The Changing Years: Maintaining Childhood Friendships

Many people coming into college have a tight-nit group of friends from childhood or high school. They’re inseparable, have long-lasting memories and, to some degree, think life will go on forever as it is.

In many ways this is true, but in more ways will you see changes you could have never expected between you and your group of friends.

Let me tell you a story.

I have two sets of friends now that I am a college student. I have my best friends from childhood back home, and my college friends. I’m realizing even after two full years of college though that my oldest friends are truly my best friends.

We’re a close group. We call ourselves “the fam.”

So naturally, we do everything together. We work together, we play together, eat together, travel together, you name it.

During my freshman year of college nothing changed. We would visit each other on weekends, go out over the holiday breaks and we always made sure we checked in once and while to catch up on the small things.

The summer after my freshman year was one of the most memorable summers of my life thanks to “the fam.” We were constantly together, just like old times, like we were making up for not seeing each other during the school year.

But this summer, everything changes.

The realities of growing up start to set in around the end of sophomore year. We all have jobs, and many of us found internships for the summer or are taking classes.

But the biggest change is that for the first time, we aren’t all in the same place.

I’m living on campus and at home this summer, my best friend is living on her college campus and my other friends are home, but traveling a lot.

I call these the changing years.

Everyone goes through it at some point, and maybe at different points, but the result is inevitable.

You may always feel as close as you always have been with old friends, but as you mature and gain responsibilities, the time you have to spend together becomes limited.

This doesn’t mean you will never see them, or share some of the great experiences you used to, your days with them may just simply be numbered as everyone grows into their adult lives.

Now at the risk of depressing you all, there are still some positive aspects to this whole growing up thing.

If you have close enough friends, seeing them when you do will feel the same as it always has, if not better. When you haven’t seen people who you care about in a long time, seeing them often feels more rewarding.

As your lives progress you must remember to be there to support each other during these changing years. Still call, visit and stay close to old friends as much as possible if they are worth keeping in your life.

Once the first person slips and forgets to call or text, the seal has been broken. Don’t be the first to fall by the wayside.

When you do get to see your long-lost friends, try doing special activities together to make it feel like a significant experience, or celebration when you are finally reunited.

There are many ways to adjust to growing up and maybe not seeing your best friends as much as you used to, but this doesn’t mean you will lose them forever.

Make sure to stay in touch so you will have a support system for you during these changing years.

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Madeline Fetchiet

Madeline Fetchiet

Madeline Fetchiet is a sophomore at Michigan State University, studying journalism and philosophy of law. Aside from reporting, Madeline enjoys tae kwon do, reading, writing, researching and traveling, and can be considered a music enthusiast. Madeline currently works as an intern for thecollegehelper.com, and is a banquet server at Travis Pointe Country Club in Ann Arbor, MI. Perfecting the storytelling side of reporting is something she looks forward to in her future career as a journalist.
Madeline Fetchiet

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