We all know life after graduation is a pretty scary and awkward stage. It’s the transition period between young adulthood and mature adulthood, and we all count on our friends to be there and endure it at our sides.
But, realistically, this period in life is an independent one and also a very difficult one as you come to realize the more important things, and people, in your life.
We enter this “in-between stage” as we start to lose contact with our college friends and start to settle and make new “adult” friends, who will most likely be with us for the rest of our lives.
Making time for our college friends always seems like a daunting task, since there's always one person who can’t make it. These friends are also all on different career paths, earning different salaries, perhaps even getting engaged or traveling the world and so, you begin to compare yourself to them.
And, the emotional roller coaster begins.
The uncertainty the world offers makes you lonely and depressed; you feel like life was so much simpler when you were just in high school.
Many of us try to cling to these friendships for far too long. But, sometimes, you just grow out of each other and there is nothing left to bond you together but the distant memories of college parties, clubbing and a love of brunch.
Sustaining the friendship becomes more and more difficult as conversations begin to get tense, phone calls cease to exist and you start to realize you are pretty much alone.
In order to maintain real and genuine friendships for life after college, you must realize the following:
Those superficial friendships aren’t worth your time.
The idea of being alone is hard for most young adults, especially right after college. They believe maintaining superficial friendships is crucial to their social media statuses, just so they have a slew of Instagram pictures and Twitter followers.
But, these friendships are fake and lead to nothing but wasted time and energy.
You cannot change the people around you, but you CAN change the people you choose to be around.
Make sure people whom you can call “true” friends surround you -- friends you would invite to your wedding, friends you can count on.
Get rid of toxic friendships you may have developed throughout the course of college, whether this includes a super possessive friend or an envious, unsupportive one. You don’t need those people in your life, and in the end, they will only bring you down with them.
You cannot force a friendship.
Sometimes, it’s hard to see your friendships fading away, especially after you promised each other you wouldn’t let this happen to you.
But, a real friendship involves both parties putting in the effort. If your friend is bailing on plans, you have to accept that just like relationships with lovers, people sometimes grow apart from each other.
A friendship will be a priority if it’s worth something.
As people grow up and transition into the real world as adults, they begin to realize they have other responsibilities. Perhaps a friend has landed a new job, met the love of his or her life, or is in the middle of traveling around Europe.
But, if the friendship truly means something, then the effort to stay in contact will remain, no matter what. Friends will go the distance and stay connected, especially in this day and age, where picking up a phone and sending out an email or a text message is just at our fingertips.
Juvenile behaviors are not okay to put up with after college.
Some friends will still stay in the phase of wanting to get blackout drunk and attend pub crawls and nightclubs every day of the weekend. They still want to pick-up prospects and have one-night stands, but this scene is just not what you want anymore.
Sometimes, people just don't mature out this stage in life, and you will come to realize in the end, these friends, who just make you feel like a “Grandma” and say you are no fun will leave you less motivated to even see them.
So, although post-college life is a whirlwind for friendships, remember, this is only natural and you need to be prepared for it.
No one even really knows who they are at the age of 22, but we tend to just gravitate toward those who make the most sense to us.
When you surround yourself with the friends you want to keep, you bid farewell to those who no longer fit in the picture. Sometimes, they're the hardest goodbyes you will ever face because you don’t know who's to blame.
But, frankly, the investment you make in friends is probably the best investment you will ever make in your life, and when it comes to friends, quality is definitely more important than quantity.