I usually count down the days until the weekend, but this past week I was looking forward to Friday a little extra. It was probably the most anticipation I've felt towards anything since move-in day. Friday was when my three best friends from high school were visiting me. Two of them go to different schools hours away, and the other is at Rutgers with me, but this would be the first time that the four of us, inseparable for the past four years, would be reunited after parting ways at the end of summer.
Spending time with my old friends and the new friends I've made here all together got me thinking about the relationships in my life before and after starting college. I come from a high school where over half the graduating class comes to Rutgers New Brunswick, so I was expecting college to be like high school 2.0. But since I've been here, I've realized that I was way off with that assumption. It's a nice balance of walking down the street and having a quick conversation with a familiar face, but also being able to form a completely new group of friends, separate from my high school ones.
This first month of college has taught me that the high school friends who are far away at other schools are easy to keep, whether it be an occasional FaceTime call or "I miss you" text. It's the old friends here, who I thought I'd be hanging with all the time, that have proven harder to stay in touch with. No matter how much we attempt to make plans or link up during our busy weeks, our time demands to be spent elsewhere. I barely have time to catch a meal in the dining hall between classes, studying, clubs, and building new friendships, let alone hanging out with old friends.
Take my one best friend who I saw on Friday, for example. This girl and I grew up a few doors down from each other, went to the same school, were co-captains of the same team, had all the same friends, and have basically been inseparable our entire lives. Now here we are at Rutgers where she's dorming on Livi, and I'm living on College Ave. We have conflicting schedules and completely separate circles of friends for the first time in our lives. In fact, it took our other friends coming from hours away to visit us for us to bring together our separate friend groups and hang out altogether on Friday night.
Even though it may sound like we don't care enough to make time for each other or weren't really best friends if we could be in the same place and still "drift" like that, I think it's safe to say that it's been a nice change of pace for our friendship. It's important to take a step back from these people we once felt so close to, and realize that it's OK to not be in each other's lives at all times. There's no use putting pressure on spending time with the people who have been in our lives forever when there is an entire university of people in front of us to meet.
This first month of college I've grown so close to a new group of people who I now feel like I've known my whole life. I've realized how hard it is to balance time for these new friends along with old ones, but that that's OK. We are all stressed in our crazy, hectic lives, and that's only gonna be increasingly true as we move farther and farther away from high school. That doesn't mean we should let go of high school altogether, but instead, we should make sure we have time to embrace all the new and exciting aspects of our lives. It's so important to enjoy the little things, like the new friends you sit around talking with at 4 a.m., just as much as the bigger ones like weekend visits from your best friends.