Since going to college, I knew I wasn't going to be as connected with all my friends from high school. I knew I would only talk to my two absolute best friends on a semi-regular basis. In my head, I was ready for this transition and ready to move on and make new friends.
Furthermore, during our senior year, everyone in my graduating class knew this was going to happen and tried to cherish the moments we had left. At the same time, we were all excited about graduating, going to college, and starting our futures. This is normal for teenagers our age and I knew that so I just went with the flow of the last couple months of high school.
I don't think it really hit me what moving on from high school truly meant until recently, on my birthday. I have a party on New Year's Eve, my birthday, every year. I have since I was a kid. Last year, up to 15 friends from school came over to celebrate with me. That was the biggest turn out of friends I had ever had. This year, four friends came.
I invited a lot of my high school friends this year, thinking it could be a good time to catch up with everyone but, inevitably, I got a limited amount of responses. It was upsetting. I felt like no one cared enough to come anymore and that my party was going to be lame. I felt like I was forgotten and everyone was moving on with their lives and leaving me behind.
It briefly bothered me and I was all prepared to have a shitty birthday. But that's not what happened.
I had a great time with my family, my boyfriend, and my best friends; the people who are here for the long haul. This wasn't the party I had last year, that everyone came to because we knew it would be the last time we would come together like that. This party, probably the last party I'll have like this, was special. I felt truly loved. Everyone who made the effort to come was there for me.
My birthday this year taught me an important lesson. It taught me that our lives are always changing and evolving and what they look like a year ago isn't necessarily what it will look like today. A huge part of that has to do with the people around you.
Going from high school to college has catapulted me from a comfortable little cocoon to a whole big, new world. An important thing to remember is that all my peers are also going through the same thing. We're all growing up and learning how to function in college and in real life. So obviously it's going to be more difficult to keep in touch with everyone you used to see every day in high school.
I shouldn't feel left behind because I am moving along and growing, too. We are just on different paths. Change like this is a part of life, especially at this young age. I should invite change into my life and not purposely hold myself back by occupying myself with what I perceive my former peers think of me.
If you're feeling alone in college and haven't quite found your place just yet, just know everyone at this age is going through the same thing. Keep in touch with the people close to you but don't go reaching into your past for validation. Life goes on and we must move with it and not try to hold onto what used to be.