Friendships

Friendships

Letting go and venturing out.
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I walked into freshman year of college finding friends right off the bat. I clung to those people for the remainder of the year, even when I knew we were drowning each other in our changing seasons. We all knew that our friendships with one another had this strain on them due to the inability to make other friends while feeling bad that they weren’t invited along.

I came into sophomore year after spending an entire summer lost in my thoughts with the ability to find the woman I wanted to be. I came in happier, knowing what I wanted out of friendships and out of myself. I came in knowing that it was okay that I wasn’t going to be the greatest friends with this group of girls as I was the previous year. I came in different.

College wasn’t the first time this happened to me. My freshman year of high school, I went in with a group of best friends. Sophomore year, I ended up moving almost three hours away from everything I knew, and the friendships that I had known for years had been degraded to strangers running into each other at Walmart or randomly liking each others’ pictures on social media. We went our separate ways, and for awhile, I strained myself to keep those friendships that weren’t meant to last.

Last year, I let go of two vital friendships in my life. Sometimes I question if I made the right choice or if I gave up too easily. However, I am a firm believer in the idea that there is no right choice. There’s just the choice you make, and from that, you make the best of it. So I made the decision to walk away. You would think after letting go of these friendships, this year would have been so much easier. The truth is, letting go is never easy in any situation. Sometimes, though, the choice sets you free.

The friendships I let go of were great. Of course, they had trials like most do at some point. The people themselves are wonderful and have so much to offer. Although we are all good people, that doesn’t mean that we should be friends. It isn’t always true that two goods make a better.

For all of you who can’t let go, take it from someone who has done it a plethora of times. It will never get easier, and like I said, you will wonder if you should have made a different choice. Sometimes, people just don’t have that missing puzzle piece you need and it’s okay.

This year, I have opened the way to new friendships, and I have become closer to people I never thought I could relate to. My best advice is to be open to all of your options. It’s amazing how many people you’ll find that way. The one’s I have surrounded myself with recently are the ones I know will be at my wedding (in fifty years) and vice versa. They are the ones I will grow old going to Bingo with; the ones who I can call during my midlife crisis to go on a girl’s trip with. They are forever friends.

My advice to you is this: find who you are and who you want to be and then find the ones who will push you to be that. As they always say, you are who you hang out with.

“A true friend accepts you for who you are, but also helps you to become who you should be.”
Cover Image Credit: Demi Agresta

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It's Time To Thank Your First Roommate

Not the horror story kind of roommate, but the one that was truly awesome.
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Nostalgic feelings have recently caused me to reflect back on my freshman year of college. No other year of my life has been filled with more ups and downs, and highs and lows, than freshman year. Throughout all of the madness, one factor remained constant: my roommate. It is time to thank her for everything. These are only a few of the many reasons to do so, and this goes for roommates everywhere.

You have been through all the college "firsts" together.

If you think about it, your roommate was there through all of your first college experiences. The first day of orientation, wishing you luck on the first days of classes, the first night out, etc. That is something that can never be changed. You will always look back and think, "I remember my first day of college with ____."

You were even each other's first real college friend.

You were even each other's first real college friend.

Months before move-in day, you were already planning out what freshman year would be like. Whether you previously knew each other, met on Facebook, or arranged to meet in person before making any decisions, you made your first real college friend during that process.

SEE ALSO: 18 Signs You're A Little Too Comfortable With Your Best Friends

The transition from high school to college is not easy, but somehow you made it out on the other side.

It is no secret that transitioning from high school to college is difficult. No matter how excited you were to get away from home, reality hit at some point. Although some people are better at adjusting than others, at the times when you were not, your roommate was there to listen. You helped each other out, and made it through together.

Late night talks were never more real.

Remember the first week when we stayed up talking until 2:00 a.m. every night? Late night talks will never be more real than they were freshman year. There was so much to plan for, figure out, and hope for. Your roommate talked, listened, laughed, and cried right there with you until one of you stopped responding because sleep took over.

You saw each other at your absolute lowest.

It was difficult being away from home. It hurt watching relationships end and losing touch with your hometown friends. It was stressful trying to get in the swing of college level classes. Despite all of the above, your roommate saw, listened, and strengthened you.

...but you also saw each other during your highest highs.

After seeing each other during the lows, seeing each other during the highs was such a great feeling. Getting involved on campus, making new friends, and succeeding in classes are only a few of the many ways you have watched each other grow.

There was so much time to bond before the stresses of college would later take over.

Freshman year was not "easy," but looking back on it, it was more manageable than you thought at the time. College only gets busier the more the years go on, which means less free time. Freshman year you went to lunch, dinner, the gym, class, events, and everything else possible together. You had the chance to be each other's go-to before it got tough.

No matter what, you always bounced back to being inseparable.

Phases of not talking or seeing each other because of business and stress would come and go. Even though you physically grew apart, you did not grow apart as friends. When one of you was in a funk, as soon as it was over, you bounced right back. You and your freshman roommate were inseparable.

The "remember that one time, freshman year..." stories never end.

Looking back on freshman year together is one of my favorite times. There are so many stories you have made, which at the time seemed so small, that bring the biggest laughs today. You will always have those stories to share together.

SEE ALSO: 15 Things You Say To Your Roommates Before Going Out

The unspoken rule that no matter how far apart you grow, you are always there for each other.

It is sad to look back and realize everything that has changed since your freshman year days. You started college with a clean slate, and all you really had was each other. Even though you went separate ways, there is an unspoken rule that you are still always there for each other.

Your old dorm room is now filled with two freshmen trying to make it through their first year. They will never know all the memories that you made in that room, and how it used to be your home. You can only hope that they will have the relationship you had together to reflect on in the years to come.


Cover Image Credit: Katie Ward

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Turning 'I'm Sorry' Into 'Thank You'

A process of self-awareness I think everyone should consider.

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My entire life I've been apologetic.

I use apologies far too often in my daily life. Whether it be to someone holding the door for me even though I'm still ten feet from the door or my interrupting the custodian cleaning my hall's bathroom. From stepping on my friend's toes to bumping into someone in line at Starbucks.

I think as children, we are taught that apologizing for our actions wipes away the consequences from those actions. In past relationships, I have relied on apologies to make myself feel better about how I've made others feel instead of actually using them to improve my actions.

For me, it has just become something ingrained in my personality. I've noticed that it has become a reflex rather than a conscious response. What I've realized recently is that this is something I can change.

Apologies are helpful when mending hurtful or accidental situations, especially when you find yourself in the wrong, but not everything deserves an, "I'm sorry," and using that phrase for every accidental encounter or mistake, in my eyes, lessens its impact.

If we all use, "I'm sorry," for every minor inconvenience we cause, the words become less meaningful.

I have read about this online a lot lately, and it is suggested that instead of apologizing, we should give thanks.

If I'm late for a date with my friends, the old me would've said, "I'm SO sorry, guys!" But the new me will say, "Thank you for waiting for me."

Instead of apologizing to our (wonderful) custodians, I'll say, "Thank you so much for the work you do here every day."

If someone is kind enough to hold the door for me, even though I'm nowhere near it, I won't apologize for inconveniencing them. Instead, I will take the time to appreciate the fact that they were kind enough to do so, despite my distance from the door.

I think that this is a process everyone can benefit from, so long as they are willing to be conscious of their thoughts and the words they speak. By replacing, "I'm sorry," with an expression of gratitude, we can develop a more positive mindset and reserve apologies for situations that deserve them.

We can also use those rare apologies to remind us to improve our actions; if we hurt someone, we don't get to decide that we didn't or invalidate their feelings. We can then meaningfully apologize and allow it to inherently change our behavior.


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