The Friendship Guide For Teens And Young Adults
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The Friendship Guide For Teens And Young Adults

Making and keeping friends as a teen and young adult isn't easy, here are some tips for maintaining friendships.

Sam Manns

Throughout my time being a teenager I have noticed several things about friendships. Friendships are wonderful to have but can be challenging to maintain. I thought I would put together all of my knowledge and experiences with friendships in the hopes it could help you, too.

1. In order to make friends, you have to talk.

This first tip is probably self-explanatory but it is one of the most difficult aspects of any friendship, actually forming one. If you are a fairly outgoing person, talking to new people most likely isn't a problem, however that is not the case for everyone. Talking to new people can be scary and a little intimidating. I have found that, especially after graduating from high school, making friends gets much harder. With that being said, you still have to talk to new people in order to become friends. When I first started college this was really hard for me. I would often call my mom on Friday and Saturday evenings in college, saying I was bored because I didn't make plans with anyone (and didn't know a lot of people to make plans with). That's when she told me this first tip, that I had to talk to people and she was right. You will have a much harder time making friendships with people if you never reach out to others. I have also found that most people I reached out to seemed like they wanted to talk to me. Everyone is secretly after the same goal of wanting to get to know people and form friendships, you just have to reach out.

2. You should choose your friends wisely.

You have probably heard this a million times from people but it is a very important rule. Who you choose to surround yourself with has major impacts on you and your actions. I have seen firsthand how people can change just because of their friend group, for better or for worse. The whole purpose of having friends is being able to relate to other people and to have things in common. If you find yourself questioning your friends or feeling uneasy about what they are doing, you might want to follow the next tip.

3. Reevaluate your friend group.

Knowing when to reevaluate your friends is very important. When you're with your friends you should feel relaxed and feel confident that you can be yourself. If you find yourself trying to act differently to 'fit in' or feel more tense around your friends then they probably aren't true friends anyway. Sometimes it takes a long time to realize that your friend group isn't right for you, but once you do it's important to act on it. The quicker you realize you need some new friends, the quicker you will be happy.

4. How to cut ties and still feel okay.

After you have reevaluated your friend group and come to the conclusion that you need some new friends the next step can be hard. At some point in your life, you will realize you need to distance yourself from your current friend or even a whole friend group. Before you completely cut ties you can try to communicate with your friend or friends about what's bothering you, but if it something you don't see changing, I would just begin to distance yourself. Another good indication of whether you should distance yourself is to stop reaching out and see what that person does. If your 'friend' doesn't reach out to you at all that should say everything you need to know. Distancing yourself is completely fine and a good thing to do when need be but it can be hard. Try not to get discouraged if, after you distance yourself, you feel lonely or feel like you don't have any friends left. The right people always come into your life at the right time, so you won't feel that way for too long. Also, it helps to reach out to new people and try making some new friends that way. It can be hard to distance yourself from a friend or group of people that you have known or grew very close to, but you will know when you need to do it.

5. Make the most with your friends now.

This tip applies to anyone reading this that is still in high school. Make the most out of seeing your friends every day and really appreciate it. After you and your friends graduate high school, everything changes. You and your friends will probably go in different directions and it becomes much harder to see each other. Any chance you get to spend time with a friend you should cherish it. Being able to laugh, say how you're really feeling, and make memories with people is so wonderful and can't be replaced by anything. So no matter your age make the most with your friends now because memories can't be bought.

I hope you found some of these tips helpful in your own life with your friends. Having friends is maintaining a relationship and takes a lot of effort from everyone involved. However, having friends and being able to make memories with people you care about is so important. As you get older, you'll realize that making memories with friends is more important than material things and that you should really appreciate the friendships you have.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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