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.”