Workin On Remaining Friends After High School
Graduating high school and moving on with your life is often a confusing time. There is college, a new life, new responsiblities, and new friends. Figuring out how to maintain your new life and keep your old friends is hard for a lot of people. This can make it hard for friendships from high school to continue on into the adult years, but it isn't impossible.
New Friends Verses Old Friends
For many people having new friends and old friends is really hard to do. This is especially true when major life events happen and there is a rift of ideas. College friends verses high school friends is much like the new life which is associated with being grown up and the old life which is associated with being a kid trying to mix. When this happens there are some who have a hard time wanting to keep their old friends (which are associated with being a kid) in the mix. This doesn't mean that they no longer like their old friends, just that they are having a hard time figuring out how to make it all work while gaining a new, grown up image.
Tips for Being the Old Friend
It is hard to be the old friend and to feel like you no longer have a place in your best friends life. However, if you are patient and follow a few simple tips it is most likely that you will get your friend back and life will be good again.
- Don't get mad and try not to get upset. This is a lot easier said then done. After all, you are feeling ignored, maybe even abused and left out. However, if you get mad or upset then you are more likely to say something or do something that could hurt the relationship more.
- Try to be understanding. Again this isn't easy to do. After all, you and this other person were best friends and now it doesn't seem like you are even friends. However, it is a matter of figuring out who each person is and it will be all right.
- Be willing to spend time with your friend and her new friends. This is a time when you can make new friends with your high school friend's college friends. This is always good for you, but it also gives you a time and a place to spend time with your old friend.
- Make new friends. It is important for you to gain new friends as well so be willing to meet new people and make new friends. Then you can introduce your high school friend to your new friends as well.
- Keep reaching out. Make sure you aren't making your friend feel harrassed. Often times you will find that once you are no longer high school best friends you won't spend near as much time together. However, you don't want to give up on her either. Call her, invite her places, and see how she is doing in her new life.
It will probably feel very much like trying to survive. I know, I have been there. After our senior year both I and my best friend remained in our hometown. There she got a job, moved out of her parents house and in with an older friend that we both had, and she started spending a lot of time with the older twenty-somethings we knew from chuch. It felt like she wanted nothing to do with me and it made me rather depressed. We didn't talk for months. Summer went by and then my first semester at the community college went by. Finally, I decided that while we might never be close again, we could at least be friends. I called her up and asked how she was doing. We had dinner together a few times and life went on.
We still talked every couple of months, but that was about it. Then we both went away for college. She started calling me more often then I called her and we started gaining a bigger understanding of where each of our lives were going. After over a year of not being much of friends we were friends again.
Now years have past (six of them) we both are married and both have a child (I have a two year old son and she has a one year old daughter), and we have 1200 miles seperating each other. We aren't best friends anymore, but we are still good friends. We talk at least once a month and share the happenings or our lives. It is good and while life has taken each of us in a different direction, we are still friends.
The only thing that I wish is that I would have been bolder and worked on keeping our friendship alive sooner. Maybe we wouldn't have spent so much time not talking if I had worked on calling her even when I felt she didn't want to talk to me.
Growing up is something that life forces us into even when we spend so much time hoping to get there, thinking we are there, and working toward being an "adult". Reality is, it isn't easy. With it our relationships will change and our friendships will morph. You can keep your friends from high school, at least your closest ones, but they won't remain the same. You will become a different person, they will become a different person, people will move, meet boyfriends and girlfriends, have spouses, have babies, have jobs, and life will look different. But you don't have to loose your best high school friend because of it. Be willing to work at the friendship, try to be understanding, and try not to get too upset about rough patches.