My Best Friend, My Old Friend
When you go off to college, you leave behind some important people in your life.
By Nicole Fryer, University of Pittsburgh
When I went to school, I moved four hours away from my hometown, leaving my family and my friends behind.
Sure, there were some tears shed, and I always said I’d come home to visit and make time for everyone, but, turns out, not everyone wanted to make time for me.
She and I became friends when we were sixteen. We hit it off immediately when she started working at the same grocery store as me. She had a car, so we’d always go out to dinner or drive around town looking for an adventure. We went to concerts together all the time. We’d drive hours to meet our favorite celebrities and watch them perform. We took each other to get tattoos and piercings. We did everything together. Then I left for college.
Even if you don’t realize it, you’re so much busier in college. You can’t just drop everything and go to a concert or get a tattoo. You’ve either got studying to do or you’re too poor because you can’t work as much. If you have friends who aren’t in college, they don’t understand as much. Yeah, they’re probably busy working and doing their own thing, but they can’t really understand because they’re not in your shoes.
I tried my best to keep in touch with my friend for awhile. Sure, there were times we’d go periods without talking. At one point, I invited her out to visit for a few days to go see a concert with me and my roommate. She came out and I showed her the city, I introduced her to my college friends, she met the guy I was seeing and I even took her to some of my bigger lectures so she could get the true college experience.
During her visit, she and I got into an argument about the guy I was seeing, and, since then, things have been rocky for us. We went a few weeks without talking, but then she started texting me again and I thought things had gotten better. When I came home after her visit, we did lunch and hung out every chance we had. We hung out over fall and Christmas break this year. But when I came home last month for spring break, I tried making plans with her and she kept blowing me off. I’ve tried texting her since, and I have yet to get a response.
I wonder what happened between us. Did I do something? Did we just drift apart? Are we just too busy? I might never have an answer. As much as it sucks, and as much as I don’t want to lose someone who I’ve considered my best friend for the past five years, I’m finding that might be the best option. I have other really good friends back home, and though we might not talk as often, they’ll clear their schedules when I come home and put in the effort.
College is a time to meet new people and make new friends. I’ve made some great friends and some fake friends in the past few years, and it’s a lot easier to tell them apart than back home. The fake friends are there if you need them for a semester or two, and after that, they act like they’ve never met you.
One of my best friends that I’ve made in college is a former roommate of mine, and we’re basically inseparable. Another one I’ve met through work, and we all have a great time. They’re more understanding about scheduling conflicts, and it’s no big deal if we don’t talk for a couple of days. We’ll do dinners on nights when we don’t have as much homework, and we’ll break out the booze if one of us is going through some shit or we’re just drowning in papers and exams.
I wonder if the same thing will happen to my college friends after they graduate.
Are they going to stay in touch? Are they going to be petty about small arguments, or get too involved in their own lives?
Though I can’t say for sure, I don’t think it’s as likely as it is for older friendships. We’re all in our twenties, and we’re a group of who don’t have time for fake people. Hell, I’ve lived with one of these girls, and she’s seen me at my worst, and I’m seeing her go through her worst, and we haven’t left each other’s side.
If you have friends who don’t have the time for you because you’re away at college, it might be time to say goodbye to them. It’s going to suck because you have memories with them and have been through a lot with them. But, at the same time, if they’re the ones not making an effort, all it’s going to do is bring you down. You’ll realize who your real friends are back home, and you’re going to come across some real and fake people in college too. Instead of dwelling on old friends who won’t even text you and ask to see you when you’re in town, make new friends and learn from your past mistakes to build better friendships for your future.