In With The New: College Friendships

In With The New: College Friendships

New place and new friends vs. old home and old friends.
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With college comes a new group of friends. Throughout the first few months of school, you are constantly meeting new people. Slowly but surely, you begin to build up your new little crew. These first few months are exhausting because you’re trying to figure out these new friends. Of course, you’re learning what everyone’s favorite foods are, who drinks Starbucks, who stays up the latest.

But you’re trying to really figure your new friends out. Like what makes them laugh the hardest and what it is that they miss the most from home. You want to know if they were closer with their dad or their mom and what it is that they’re the most passionate about.

College is different because one day you’re at home, surrounded by the friends who have been by your side since the beginning. The people who did a lot of figuring out with you by their side, whether you realized it or not. One day those are your people and it all just makes sense. You know who you can only spend a couple of hours with and who you can spend days on end with. You do a lot of growing up together. You make some mistakes together, but really you have a ton of victories together. You go through milestone after milestone with these people by your side.

And then all of a sudden, those people are in the same situation that you’re in, only in a different town, city, state, all with different people.

College friendships are entirely different. Because you all show up with completely different pasts, but with more or less one common goal. Instead of sharing a similar past with these people in the way that you did with your childhood friends, you’re here just trying to take all that you can from these next four years with these new people.

It’s a complete reversal. You go from sharing your past to sharing a future. Of course, in both, there are countless things that make each person’s journey unique. But just like you were stuck in the same hometown with those people, your stuck on the same campus with these people. It’s starting over, but different. And with it comes new challenges that I don’t think I was expecting.

Maybe I thought that I would find friendships just as strong as the one’s that I left at home. But that was naïve. Those friendships were cultivated through years and years of growing up, fighting, crying, laughing, and learning. I shouldn’t have expected for friendships to have come as easily as the one’s that I left.

It’s even harder now because it is so incredibly easy to stay in touch with those friendships from home. You’re constantly seeing pictures and hearing stories because it is that easy. Don’t get me wrong, this is something I am so thankful for. Because of technology I can skype with my family each week and talk to my best friend on the phone throughout the day and text my friends throughout my week. But technology brings along a certain expectation that because it is easy to stay in contact with everyone, that you should. I’ve found that sometimes this makes things even harder.

It is hard to commit to the people that you are now doing life with if you are constantly trying to maintain friendships from home. It’s a balancing act. Of course. I don’t want to lose any of those friendships. But if I’m never willing to loosen the rein just a little bit, I know I will never build the true, deep, sustaining, lifelong friendships that college promises you.

So, don’t worry. Friendships don’t happen overnight. They take weeks and months and years. But if you are constantly putting the friendships from home above the relationships and experiences here, you will miss out. Those friendships are coming. Don’t overlook all the work that went into building them.

As tiring and overwhelming as it can seem to find the people who make you laugh the most and push you to be all that you’re dreaming to be, it is worth it. Even in the missing your childhood friends, it’s worth it. And even in these very beginning stages of friendships and memories, there are glimpses of lifelong joy that I know these friends will bring. It’s worth it.

Cover Image Credit: Hannah Cook

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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What It's Actually Like Moving States

How a central Iowa born and raised native ended up in Southern Missouri.

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Not a lot of people think moving states is a hard thing to do. If it's two hours away or, like me, seven hours away from your hometown, a move is a move and it can affect people in different ways.

Personally, my family was separated for a year, my mom and I still living in our hometown so I could finish high school, and my dad in Missouri working at his new job.

Then, in June my mom and I made the move so our family could be together once again. For us, we still had our home in Iowa, so my parents and I lived in an apartment until we could sell our home in Iowa and find what we wanted in Missouri.

The hardest things to get used too is the lifestyle of people in southern Missouri. People are a lot different down here than they were in Iowa. It was a big deal for us to move down here and adapt to a different lifestyle.

Something minor that was very hard to get used to was the usage of pop and soda. Most people don't even know what a "pop," is. In Iowa, a Pepsi or Coke is known as pop but down here it is called a soda.

That is just one example that was super hard to get used to. Something that is a little more of a big deal is the size of the city. In Iowa, I could get a coffee in about a five-minute drive. In Missouri, it takes a good fifteen minutes to drive there and who knows what the line will be like at the coffee shop. Those are minor things that my family struggled with adapting to.

Easily, the hardest thing was leaving friends and family. I came to Branson in the middle summer. This limited my job opportunities to none and made making new friends next to impossible.

This made my summer really hard and honestly boring. I knew this was best for my family, but I missed my friends and I wanted to be back in Iowa where all my friends were and my job used to be.

There were also a lot of perks from moving away from Iowa. First off, I completely went off the grid of my town and wanted to start completely new. I made new social media accounts and got a new phone number.

This made the transition easy because I was able to be who I wanted to be and keep in touch with the people I wanted to keep in touch with. This is something that a lot of people thought was pointless, but was such an important step for a fresh start.

Coming to Missouri, I know that sky is the limit and I have so many more opportunities of what I want to do. Overall, I would suggest moving states and starting knew. It feels good to finally be in a place that makes you truly happy as well as your family. Iowa is a fun place to visit sometimes and I'll always miss the sunsets but Missouri is my new home.

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