Can Your High School Friends be your College Friends Too?

You and your best friend have been planning to go to college together since, like, forever. You looked at all the same schools, sweated over your applications together and debated which dorms were the best. You survived high school together, so you cannot imagine anyone better to have by your side during this next chapter of your life.

Does this scenario sound familiar to you? Whether or not it is planned, sometimes you and your good friends end up going to the same college. And when that happens, you cannot help but be super excited that you will have someone close to you to share your experiences with. But college is a big and sometimes difficult transition period for a lot of people and can put strain on the relationships between you and your friends from high school. Here are a few tips and things to keep in mind to help you cultivate new relationships and maintain your old ones.

Choosing your roommate

If you ask around, most people would suggest you do not room with your best friend at college. Why? Because living together is much different than just spending a lot of time together. Regardless of how well you know someone, they still might have a few quirks that, if you are around them all the time, could annoy you and cause tension. You both got along so well before, but keeping your cool when you want to study and he or she wants to blast music can be difficult.  There will probably be disagreements if you choose a random roommate, but chances are you will handle them in a more respectful manner since you hardly know the person. If you really want your high school friend to be nearby, try living in the same dorm instead of the same room. That way you can see each other whenever you want but still have the experience of living with someone totally new.

Making New Friends

One of the best parts of college is meeting a bunch of new people. It can be intimidating trying to get to know your new classmates or dorm mates.  Having someone you know you can be yourself around (cue high school buddy) may lead you to seek some comfort by hanging out with them a lot. But do not be afraid to branch out, and do not worry if your old friend starts hanging out with new people as well. You should encourage each other to experience new people. Mostly everyone is eager to make new friends, so if you bond with some new people, make sure to introduce them to your friend as well, and ask your friend to do the same for you. It is an easy way to build a network of people for personal or professional purposes.

People Change

While you adjust to living away from home, juggle classes and make new friends, you also find out who you are as a person. College allows you to explore significantly more academic and personal interests than high school. So it is no surprise that some people change dramatically when they go to college. Someone shy can become extremely outgoing, or an academic-focused person may turn into a party animal. If the changes you and your high school friend are going through cause you to drift apart, do not worry or feel bad. It is a natural occurrence that a lot of young adults experience. Remember to always be respectful in the relationships you gain and the ones you lose.

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Caitlin Furin

Caitlin Furin

Caitlin Furin is a senior at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in journalism and strategic communication. With an interest in social media, she can often be found exploring the Facebook walls, Twitter feeds and Pinterest profiles of big brands. Her laptop and iPhone never leave her side. Outside of school and work, Caitlin can be found enjoying a good TV show or two and spending time with her friends and family.
Caitlin Furin

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