One of the hardest transitions of my life was when my friends went away to college. We were the same age, but I had decided to stay in my hometown for college while most of them moved away. I’ve been reminded just what a difficult transition it was this year, when my brother moved across the country and away from his friends to go to college. No matter where you are in life, leaving your friends to start a new chapter of your life is difficult. Whether you’re still in high school and all of your friends left for college, or you decided to stay in your hometown while your friends left, surviving this transition is not an easy task, and it’s a change that takes some getting used to!
1. Make Sure Your Friends Know They’re Important to You
Before your friends leave for college, let them know just how important they are to you. Whether that means having an emotional night-in where you all cry about how much you’re going to miss each other (I’ve been there, and I’m pretty sure that everyone has) or you simply get a few gifts that have a lot of meaning, make sure your friends know that they’re important to you. That little reminder before they leave will be important in the coming months—you’ll both be more apt to maintain a relationship if you do that.
2. Focus on Your Own Likes and Dislikes
One of the weirdest but best parts about leaving your high school friends is that suddenly it’s all about what you like and dislike. A lot of the time, you spend so much time with your high school friends that their likes and dislikes can become yours by proxy. Now that you’re not spending as much time around them, focus on what you like and try to make a hobby out of it. It will help distract you from missing your friends!
3. Make the Most of Your Current Life
It can be easy to get down on yourself for not having your friends around, and instantly try to recluse. However, don’t let those voices take over. Instead, make the most of your current life. If you’re still in high school, get involved in school events. Go to football games. Get involved with clubs. You may find that you make a ton of friends just because you didn’t let yourself sit around and get sad that you weren’t with your friends.
4. Utilize Social Media and Technology
We’re so lucky that we live in a time where we can just pick up a phone and send a text to nearly anyone, or we can keep up with our friends via social media. Of course, it’s not an ideal method of communication, but it’s a great way to stay in touch and involved in each other’s lives, even if you can’t be together in person.
5. Accept the Fact That Things Will Change
When I was leaving my own friends for college, one of the hardest truths that I had to accept was that things would change. It was hard to believe that I’d never see my friends every single day again, or that we’d roam the halls of our high school again. Your relationships with your friends will change, but they don’t necessarily have to change in a bad way if you can be open to that change!
6. Be Open to New Friends
Often when you start a new chapter of your life without the friends that you’ve always had, it can be so easy to be closed off to meeting any new friends. One of the first steps to making new friends is just being open to making new friends. If you feel like you’re betraying your friends by making new friends, you’ll never be able to make new friends!
7. Try to Move on
It is so, so ridiculously hard to move on from people that you love, especially when they’re your friends and you don’t really have a choice in the matter. That being said, moving on and accepting that that chapter of your life is over is vital to truly coping with your friends leaving for college. That doesn’t mean that you can’t maintain relationship with all of your friends, but rather, that your friendships with them will take on a new form.
How have you dealt with your friends leaving for college? Let me know in the comments!