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Why It’s Okay to Drift Away From Your High School Friends

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Wisconsin chapter.

Your freshman year of college can be a little overwhelming. You say goodbye to the comforts of home only to be thrown into a new place. Don’t get me wrong, I love living away from home so I can pretend to be an adult; but, Mom, I’d really appreciate it if you wanted to help me out with the three loads of laundry that I’ve left piling up. Dropping off some groceries wouldn’t be so bad either — I won’t have to pay $1,000 for four avocados at Fresh.

With all of the new, exciting things that happen in college, keeping up with your high school friends can get overwhelming, especially if you all went to different schools. That said, here’s why it’s not the end of the world if you find you and your high school friends drifting apart.

People change and not everyone is going to stay friends forever, especially as you each mature and find other interests. I don’t know if you feel the same, but I’m definitely not the same person I was in middle school or high school. And tbh, thank goodness.

By branching out of your comfort zone and not relying on your squad’s safety in numbers, you might find new best friends who are even more perfect for you than those from your hometown.​

It can be hard to admit that you and your high school friends aren’t that close anymore. However, it’s important to not hold on to something that isn’t really there anymore. When you find yourself running into an old friend, fake-making plans to grab lunch some time, you should realize that maybe things have changed — and that’s okay. Just because you aren’t best friends anymore, doesn’t mean you have to avoid each other.  

It’s also important to remember that drifting apart for a moment doesn’t mean your friendship’s over. Life gets busy, and it’s hard to keep in contact. I sometimes get so busy, I don’t even see my roommates — let alone friends who live hundreds of miles away.

It’s natural to drift away from old friends when you’re in college. While saying goodbye to some friends may feel liberating, it’s also perfectly normal to just put your high school friendships on pause. This makes reconnecting with them that much better because you know when you come home from school, you’ll have about 900 hours worth of stories to tell them.

In the end, the friends who really matter to you will always find their way back into your life — and it’ll be like they’ve never left.​

So, don’t be afraid to drift away from your friends. In the end, you’ll probably end up growing closer to them; but in the meantime, you can grow as a person and find some amazing new friends.

I'm a junior at the University of Wisconsin Madison studying Neurobiology and Global Health. After graduation I hope to go to medical school and work with the World Health Organization. When I'm not cramming to catch up in classes, you can find me watching late night re-runs. I love to go hiking with my dog, prefer tea over coffee, and will never turn down a chance to go makeup shopping.