Campus Confidential: Redefining Friendships
In high school, I had a single group of really close friends. Yes, I had other friends outside of that core group, but those five girls were unequivocally my best friends – the ones with whom I shared monumental milestones, the ones I could talk about everything or nothing with for hours on end. When I left for college, I couldn’t fathom ever replacing them. I wondered if I would ever find a group of friends that close again.
But here’s the thing: I haven’t made another group of really close friends. And the fact that I haven’t has actually been a blessing. Now, granted, I’ve only been in college for a little over six weeks. Who knows what will unfold over the course of the year or the next four years. But so far, I’ve been spending my time not with a single group of close friends, like I was so accustomed to doing in high school, but with a bunch of different people. I like and respect them all and get something different from all of them. For example, I have a friend with whom I explore New York City and with whom I share a love of writing. I go to the typical college parties and events with another group of fun-loving friends. I have friends that I simply hang out with, get meals with and stake out the dorm’s TV lounge with in order to watch “Modern Family.”
I think that this aspect of college, this ability to have a lot of different friends — free from cliques and concerns about relative social status — has been one of the most rewarding for me so far. I love that I am able to develop so many different kinds of relationships with so many different people and learn from all of them. The stress I thought I’d feel from not knowing exactly where I fall in a social order is nonexistent. In fact, I actually feel liberated. I feel like I can explore new and different aspects of myself, rather than restrict myself to a single definition, to a single group of people.
Still, though, I miss the closeness that comes with knowing a group of people will always have your back and who unconditionally love and support you. But something tells me that that is something that will come with time and can’t be forcefully created within the first few weeks of school. And I am more than fine with waiting.
How about you? What are/were your friendships like in college?