College changes many of us in so many ways, but as someone who is halfway through college, I pride myself in saying I've kept my high school friendships. No, I'm not "living in high school" (heck, none of us would ever want to go back to those days), but I'm proof that you can maintain friendships even after high school, even after meeting new people. Of course, if a high school "friend" never really was a friend, then yes, it's time to move on. But keeping friends from those years is important and here are a few major reasons why:
1. They are an impartial ear when it comes to concerns in college.
Sometimes, you get the best advice about friendship or relationship drama when the listening ear (or ears) don't personally know the people involved. You will get far more objective advice about that awful Tinder hookup or your struggle to balance your course load when the person listening can look at the bigger picture. Oftentimes, you will get a more unique perspective from somebody who does NOT attend your school with you.
2. There are endless things to talk about in conversation because you can always update them on changes going on in your life...
College can often be a wild time, and it's always great to have more people to hear all the stories you can tell. Since all of us go to different colleges, it's crazy and very interesting to hear all that my friends experience (and share what I've experienced). With the time apart, there are many events that happen so you won't run out of things to talk about like you would with someone you see daily.
3. ...or perhaps you can gossip about changes going on in the lives of others.
Yes, you can reminisce about high school without being "stuck in high school." We love talking about all of the crazy things that happened to our former classmates since that is the common ground we still share. From engagements to people who "went wild," our high school roots provide some great material for conversations and can keep us from talking about college all the time.
4. Real friends shouldn't be discarded as distant memories.
Just because you're in college doesn't mean you should just burn the bridges with everyone from high school. You can't forget all of the ways those friends have helped you grow and change and all the ways they made your life better. Of course, if certain high school friends are hindering your personal growth, then cut them off. But remember, in most cases, you were friends with these people for a reason.
5. They can sometimes help you make connections even when you're away.
As cliche as it sounds, it's a small world. I've found that many people I've met at college have connections with my friends at home. Or my friends at home have connections with people I know at college. It's mind-blowing that I've moved nearly four hours away and can still make connections. But it's always great to expand your network when you discover who knows who, rather than cut off a chunk of your network.
6. Coming home won't be miserable. In fact, you might actually look forward to it.
Despite all that college has provided for me, I still look forward to coming home because I know I still have people there for me. Whether it's a lunch date, a night out, or a weekend away, there are plenty of things to do even when I'm not at school. It's the perfect opportunity for all of us to catch up, and I'm always DYING to tell people about some of my experiences.
7. They helped shape who you are and the direction of your future.
You are the person you are today because of your friends--your friends of today, two years ago, or ten years ago. You've grown so much as a person because of the friends you've had by your side through it all. So why cut them off just because of the recency effect? I'm thankful for the friends I've made many years ago, and I value the friendships we have, so I'll work hard to maintain them.
8. Balance is important.
You'll meet many wonderful and interesting people when you're away, but from everyone you meet, it's always good to keep a healthy distance. You'll probably have many amazing memories with your college friends but the memories hold so much more value when you spend time with other people too. Keeping a healthy balance between friends will make the friendships mean *that* much more.
9. You can never have too many friends.
Friends are great, so it's never worth cutting them off for no good reason. Some of your high school friendships have really stood the test of time (I'm going on 13 years with some of my friends), but those matter just as much as the newer friendships you've made (maybe more). Having friends from all different times in your life keep your life interesting. And keep you happier.