Some people are lucky to find real, genuine friends that last beyond the frames of an Instagram post or the shout-outs of a Facebook status. For the rest of us, well…even though it may be hard to accept, it’s sometimes better to let go of the people who no longer have a place in your life, or don’t deserve a place in it. And that’s not something you should blame yourself for, nor should you blame the friends who never were meant to say. Sometimes things happen the way they do and things don’t work out the way they should, for reasons you will never be able to understand.
Being an almost-graduate of college has taught me a lot of things about life, especially friendship. And though I may have been one of the lucky ones to have found a girl squad in college, here are the reasons why I still think that it’s okay to let go of your friends when the time comes.
1. Just because you shared something great and special, doesn’t mean you have to hold on to it when the magic is no longer there.
Ever heard of the saying ‘It was good while it lasted’? It exists for a reason. It applies to both relationships and friendships, and people have a hard time accepting that good things are not meant to stay good forever. Consider yourself lucky to have stumbled upon something special with your friends, but remember that these good things, just like the bad, are only train stops to this one-way journey we call life. And one thing I know for sure about life is that it goes on. Let go when it’s time to move on.
2. It’s time for you to focus on yourself and let your friends do the same.
Give yourself and your friends space to be who you’re meant to become. College is that place and time in your life where you learn so much about yourself, more than anything (or anyone) else: it’s where you discover all your good, bad, and ugly parts. For some people, it’s realizing these dreams they never knew they had or these goals they want to spend the rest of their lives chasing after. Heck, some people even find love in college!
Don’t hold yourself or your friends back when you finally find your true calling. (Or when you lose your way and have to find another one).
3. Friends grow together, and sometimes they grow apart.
This sometimes means moving halfway across the country and never seeing each other again. It might be hard to at first, having been used to being there for each other, knowing everything about each other, and sharing every good inside joke with each other, but you’ll sooner than later realize that there will come a time when you’ll all outgrow these things. Think of it as something akin to shedding some skin.
4. Always remember that drifting from some friends leaves room for new ones to come in.
Having new friends doesn’t mean that the people in your life are replaceable; no single friendship is ever the same. You will get to share new memories and learn new stories and have new adventures, but remember that, as with everything else, things in the past don’t become less special or have less meaning over time.
You will never have the exact same experiences or the exact same realizations or the exact same mistakes. Perhaps even more important, you wouldn’t be the person you are right now if it hadn’t been for the culmination of all the past friendships you’ve had and lost as you grew older, became wiser, and changed (hopefully) for the better.
5. Letting go of your friends doesn’t mean letting go of the fun times you had.
All the memories, firsts, tears and secrets you got to share—those things will never leave. They will always be a part of you, even ten, twenty years later. Time will come when the friends you shared these fun times with will no longer be relevant, but they will never lose their value. They will always be a part of you, and you, of them. And that’s something to be thankful for.