1. You were friends when friends were the most important thing in your life.
Later on your partner and/or your kids, and maybe even your job will come first. But in your college years, your friends were the most important thing in your world, making your bond stronger than any other friendships you’ll make in your life.
2. They became your family.
When you leave home for college, you’re alone for the first time in your life. In all the places of love and support your family used to fit, you fill in the spaces with friends. You go to new homes for Thanksgiving, text new people when you’re stressed out, and learn to make a family out of people you choose.
3. You will always know the fun-loving, carefree side of each other.
College isn’t the “best time of your life” (if you’re lucky, life keeps getting better), but it is some of the most fun, carefree years you will have. All of the fun things that make you a Real Adult like getting married, having a career, owning a home — those things are also anchors. They keep you in one place and make you someone who pays attention to the consequences of your decisions. You’re not selling your textbooks for Red Hot Chili Peppers tickets anymore — and that’s exactly why you should always keep your college friends close. They’ll remind you that you love to have fun, and that’s not something you should ever lose as you grow up.
4. They’ve seen you at your worst, and loved you for it.
In every college friend relationship there is a night out gone wrong story. Someone puked on someone or slept with someone or passed out somewhere or generally was just a horror show of a human being for a night. It happens to everyone when you are learning how to drink and learning that there are more important things in life than a hot guy wanting to hook up with you. Your friendships with your college friends are stronger than any others because you’ve forgiven them, you know they are far from perfect and you have chosen to go on loving them.
5. You’ve gone through some of the hardest times in life together.
Talk to someone in their 30’s about their early 20’s years and they’ll all say a version of the same thing: “I had so much fun, but you couldn’t pay me to be that age again.” While your college years can be some great years, they are also incredibly stressful and difficult. You are learning how to be an adult and deal with adult problems, but unlike every other time in your life you lack the confidence and experience of having done similar things before. This is where you rely on your friends and you get through it together.
6. Later in life, they are the ones who can truly appreciate the magnitude of your success, because they knew you when you were a hot mess.
Whether it’s finding a career you love and growing it bigger and bigger, or finding a great love when you never thought it would happen to you — we all have highs in life and they can be best appreciated by thinking about where you started. Your college friends know this. They’ve seen you crying into your drink because of a guy or working shitty unpaid internship after shitty unpaid internship. They are so earnestly happy for you and your success because they’ve seen you struggle and they know how much you deserve it.
There’s a reason Drake wrote about him and his friends, not just himself in ‘Started from the Bottom:’
7. You’ve built your life around them.
When you become an adult with someone, you grow together. You tend to like to do the same things, join the same gym, introduce your work friends to each other over happy hours and Sunday morning Brunch. They are a load-bearing pole in your life. It will always make sense for so many reasons for them to be a part of whatever you are doing.