Don’t Make Yourself Hold On To Friends Who No Longer Make You Happy

Brooke Cagle
Brooke Cagle

Your friends from high school have probably been around throughout your entire life. Essentially, of the relatively small number of kids in your grade, you decided to call a select few of them your friends. Or maybe you were not even the one who decided who you would be acquainted with; maybe your parents were friends with theirs and that is how a friendship blossomed.  Nevertheless, upon high school graduation, you swore that the people standing next to you would be your best friends for the rest of your life. But what you did not realize is despite the diversity you thought you were exposed to, your hometown was a bubble, and college was going to open you up to a lot of different people.

College is the time where, as the cliché states (validly in my opinion), you find yourself. You study things that you actually enjoy and you make a lot of mistakes that build your character. Somewhere along the line you make friends, and this time, you attract people that have more in common with you than they did in your hometown. Through classes and organizations, you have the opportunity to meet people that are passionate about the exact same things as you. And because there are so many people to meet on a college campus, there is no pressure to maintain relationships that you do not enjoy.  Moreover, if you do not like someone, you can potentially never see them again and make totally new friends.

It was during my freshman year of college that I met people who I really enjoyed spending time with. People who I probably would have never been friends with in high school. People who did not judge me for my actions and who valued the same things that I did.  So when I went home for summer break and hung out with people from high school again, I realized that I did not really have anything in common with them anymore. They knew me before I even knew me, and now that I know who I am, I know that I do not exactly click with my friends from high school.

It was upsetting to walk away from my best friends from high school. We shared so many memories together that no one from college would ever understand because they were not there. For a few months, I held on to those connections because I thought I needed to. But I wondered, why do I need to hang on to people that I felt no compassion toward in my life?  I had formed so many amazing connections that I did not feel the least bit alone without them.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where people are expected to have a group of friends at home; if they don’t there is CLEARLY something wrong with them. But tell me, what is wrong with being independent? What is wrong with growing up and out of the people who you bonded with at such an immature and drama-filled time in your life?

Don’t feel like you are obligated to keep people in your life just because you may have called them your best friends at one point. Don’t hold on to those that are not making you happy. Friends should be people that have your back, pick you up when you’re having a bad day, and value you just as much as you value them. You should not feel upset nor embarrassed if those attributes are not met by anyone who graduated in your high school class.

Now, when I go home I spend time with my family who I have learned to cherish more than I ever did before. I guess that comes with growing up as well. And when I want to socialize, I have my college friends to reach out to! High school happened in the past and there is no reason why anyone should feel bad about keeping it there. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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