1. Everything is now much less about the appearance and the idea of friendship.
You and your friends are all now in your mid-twenties. You’ve been through a lot, and your worlds have opened up. You care a lot less about how you look to other people and a lot more about how you can help each other get through your periods of instability.
2. You bond over struggles that are a little more relatable than the ones you had at 18.
While some people have really never had it easy, for the most part, your lives were a lot simpler at 18 than they are at 25. The things you bond over now and the obstacles you help each other get through are a lot deeper and more meaningful than the ones you helped each other get through in your later teenage years.
3. You feel a lot less pressure about presenting yourself in a certain light.
Drama was the lifeblood of your friendships when you were younger. It still makes an appearance now and then, but for the most part, you choose your friendships according to who you feel most comfortable around, and who you know will be loyal and refrain from judging you no matter what.
4. You feel nothing but acceptance when you put forth your most honest and genuine self.
There’s no doubt. There’s no worrying that your friends are going to turn their back on you when you show them your flaws and uncertainties. Rather, you know that they’re going to continue to grow with you and encourage you to figure out who it is that you want to be.
5. That feeling of others judging you is still there, but much less so.
Everybody’s human. It’s hard to not worry about what others think of you at certain points. But for the most part, this is a much smaller part of your life now. Your friends act like a shield against it, constantly reminding you that the things others want to judge you on are the things that are actually the most special things about you.
6. You become a lot closer in those moments where you temporarily regress into teenagers again.
By 25, you’re kinda sorta technically an adult. The moments of acting ridiculous and completely immature are not as frequent. So when you and your friends have those moments where you get too drunk or act super silly or completely lose your composure, it only makes it funnier and brings you closer together.
7. You’ve all been through a lot more than you had been through a few years ago.
You’re older. You’ve all seen things and felt things and been through things. You all have stories, and you understand each other so much more because of those stories. You know how to empathize with one another and how to keep each other going in the darkest moments.
8. The advice that you receive is honest, helpful, and usually from a place of experience.
Even if you’re going through something that a friend has never been through, they usually know how to give really helpful, genuine, and sound advice. The advice and encouragement that you used to get from a really smart “grownup” is now the advice you’re getting from your very best friends.
9. Your friend group is smaller, and you don’t care.
It’s no longer about how many people you know and how many people you can call your friend. It’s more about the actual people you surround yourself with and the relationships that you have with them.
10. You don’t need their approval, but you admire their point of view.
You’re not concerned with whether they approve of you and your appearance and your life. But they are special enough to you that you appreciate their opinions, their points of view, and the various things they can teach you.