getting over bad friendships

Coming To Terms With Bad Friendships Was What Brought Back My Happiness

Life has a funny way of slapping you upside the head giving you whiplash from time and expectations.

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If you would have told me a year ago that my life would look the way it does right now, I would have been dumbfounded, but now I am relieved.

I definitely couldn't have anticipated the drastic changes that I've had to endure or the magnitude of who I once was compared to who I am now. When I step back and disassociate from myself, I can't help but feel like my life has been turned upside. Luckily for me, though, it definitely was for the better.

It's known that time changes people and situations. I had plans of what I expected this year to look like and who I would spend it with. I spent the last three years of college building up to a moment, and this current moment looks nothing like that dream.

I expected to be friends with the people I had around me since freshman year. I expected to live in the same apartment I had slept in for the past two years. I expected parties, daily hangouts with friends and I imagined this blissful senior year picture marked by wine nights and pillow fights with the girls I had loved most.

But life has a funny way of slapping you upside the head giving you whiplash from time and expectations.

I don't have those freshman year friends anymore. I don't have those girls who I thought would be my bridesmaids in my life anymore. I don't live in that crappy apartment, have those daily hangouts or live that life of anticipated bliss. I've had to come to the difficult realization that plans don't always follow through, but I have grown thankful that mine didn't.

Recently, I looked back on those three years and realized how much of it was a lie. When I first started going through the changes, I convinced myself that I had the time of my life during those prior years, but then I realized it – I was equally as miserable as I was happy.

For every good day with my friends, there was a bad one. It's easy to forget and block out all the terrible memories because you don't want to believe they actually happened. In my head, I would play a supercut of all the best moments and leave out all of the terrible scenes that made me feel miserable.

I forgot that feeling of needing to walk on eggshells to preserve the feelings of someone who didn't care about mine.

I forgot the endless battles of bending over backward for friends who wouldn't walk an inch to help me when I was in need.

I forgot the constant crying and heartwrenching confessions to my mom of how badly I would feel secluded when these friends would show they didn't value my friendship anymore.

I forgot that instant ache I felt in my heart the moment I realized I was replaced by someone else.

I forgot a lot and I believe I subconsciously did it on purpose. I tried to save my heart from reliving those painful memories and years of working tirelessly for nothing. I wanted to blame myself for everything that happened in hopes of finding any type of answer or conclusion for why it all took place. It was easier for me to rest it all on my shoulders than to blame the people I thought would never want to hurt me.

In my 21st year of life, I've had to actually come to the conclusion that people aren't what you expect them to be. Just because you paint them as the epitome of sisterhood does not mean that is what they are. Holding someone on a high pedestal only makes you lose sight of the dirt on their feet and their eagerness to use you for all that you're worth.

Just because you grow up doesn't mean they will too.

Some people have no desire to grow and instead find comfort in complacency. They settle into their belief of how their life is and their image of happiness. But just because they settle doesn't mean you have to too.

I settled for the happiness my friends thought they had. I never wanted to reach further in my life out of the fear of leaving them behind. I stifled my abilities and goals to make sure we stayed on the same page and to make them feel loved. I didn't fight for my own happiness just to avoid the possibility of hurting them and making them feel anything less than adored.

Ultimately, I realized I made myself unhappy to make them happy.

Although at times I want to regret the mistake I made in trusting people who didn't my back in the long run, I've grown more as a person in the past few months than I have my entire life. I've had to learn how to pick myself up and move on, literally. I've learned to expect less from people and accept them for not only who they are but also what they're not.

I can't force people to be what I imagine as the perfect friend. I've worked on not putting all my cards in the hands of a few people and have instead spread them out into a community. I don't measure my happiness by what three friendships in my life look like anymore, but instead, how much joy I have experienced in learning from more people around me. I've opened my eyes and have stepped out of darkness, no matter how badly I wanted to stay in a cave of isolation and pain.

As much as I wanted to hate the people who failed me, I can't. I realize now that part of the problem was that I actually wanted more. I chose to hold myself back to protect people who didn't correspondingly care about protecting me, and that's what I hated most. A lot of what happened was my doing because even if it was subconsciously, I was trying too hard for people who weren't doing the same for me, and I felt disappointed. I put my eggs all in one basket and when that wicker bin dropped, I felt like every last shell shattered. The problem was that I was the only one holding that basket up and eventually, my arm got tired and gave out.

My advice to you is to pay attention to the signs. If you find that your friendships are equally as frustrating as they are rewarding, get out. Don't convince yourself to stay when you too begin to play the compilation video in your mind of all the best moments. You need to decide what is best for you before you feel like your friendships have run dry and like you have nothing left.

The grass is greener, I promise you. As someone who felt stuck living in a wasteland, I've climbed to the mountaintop and can finally breathe the fresh air. You can too.

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Saying Goodbye To Freshman Year

"High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster."
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“High School goes by fast, but college goes by even faster”, we’ve all heard it and probably all ignored it as well. I mean time is time. It moves at the same pace no matter what you’re doing right?

Nope.

High School is over, I’m now a freshman in college and it’s April. I’m sitting here in my dorm looking at all my clothes, and bins thinking, how in the hell will this all fit in my car again? It is crazy, I need to be thinking about all of this now because there is one month of my freshman year left, just one.

All I can keep thinking is how? Wasn’t it just last week that I moved into my cozy room at the end of the hall, or just yesterday that I ran home to two hundred beautiful new sisters? As much as it seems like yesterday, it wasn’t.

It was almost eight months ago that I stepped onto this campus as a freshman, now it is my last four weeks and they are jam-packed. From formal to finals I am in the home stretch of my first year of college. I just registered for my classes next semester, and can’t get it through my head that I will soon be a sophomore.

While walking around campus I still catch myself thinking, wow I am really here. I am a college student, at a school, I fall more in love with every day. So, how can I be a sophomore now when I feel like I just got here?

Yes, I still have three amazing years of college ahead of me, and I can’t wait to see what those years have in store in for me. But, I just can’t help but feel a little sad that I won’t be a freshman anymore. I won’t be the youngest in my sorority family, I won’t be coming back to a dorm every night.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am stoked to live in an apartment next year with my absolute best friends. And you definitely could have heard me saying “I am so over this whole dorm thing” once or twice this semester, but now I can’t help but see all the things I’ll miss.

Freshman year is just unique. You get this giant clean slate, a fresh start. And it is just waiting to see what you’ll do with it. It truly is a year of firsts. My first failure, the first time being on my own, my first time not knowing anyone in my classes. Yes, that can all be a lot to take on, I was terrified at the start of the school year. But before I knew it, I had a routine, I had friends, I had a life here.

And this life surpassed all my expectations. I have a home away from home. I have friends that I know will be my bridesmaids some day. I have experiences that I’ll never forget.

Now as I head back home for the summer I couldn’t be more excited to be with my friends there and my family. But, I also couldn’t be sadder to leave my friends here, even if it’s only for three months because they’ve become another kind of family.

Despite leaving freshman year behind, we have so many more memories to make whether it’s doing the Seminole chop in Doak, coordinating our Halloween costumes, or just chilling at the house. We’ve all come so far this year, and I can’t wait to see just how far we go. So bring it on Sophomore year, I’m ready for ya.

Cover Image Credit: Cameron Kira

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The 7 Best Pieces Of Advice I Have Been Given About Life

Some of the best advice I have been given over the years...

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There isn't a central theme among these pieces of advice or sayings. They are all just random things I have been told over the course of my life–especially in the last week. I find these 7 to be particularly helpful in various situations, and try to keep them in mind when I am in over my head.

1. "Don't be afraid to advocate for yourself because there is nobody who is going to help you more than you."

You are the #1 person who can help your own case. No one knows you as you do, therefore no one will be able to help you more than you can help yourself. A lot of things are mental, so once you can convince yourself that you deserve something (whatever it may be) you can convince anyone. Another saying goes along with this, on the flip side: "No one can diminish you but yourself." You are in control of your own self-perception, and you are very much capable of being your own worst enemy.

2. "Stand behind your reputation because you can never get it back."

My mom sent this to me the other day. Be who you are, and do it proudly. Especially with meeting people for the first time, you can never have a second chance at a first impression. That being said, if people view you in a bad light, figure out why that is and fix it. You may not be able to change someones initial thoughts of you, but you can change the way they view you after that.

3. "The best things in life happen unexpectedly."

"Life is what happens when you're busy making plans," also goes along with this. Trying to plan out every little detail of your life is only going to lead to disappointment. Sometimes you find the best things/what you're looking for when you're not actually looking. Just go through the motions and things will work out the way they are supposed to.

4. "Be proud of your accomplishments, no matter how small."

It's important to celebrate the little things. Did you go to class today? Good for you. Did you decide to drink water instead of a soda? That's awesome. How are you going to work up to doing bigger and better things if you don't have anywhere to start?

5. "Whatever you're stressing about now probably won't matter in five years."

As someone who is often eaten away by their own worry and anxiety, this is a mantra that I try to constantly remind myself. While it may seem like a big deal now, you need to keep in mind the bigger picture. Will it matter in 5 hours? 5 days? 5 months? And so on. If the answer is no to ANY of these questions, it's probably not worth beating yourself up over.

6. "Stop being the 'go to' person for someone you can't go to."

Someone tweeted that their pastor said this to them and the tweet went viral. A friend of mine sent it to me, and it really made me think. Something I have struggled with over the years is making excuses for people who don't show up for me when I am constantly there for them. This is a helpful reminder that if they aren't contributing to you and your life, you shouldn't have to bend over backward to help them out and be in their lives.

7. "Two wrongs don't make a right."

While this is often a saying that parents use on their young children, it is applicable to pretty much any stage of life. My parents, especially my dad, have constantly said this, whether it was in reference to fighting with my siblings or dealing with people at school. Even as a 20-year-old, I find myself saying this when I hear about arguments and problems people are having. Everyone wants to get even, to best those who hurt them. While it's important to stick up for yourself, it is also important to be the bigger person and not stoop to their level (and whatever else your parents told you in these situations).

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