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The Evolution of College Friendships

Friendships can always be complex. Friendships are different. Friendships in college are an entirely different breed. You learn that some friendships last forever, some only make through college and some friendships feel like you are back in high school. After four years of college, you learn which friendships are forever and others that are just lessons placed in your life. This idea of certain friendships only being lessons in your life have been something I learned recently. A hard lesson to learn is that not all friendships make it out of college.

The first year of college can be scary for anyone, I can deeply attest to this thought. You begin college, sometimes in a new city or state, away from your family for the first time, and most of the time without the girlfriends you spent your entire high school career with. Over time you watch the girls you survived high school slowly fade away. The fading of friendships is not for the lack of trying. Some of these friendships were put in your life to learn how to be a better friend in college or how to choose better friends. At the same time just as friendships evolve so do you.

In college, you evolve as a person, a daughter, a friend, or even a sister. Looking back, I see that I am not the same person that stepped onto the University of Central Florida campus in 2019. Four years of juggling schoolwork, internships, and even a sorority influences who you become as a person. You become more confident, determined, spirited, and you begin to value yourself more. Even more so looking back, I see my value of friendship, and the friends I want to keep by my side have changed.

The value of being able to value yourself has always been something I struggled with. This value has taken me all through high school to the end of my college career to finally come to terms with. I have always gone through life putting everyone else in my life first but myself. My life I have always strived on being a people pleasing, having everyone like me or at least a positive idea of who I was.

With this new revelation about needing to value myself more, I circle back to friendships being lessons. As I look more closely at some of my friendships in my life now, I realize they are not forever friends. I believe forever friends are ones who cares about your wellbeing, supporting you in your greatest and darkest hour, and being there for you when you need them most. In return you replicate these ideals back. But always remember that friendship is a two-way street, each friend should be putting in the same amount of energy. I can admit that I was never the girl with the huge group of friends throughout high school and even college. I slowly learned if you could make it out of college with just a couple of forever friends you have succeeded. These are friends that will become your bridesmaids, the fun aunt to your kids, and one you can call when you need them even when they have a “big girl” job.

Some lessons that I’ve learned throughout friendships in college:

  • Every friendship is different, but you must learn the difference between the real ones and fake ones.
  • Friendships end, and that is ok.
  • You always know who to turn to when life gets hard.
  • Quality over quantity
  • Do not keep friends that make you feel bad.
  • Friendship is a two-way street.
  • Realize that some friendships are not built to last a lifetime.

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