Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
You have your immediate family, maybe a significant other, and then you have your friends.
College isn’t the “best four years of your life” because you earned a diploma, spent all night partying, or figured out what you want to do. It’s because those years are filled with friendships, acquaintances, and creating memories that you’ll remember for a lifetime. You meet the people who are supposed to have your back through thick and thin, who you know will be celebrating with you at your wedding, and the ones that will be sitting beside you in a wheel chair.
As best as we know it, school has always been a huge facilitator in meeting people whether you know them from class, or they live down the hall, or they’re in the same sorority or fraternity as you. Those four years you’ve spent together are suddenly going to be different after graduation…..well, if you let them.
Before graduation, it feels like everyone’s in the same place and everyone’s moving in sync. You graduate with your closest friends by your side, you take that crazy trip you’ve always wanted to take, and now you’re ready to conquer the world. Suddenly, you might find that in your circle of friends all your lives are suddenly changing independent of one another. Some work long work weeks, others decide to move to a foreign country, and you slowly feel that sense of drifting.
As you get older, priorities change, you gain more responsibilities, and you unconsciously become more selective about who you want to spend your time with. While you may think about your closest friends every day, you probably don’t get around to calling or texting them because you can think of a million other things that need to be done before you go to bed.
Well, let me tell you this: It takes two. To maintain any type of relationship it’s going to take effort on both of your sides. Not just yours and not just theirs.
Don’t be the friend who is always invited to things, but never plans anything on their own. If planning isn’t “your thing,” then make it your thing if you care about staying in touch. Be a giver. Be understanding. Don’t let your friendships fade because you were too tired or too busy because I guarantee you won’t regret it once you’re sitting across the table from an old friend, catching up over lost time.
It saddens me to say this, but I can’t even count how many times I’ve browsed my Facebook feed to see that someone I went to high school with passed away last week, or that someone I’ve been meaning to make plans with moved across the country. I can’t stress it enough. Seriously — make an effort before it’s too late.
I agree. It’s extremely hard to keep up with your own life, while also trying to keep up with everyone else’s, but one hour every Tuesday is only 0.59% of your week. So pick up your phone, send out a card, make some plans, and schedule time to call an old friend this week. That’s less than 1% of your week. Come on. No excuses.
Out of all the investments you will make in your life, building a relationship will be the single most important. It may not be costly, per se, but it will take time, effort, and hopefully a lot of emotions as well. Invest your kindness, and invest your interests in the people around you. No amount of money will make up for the feeling of loneliness on the big events in your life if you don’t have true friends to celebrate it with.