Have I Outgrown My High School Friendships?
High School sucks. I don’t care how wonderful you may say your high school experience was, it sucked in some way. Not only was your body going through a terrible time because of puberty but there was also a crazy societal demand to fit in and make friends. But man, once you did find those friends, there was nothing you couldn’t conquer. High school friendships were the best because that was our first major transition of our lives and we had people close to us going through the same thing. But what happens to those relationships once high school is over? Some of you move on to college, others straight into a job, and you start forming new relationships. So how do you know when you have outgrown your high school friendships?
Signs of the friendship slipping
Spotting the signs of your high school friendships slipping can be difficult to see because most don’t want to see it. It is heartbreaking to know that one of your first serious friendships could be coming to an end. Some typical signs of a failing friendship are a lack of communication and less frequent conversations. I had noticed that I was avoiding calling or texting my high school friends because I felt guilty that I lived so far and we were unable to hang out as much. Another sign is when you have a negative or aching feeling every time y’all do talk or hangout. You should only have pleasant feelings when hanging out with friends. It should not feel like work to be with someone that you should feel completely comfortable around.
These are only a few signs that will help you realize something is not right with your high school friendship.
Benefits to keeping the friendship
Now there are some benefits to keeping, or fighting for, that friendship. These are the people that were with you when you went through your first real dilemmas and were there to help you through it. “Your high school friends offer you a place to return to no matter how much time or distance separates you” (LifeHacks). If they were there at the beginning, then they would know how to help through other transitions in life.
As Elite Daily puts it, “our high school friends are our first loves. They were there for us when we stopped wearing choker necklaces and when we had our first kisses. They were our prom dates, our locker buddies and our partners for relay races in gym class.”
High school friendships are the ones that were there for you during your awkward times. It also helps to have friends that are going down different paths than you because they can provide a different perspective of your life. So for those that chose college and the other that chose something different, they are able to continuously teach each other and grow. As in any relationship, it is truly beneficial to have different viewpoints to create a well-rounded, diverse individual.
Reasons to let it go
We are constantly changing as people and as you may have experienced already, not everyone grows with you. Some people like to remain in the past or at a standstill. These people could very well be your high school friendship where they are stuck in the high school phase and are never looking towards the future. Or perhaps they have zero ambition to change anything about themselves. This can be very toxic for you because we tend to become like the people we surround ourselves with. Their negative outlook can cause a stunt in your growth as well. You need people that will constantly push you to grow and be your best self.
“After you graduate high school, you’re no longer trapped in the confines of your hometown. You’re free to do what’s best for you. If that means fully immersing yourself in your new life and being fully present in your new environment, then so be it” (Elite Daily).
I personally choose to let go of friendship where they do not have goals or take no steps to make those goals come true. What good will we do each other if were going in different directions and have no intentions of looking back?
But no matter what…
Cherish the time you did have with your high school friends. Each person was put in our lives for a reason whether that be positive or negative. So no matter what, you should be thankful that they helped in some way make you who you are today. In some way, you also helped shape them so whether the friendship continues on or dies, you have a beneficial symbiotic relationship.
Thought Catalog, sums it up perfectly by saying that “Part of growing up is learning that, regardless of longevity, any relationship you bothered kindling over the course of your life served a purpose. The fact that you might no longer talk doesn’t negate the dozens of inside jokes you had (and still remember) or erase the nights you spent wandering around the beach or incinerate the drawings you exchanged behind the backs of teachers in your high school classrooms… Understanding that the people you’ve let go over the years mattered is massively important, and accepting that it’s okay if they continue to matter, regardless of whether or not you want to speak to them ever again, is even more so.
We don’t vacantly drift through one another’s lives, even in an environment as vapid as high school. You may have loved someone, or hated someone, or just not have been able to figure out how to be best friends with someone, but the fact that it ended in flames — or ended at all — doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. It means that for better or for worse, you lost something you cared about, and in all likelihood, you grew.”
Plus, there’s also Facebook to keep you up to date on each other’s lives. Thanks, Mark Zuckerberg!
Think you have outgrown your high school friendships? Comment below with your experience and tips you would share with others going through it.