Chapter 1: Keeping Up With Your High School Friends

One of the most integral parts of the college experience is moving away from home to explore new horizons in the brave new world of college. However, people inevitably get left behind in the process whenever someone goes somewhere new. When you were growing up, it’s very likely that you made a couple of friends along your path to adulthood. Sometimes you saw these friends daily, whether in class, in clubs, or just hanging out in your free time. Not being able to see these friends who you’ve spent all of your time with for much of your daily life may be easy for some people but can be a big adjustment for others when they get to college. 

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In my experience, people tend to have one of two reactions when interacting with their high school friends in college: people either stay very closely attached to those friendships, or they neglect them altogether. It is important to remember that wherever you go, these relationships will still be a part of your life, and there are ways to include them in your life in a balanced way.

The best way to manage high school friendships is to set times to talk to them each week. If there are high school friends that you find yourself wanting to maintain some kind of relationship with, the first step is to track how much time you’re already interacting with them, whether it’s long video calls or short text exchanges. If you find that you’re constantly catching up on long calls with your friends back home, the best solution to this is to set a time each week to chat with them. While staying connected with your friends is good, you want to be careful to avoid doing so at the cost of your social life at college. College has a diverse social landscape chock-full of opportunities to try new things and to meet new people. It is important to take at least some time to explore these opportunities. College is now, and it will likely be at least a few months before you see your high school friends again. Once you get to the point where you have some roots at college, you can start dividing the time between high school and college friends however you like. Setting times to talk to people can also be helpful if you already have trouble maintaining relationships with people, especially ones you want to keep. Set a reminder for yourself to send a text or two a week to a few friends, just asking them about how they’ve been. While it may not seem like much, these little gestures can go a long way in maintaining friendships, and they are an easy way to hold yourself accountable. Sometimes people can struggle socially at college, and these little messages can help friends lean on one another. 

My second tip for high school friendships is to recognize that people are going to inevitably change. College is a completely new environment that is different from that of your hometown, and that means people are going to have the opportunity to explore themselves without the influence of parents, teachers, or other people that they’ve had in their life. Maybe they pick up a new hobby or start to explore another side of their personality. Either way, the next time you see your high school friends, it is very likely they will not be the same person as when you left them. In some cases, this could mean strengthening a bond with a person who is more in touch with themselves than ever before. In other cases, this could mean that a relationship that was strong before doesn’t last a year after college. This is totally okay. Not every relationship you have has to last forever. Starting and ending relationships is just a part of life. You do not have to feel guilty that you don’t connect with a person the same way you did before. Now you can use the experiences from that relationship to become a better person for your new friends down the line.

My final tip is to give your high school friends a chance. I think some people tend to get caught up in the newness of college. People hear that college will be the best four years of their life, and, as a result,  will try to leave everything in their “old life” behind. Like it or not, your old life is still your life, and the things that happened in it are going to influence you moving forward. In addition, this attitude can create high expectations of your time in college that may never be reached. Yes, it is true that college can be the best four years of your life, but that doesn’t mean it has to or that it will be. Yes, it is true that you may drift apart from people you may not be as compatible with anymore, but sometimes you can keep some really good friends from your high school years and continue to grow with them. Just as you can’t afford to waste any new opportunities in college, you can’t waste any old opportunities with your friends back home. 

And finally, when you do go back home for break, what better way to catch up on college memories than on some good food in the city? You can try some great North Indian food at Punjab Palace! You can get 10% off your takeout order with your student ID!

By: Lucas Pratt

Lucas Pratt is a senior at Boston College studying Philosophy, English, and Chinese. He enjoys games of all kinds, Dungeons and Dragons, and getting around to finishing the copy of Dune that’s been sitting on his nightstand for months on end. Lucas has decided that the words “employable majors” don’t mean anything to him, and is eagerly seeing where the world takes him in the future.

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