Drifting Away From Your Home Friends Just Means You're Growing Up

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Everyone has those friends they've known forever.

The basis of your friendship lies in your shared childhood experiences and in the fact you've "grown up together." The friendship is comfortable; it's what you've always known.

You've waded through your school years, surrounded by the same circle without even realizing it. They've always been a part of your life, and you don't even second-guess them.

Then, the time comes when you're forced to be a little fish in a big pond as you make new friends in the intimidating world of college.

Friendships are no longer safe and convenient. Instead, you're faced with the daunting task of getting to know people from the ground up. What if they don't accept the annoying habits your lifelong friends have learned to love? What if your senses of humor clash? What if you simply don't "click" with anyone around you?

If you fast forward a few weeks, your worries are quickly forgotten. You soon realize that your home friends were the only ones to comment on your annoying habits. Your humor extends far beyond your ancient inside jokes from middle school. Instead, you form some of the strongest connections you've ever made.

You've made a fresh start, and you've created an entirely new "you" from your new surroundings.

You are finally the person you've always wanted to be, and your past is finally in the past. What does that mean for your home friends, though?

Essentially, it means they might not know you as well as they used to. Now, they begin to feel somewhat like strangers.

Your home friends are reminiscent of the old you: the one you're incredibly proud to leave behind. You meet people that tolerate the things that your old friends would shut down immediately.

Your new friends have helped you discover interests you didn't even know you had, and they've taught you what it means to be truly valued. They've offered you a whole world of opportunities.

Despite how great it feels, your instinct may still be to cling to the safety of your old friends. Everything right now is new and risky. Before long, however, you realize that you have drifted from home. You quickly recognize that "growing up together" isn't a strong enough thread to hold a friendship together.

You find that you don't enjoy the same things as your home friends anymore. Before college, you might have compromised, feeling like you had no choice.

Now, you know that you have quality friends that share common interests with you. These friendships require more effort and time, but they're worth the energy.

You begin to value your new friends more and more. You become less tolerant of things you've always tried to ignore, which creates some notable tension. Your ties to your childhood friends loosen, and the times you spend together now feel a bit forced.

You're bound to feel sad and nostalgic. No matter how valuable your college friends may be, you still have unforgettable memories with your home ones. It's inevitable you'll miss the memories associated with your childhood.

It's important to remember that college has been the chance for you to gain independence. You'll still miss home and everything associated with it, but as time goes on, you learn not to cling onto a friendship just because it's familiar.

It's OK to not want to let go of the past. The memories are not lost, so hold them tightly. In the end, it is OK to let go of something that no longer offers you what you need. You've evolved in a hugely positive way. Embrace it.