It’s the end of the summer, and you’re about to head to college for the first time. You’re sitting in a circle cuddled up with your best friends. You reminisce on your years of friendship through tear-filled eyes, in disbelief that your high school days are over and you’re all going separate ways.
You promise each other that your friendship won’t change, that you’ll always remain as close with them as you are right now.
Flash forward to the first week of classes. You’re so busy getting adjusted to this new place and meeting new people that you forget to shoot a text to your group chat letting everyone know how you’ve been.
As the weeks turn to months, you realize you are talking less and less, watching through social media as your friends develop a new group and realize that your friend group is not really the same anymore. When you’re all home on breaks, you realize you only really hang out with them if there’s nothing else to do, for the sake of appearing like you still have friends from high school.
This is a tale as old as time, but it’s not mine.
I am so fortunate to have had such a close-knit group of friends in high school. Since I knew most of them since elementary school, I can practically name everything there is to know about them — ranging from their favorite flavors of ice cream to their most dark and embarrassing moments. I never get bored of them, I never get sick of them and most importantly, I never want to replace them.
From what I’ve gathered, it seems that when some people go to college, they are so set on the fact that there is where they’ll finally find their “people.” But what does that even mean? We have friends we love and have known for years, but because we’re going off to new places we must assume that the people we’ve known for a few months will automatically be better?
I don’t understand why some people feel as though they must have a group of people they like more. It boggles my mind really, but I guess if they were real friends in the first place, people wouldn’t be so quick to replace them.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe we make some of our best friends in the world at college — I know this first hand. I’m extremely lucky to have found some of the most genuine and amazing people I’ve ever met here at Lehigh, and I’m even luckier that I can call them best and lifelong friends.
I also believe people shouldn’t be so willing to let go of their childhood friendships just because we’re no longer in our childhood years. College should be a way to add new friends to your social circle, not an excuse to take old ones out.
I’ve found a way to ensure the preservation of home friendships is to continually check up on your friends.
Ask them about their experiences, their accomplishments and share yours in return. Make time for them, especially when you’re both home on the same breaks, and even plan trips to visit each other during the school year. Friendships are commitments, but if you genuinely care to make the effort, they are always worth it.
When going off to college, I believe it’s important to start a brand new chapter in your life with an open mind and reinvent yourself if you so please, whether that be through the kind of people you surround yourself with or the clubs that you join.
However, I also think it’s important to never forget where you come from.
No matter where you end up in life or what you do, where you come from is always going to be a part of you and you can’t change that. Appreciate where you come from and don’t run away from it. Appreciate your hometown, your favorite places and especially your friendships. They’ll always keep you grounded through each new stage of your life.
Rachel Krevans, ’21, is an assistant lifestyle editor for The Brown and White. She can be reached at [email protected]