I’m very close to my friends from high school. Even right now, going into my junior year of college I would still consider myself closer to them than my friends at school. I’m in a fraternity and even they can’t compare to the friendships I’ve built through my childhood. The question here, is why?
Since 4th grade, I’ve pretty much had the same core group of friends. We had a small elementary school, slightly bigger middle school, and a slightly bigger high school. Perhaps I’m in a unique position, but I’ve been growing up with these guys for nearly a decade now, and I’m still growing with them.
At college, the earliest memory you can have with someone is orientation, which is about 2 months before school starts. Since move-in day, I’ve had one good friend who’s been a constant throughout. I’ve had some other great friends coming and going, and I think some are going to stay around for a little while, but for the most part my core group varies as I get older.
The reason why your high school friends will always be greater than your college friends is because you created a group that you’ve become so in tune with that it’s nearly impossible to recreate in such a short amount of time.
During high school/childhood, you grow up together; you all went to the same movies, shown each other similar music, walked down the same hallways, and grew used to each other as you were growing up in such a strong social environment. You’ve grown from boys to seniors in high school.
When you go to college, you’ve got nothing. You’re dropped in a completely new environment with all new people in the same position as yourself. And the first thing you want to do is revert to your comfort zone, which is your old friend group. The problem here is that you are searching for the qualities so unique to your friends, in other people that you’ve just met. If you find a friend who likes the same music as your best friend from home, naturally you’ll try to hang onto him/her because he/she reminds you of your friend from home. And if there’s a kid who is also really goofy when he’s drunk, you will also associate him with your friend from home. You are always going to be comparing your new friends to your old friends, and since your old friends were such a unique and defining part of your character, your new friends will never truly be able to compare to your classic buddies from home.
Sometimes you’re lucky and you’ll find one or two friends who you really click with, but chances are you won’t ever find friendships as strong as the ones you’ve been maintaining since you were coloring inside the lines. That’s why it’s important to keep in contact with your friends from your childhood/high school. Once you’re at college, there’s a short window of time and then you’re out of there as fast as you got there. Cherish your friendships, and treat your friends like family, because your best friends are family.