3 Kinds Of College Friendships That Are Put To The Test After Graduation
Have you ever woken up one day and realized that everything you did up until that point was inconsequential and of little to no importance? I've felt that every day of my life since I've graduated from college. I completed four years of studies at a university, got involved, got good grades and then said peace out to that chapter of my life.
As I approach my quarter-life anniversary, I struggle every day with the decisions I've made in regard to relationships, more specifically, friendships I've had throughout the years. While I do acknowledge my feelings on the subject stem from being an only child and an independent person, the friendships I've made over the years (and the ones that have since passed me by) are the ones that allow me to reflect on who I am today.
What many people don't tell you is when you're in your college environment, you're in a glorified bubble with blinders on. You're not thinking about the true long-term game, or how your friendships will be in one, five or 10 years from now.
You're more focused on what your career is going to be like. Everything else comes secondary to that. When it comes to the friendships you made in college, there are a wide variety of people you'll interact with during your time there, but it's time to burst your bubble.
Here are three kinds of people will most likely not be your best friends, or even in your lives after college:
1. The Friends Who Were Always Nearby
One of the biggest changes that will happen with you and your college friends is that most of them will move away and you won't be able to hang out with them at a moment's notice. Their time is allocated differently. Whether they're living in the big city or they're back at home with their parents, the dynamic instantly changes. That comfort zone that once existed based on how geographically convenient they were to you no longer exists.
Now you have to put in the effort. At first you'll both try hard to continue the friendship, whether it be through text, Facebook, #throwback posts on Instagram and so forth. Then one or both of you will get busy with your lives, and maybe get a job or relationship that takes up a lot of your time.
That time is precious and when you're preoccupied with substantive things, your "friendships" no longer seem as important. The conversations are often surface level as time goes on because the person you once know is now just a shell of who he or she used to be. That trust you've built up is slowly fading away and it's being replaced with filler on topics and people who you have no knowledge or experience of.
2. Drinking Buddies
Let's say you and your friend stayed in the same location after college. You've both found jobs and you like to meet for happy hour. At first it's all fun and games, and happy hour is a blast. As time continues, you find yourself exhausted from work, you have other plans and interests or your bank account is hurting.
You keep pushing off the happy hours or you flake because you're just not capable of making it. Time passes and eventually you realize the only true thing you had in common with the person was your love for getting drunk.
Being around him or her in sober settings is often awkward and feels as if you're pulling teeth to communicate. That's a friendship that was meant to end when you crossed that stage with the fancy piece of paper informing society you're an educated human being.
3. Study Partners
There are also the people who you have in your upper level classes consistently and whom you share the same career ambitions and goals. They've become a family of sorts to you. You've spent countless hours of time with them in the library and in class. Your sole goal was to achieve a perfect score, all the while beating the rest of your classmates.
You'll both go off on separate journeys and make that attempt to keep in touch. But realistically, you'll find you don't have much in common with them as you had hoped aside from ancient Chinese literature. You can close the chapter on that book as well.
The effort made in the friendship eventually breaks down and you find yourself questioning why you tried so hard to maintain it. Eventually, you'll come to terms with the fact that your friendship wasn't meant to last. People come into your life for many reasons, and it's up to both parties to decide whether they want to be mainstays. If not, that person is just making a stop on your journey through life.
Like the cast of "Rent" sings, "525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear." You only have a given amount of time to make the most of your life, to do what you love and to be with the people who matter the most. Don't spend it chasing after people who don't want to give you any of their time.