Scary question, I know. It’s not one that I ever thought to ask when I started planning my collegiate future away from home. Three years later, I still don’t think it’s one worth worrying over, though for very different reasons.
Let me explain.
During my first year of college, I had annoyingly convinced myself that I didn’t need to invest much energy into making new friends on campus. I already had plenty of friends from home, so why bother starting the awkward mingling-to-get-to-know-people process over again? At the same time, though, I noticed that I had less and less in common with some of those old friends as the year progressed. We had all created new lives for ourselves on our respective campuses, which is totally normal.
Looking back, though, it makes perfect sense that most of us sorted drifted apart. We found new groups, new things to be involved in, and new cities to explore.
I’m not trying to traumatize you, of course. While there are groups of friends from high school that may fade away as time goes on, there will still be some old friends that when you talk to them again, it’s as if no time has passed. And I’m so grateful to still have some of those, even after I’ve been in college for three years.
At the same time, don’t be scared about making new friends in college like I was. Sure, it’s intimidating. But so so exciting! Making a move to a totally new community like a college campus is the perfect opportunity to reinvent yourself, to start off the way you want, and make the kinds of friends you’ve always wanted but haven’t found yet.
And you’ll meet those friends in the most unexpected places. You’ll surely form relationships with the students in your August term class, but then there will be the friends you meet through Greek Life recruitment and in your first few classes. Maybe you’ll meet someone in the community bathroom after you notice that the two of you brush your teeth at the same time every night (I’m not kidding; it’s happened to me!). Or maybe that new friend will be your roommate or someone who lives on your hall. Or you work together. Or they’ll be people you’ve known forever but only really get to know once you’re in college.
So what I’m saying is, as you change, so will your friends — the ones you keep and the kinds of new ones you look for. While I hate that growing up sometimes means growing apart, it also means finding the new friends that fit with the new person you become! (I hate how cheesy that sounds, but it’s so true!) So wherever you decide to go to college, make sure it’s a place where you can see yourself making lifelong friendships.