Navigating Friendship in College

As this school year comes to an end, I find myself reflecting — especially about the people in my life. I have found that making friends in college has been a pretty different experience from making friends at any other point in my life.

In high school, I had two main types of friends: people I was actually friends with (you know, the ones that I’d eat lunch with and hang out with on weekends) and my "school friends" (people that I was only friends with because we had a class together or maybe played a sport together). With the latter, we weren’t particularly close outside of school, but we'd talk regularly during class, practice, or the school year. While these "school friends" kind of circulated in and out of my life depending on what classes I had that year, some of them did turn into long-lasting friendships. 

friends with arms around each other Photo by Priscilla Du Preez from Unsplash

There are a lot of temporary friendships in college. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. There are many people I’ve met in the last two years who are no longer a part of my life. While this does make me a bit sad sometimes, I think that it’s just part of the nature of college. Many friends are made due to proximity and convenience, like living in the same dorm, and that friendship doesn’t always translate over the summer or from year to year. The pandemic has also definitely exacerbated this distance. With my freshman year being cut short and having an extremely extended time away from campus and my friends, it’s just that much easier to drift apart.

Four people holding each other in shades of purple Photo by Vonecia Carswell from Unsplash

This has also just been an extremely difficult time to make friends. For introverted and shy people, the isolation, online classes, and seeing only a small circle of people have made it even harder than it already was for me to make friends. Additionally, only having one semester on campus this year (which I am, of course, incredibly grateful for) has accelerated the speed at which I’ve been trying to make friends and form connections with people. I don’t know what this summer or next year will hold for my friendships. Sometimes people are only meant to be in your life when they’re meant to be in your life. I try not to dwell too much on any lost friendships, especially if it just ended naturally, but rather just appreciate it for what it was at the time.