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Original Illustration by Gina Escandon for Her Campus Media
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Utica chapter.

If anyone can speak on toxic friends, trust and believe it’s me. I cut friends off faster than I can make them. I get upset when I have to do this, but then I just remind myself that this isn’t a loss and my future self will thank me later.

So when is it time to take a step back and reevaluate your friendship? Let’s remember what comes with being friends with somebody. They make you feel good about yourself. The relationship is equal parts give and take. Everyone is treated fairly and nobody feels like they’re not being treated the way they deserve. If you even have to question the friendship, take that as a warning sign itself.

College was a place I was supposed to flourish and make my forever friends. High school was fun and all, but college was the real deal for me. After high school, I decided to grow out of those high school friendships and invest my energy into my college ones. Nobody told me college friendships would be like high school ones. I realized I was making friends with all the wrong people.

In these friendships, I was left feeling ashamed of myself, being constantly criticized and ridiculed, and just taken advantage of. I felt drained even thinking about them. I decided to act on these feelings and no longer associate myself with these “friends.” Now, I feel free and better about myself.

Cutting ties with toxic people is never easy. It’s a hard thing to do and it is an accomplishment when you’re finally able to stand up for yourself and do what is best for your mental health. You deserve friendships that make you feel good, not ones that will take advantage of you and your kindness. 

When I would confide in one of my best friends, Casey, she would always ask what I would tell her if she was the one confiding in me. When I thought about it like that, I realized if any other person was telling me how they were being treated by a friend the way I was, I would tell them that it was time to move on. And that is exactly what I did. 

Allowing yourself to cut people off from your life and move on is something that you should not feel bad about. Never feel bad about doing what is best for your mental health. If you’re noticing that you are not feeling like the best person in your friendships, take a step back and reevaluate if this is something you need right now. You are deserving of much more and much better.