Make new friends and keep the old

(Graphic by Kate Turner)

The friendships you make in university are the most crucial ones you will have, as these friends will be present throughout your entire university career.

However, the goal should not be to replace your high school friends, but rather to balance them all with equal love and care.

My three best friends and I were used to seeing each other every day since elementary school.

When it was time to leave for university, we each had a silent fear that our friendship would be altered by the new friendships we would make. Thankfully, all three of us were wrong.

“I was worried we would each go through these life changes and we just wouldn’t be able to connect on the same level and it would be weird and awkward when we got together,” Jennifer Hinton, a third-year Wilfrid Laurier University biology student, said.

“However, I was never scared that my new friends would replace my old ones. You don’t go through that many years of fights, drama and crushes together without having an irreplaceable bond.”

The four of us made many new friends in university that have greatly impacted our lives, which was to be expected.

However, we all knew that we would have to put more effort into our friendship so that we wouldn’t assume these new friends were replacements.

In a world full of technology, there are a number of ways to stay in touch with your high school friends.

Facebook, Skype and texting are great ways for me to stay in touch with my friends throughout the year until we get to see each other over the holidays or the odd weekened when we are all home at the same time.

Marlowe Szuberwood, who is a third-year politics and governance student at Ryerson University, believes that the distance, though not ideal, does have benefits when planning a reunion.

“Going to different schools gives us great stories to tell each other. Like, we have news when we talk,” Szuberwood shared.

“I think about things that my friends would like or laugh at when we all set a date to see each other, or even texting day to day.”

However, just because my best friends and I work hard to maintain our friendship, it is not uncommon for high school friendships to fall apart because they tend to favour their university friends.

With university being a definitive moment in anyone’s life, inevitable changes occur and this can naturally cause a small group of people who were once close to grow apart.

Third-year University of Toronto student, Amanda Dewey, gained much insight into the natural growing apart of high school friendships and it has helped her realize who truly matters in her life.

“I think that when this happens, the main reason behind it is that the ‘old’ friendships weren’t meant to be lifelong friendships,” Dewey explained.

“That is not to say that they weren’t meaningful and wonderful, but I believe that some people are only meant to be in your life for a certain specific amount of time.”

For some, losing touch with their high school friends is not entirely negative.

Although I am lucky to have stayed in touch with my three best friends from high school, there were some friends I lost touch with and I was happy about that outcome.

It was nothing personal, but I just knew that nothing would come from those friendships and I had to move on.

Only keep the high school friends that won’t hold you back and will inspire you to be a better person as a result of their friendship.

If you are lucky enough to be able to balance your old and new friends, make sure that you cherish them both equally.

Never make one group feel less valued than another, for this is the first symptom of a lost friendship.

“I balance my friendships by having time with them separately and together and still including them in my life,” Hinton added.

“You have to find a system that works for you, and that you know you’ll follow,” Szuberwood advised.

It has been two years since I started university and that fear of losing the special bond with my old friends never comes up anymore.

Also, the idea that my new friends will replace them feels like a ludicrous thought because I know that they can co-exist alongside each other. It is also comforting to know that nothing changes unless you make it so.

“Even if we don’t talk for weeks and meet up, it is like no time has passed,” Dewey concluded.

“And it shows that once we start getting older and don’t live close together we can still make our friendship work.”

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