texts back and forth pretty often. It may only be for five minutes, but it shows you still care!

·         Visit them. Take a road trip out to see their school, meet their friends, tour the campus, and go out and have a bit of fun! Your friend is just as excited to show off their school as you are to see it.

 

Plan a Visit Home:

Trips home are great opportunities to catch up with everyone, but you can feel like you’re being pulled in all different directions when people bombard you with plans. Schedule plans ahead of time so you can fit in family, friends, and relaxation time for yourself.

·         Try grabbing lunch, having coffee, or going shopping with your friends. It’ll be like the old times and you’ll get to revisit your favorite spots from home, too.

·         If you’re close with the teachers and younger students at your high school, try having you and your friends visit together. You’ll get to show everyone how much you’ve all grown since graduation.

·         If you have the type of friends that are more like siblings, invite them over for dinner with your family. You’ll get the best of both worlds.

 

Mixing Can Be Trouble:

As much as you’d love to combine your new friends and your old ones into one group, it may not work; they just may not get along. There is nothing wrong with that, though. The key is not to favor one side over the other.

·         We’ve all had amazing times with old friends from home that make awesome stories, but don’t get caught up with nostalgic memories of homecoming and Friday night football games too frequently. Cherish your memories from home and tell them to your new friends, just don’t go too far and make them feel left out.

·         The same goes for college memories. Have amazing stories from college? Tell your friends from home! Just be careful not to make your home friends feel replaced.

·         Put in an equal effort towards both groups. Catching up with friends from home will be more technology based while friends from college will be in person. Show all your friends you care about them in whichever way works best. 

 

Lastly, don’t be afraid to let some friends fade. As you and your friends grow and mature, you may grow apart. Holding on too tightly to something that’s no longer there will only hurt you more. In the end, your true friends will be there, whether you’ve known them since kindergarten or the first semester of college; they’re going to make an effort to stay close with you—it’s what best friends do.

 

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