I've always believed that unless you have a super tight-knit friend group, you don't have any friends at all. Over the past couple of years, however, I've learned that this isn't true. I've never had the type of friend group that's like a family last for more than a year. And I used to feel jealous of the kids who did have that. From a young age, we're made to believe that the friends you make in grade school and college are going to be in your life forever.
When I was in middle school, I wasn't exclusively part of any friend group—which I think of as a positive. I had what I called a main squad, meaning the people I'd hang out with outside of school and interacted the most with. Then I had... everyone else. I used to talk to as many people as I could and wouldn't confine myself to any one clique. Although this was great because I knew so many people, I lacked the special closeness to one person or group that most people have growing up.
In high school, it was kind of the same thing. By the time we reach sophomore or junior year, we kind of know our places within the school community, and I always felt that those roles were final. Once you chose your friend group, you weren't going to interact with anyone else. This was true for the majority of the kids in my school. I don't know if it was a comfort thing or just an easy thing. But most people did not venture out of their cliques to talk to new people.
For someone like me, this made things difficult. I still didn't have a concrete group with which I did everything, but I still tried to interact with as many people as possible. There was a point senior year where I became close with a particular group, but the fact that they had been friends for years and I had just met them made things complicated. They knew each other at a level that I just couldn't reach.
Then came college. I was so fortunate to find a group of people who I really did come to consider my family, The fresh start and that fact the no one knew all that much about each other made it a lot easier to bond. The 10 of us were practically inseparable for a whole year until things started to change. Some of us grew out of the group, and others didn't feel like they belonged anymore.
Smaller groups within the big one started to form and I personally didn't have a connection with every single person in the group. I struggled with this for a long time. How could a group of people who have literally spent every day together for the past year and a half start to break up? Because of my desire to not lose this group of people, I pushed myself to continue hanging out with them. Finally, I realized that it's okay if they aren't going to be my friends forever. I still have time to find that perfect group of friends that are more like a family.
I hope this helps anyone who feels alone or like they don't belong just because they haven't found their perfect group yet. There's still time.