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I feel like I have a story for everything, but one of the things I have the most experience with is friendships, particularly, ones that didn’t work out. We’ve all been there, maybe there was a huge falling out, or perhaps a gradual loss of connection. Whatever reason there is, it seems like most people have a hard time answering one question: when is it time to let go?

It’s completely natural to outgrow a friendship. Though the pain sucks, there’s really no avoiding it. Not every person from the past will continue to be a presence in the present. I feel like everyone, especially in the last months of high school, thinks they’re the outlier. I definitely thought it would be possible to keep a relationship with every friend I had before college. Now that I’m here, there are people that I’ve called “besties” that I haven’t talked to since the day I grabbed my diploma. Yes, it’s sad, and mourning a friendship is a different type of grief; a grief that is debatably harder is having to walk away in the first place.

A bad friendship is two things: an oxymoron and an emotional virus. There will be things in life that are essentially oil and water. No matter how bad you try, they won’t mix, and it will end up making a big mess as well. I’ve had my fair share of friends that I no longer talk to. Some of it is my fault, some of it isn’t. I can come to terms with the fact that I have made mistakes that ended friendships, though in the past, that was one of the hardest things to do. With all of that being said, sometimes friendships need to come to an end. I have always been a big believer in the fact that people come and go for reasons. Though I’ve cried many tears over fallen friendships, I learned things from each of them that have made me a better. I didn’t always think this way, I use to believe that loyalty was one of the most important things in a friendship, but that was when I was always thinking about everyone else.

I’ve talked before about how it’s ok to be selfish sometimes. It’s ok to prioritize your own needs if they don’t fit into someone else’s prerogative, even if it’s in a friendship. Everyone talks about the importance of communication and respect in relationships, though it often gets misconstrued as a thing that applies only to romantic love. All relationships require communication and respect, and it’s easy to lose sight of those qualities in a platonic relationship.

Besties will always mess up, but that just because besties happen to be human, the same as you and me. I have understood that people make mistakes, but that doesn’t mean you have to immediately forgive someone when they mess up. The term “forgive and forget” is for the people that put other’s needs before their own. That’s just a personal choice. I believe forgiveness is a powerful thing, but forgetting is not a required part of forgiveness. I’ve forgiven many people, but there are a lot of things I will not forget. I live my life by the principle that I forgive everyone, just for my own peace of mind, but after a certain limit, there is no going back.

Friendships are like any other relationship, they have their ups and downs, however when there are too many ups and downs to focus on the actual friendship, that’s when things get messy. I understand that you want to stand by your bestie forever,

Abigail McGhee

Winthrop '26

Hey guys! My name is Abby and I'm a freshman at Winthrop! I'm here to write about the crazy things that college students go through and how it applies to me as a psychology major!