Opinion: A guide to keeping and maintaining friendships

While I was having lunch with people who were my best friends last year, all I could think about was how much we had grown apart. It had only been one summer and yet I could no longer relate to anything they were saying, and I couldn’t laugh at any of the jokes they were making because I wasn’t part of it. So, I plastered on a smile to pretend like I was having a good time, when I was actually extremely uncomfortable and felt like an outsider.

As the end of my first semester as a sophomore draws near, I’ve come to realize how much my friend group has shifted. I’m not saying that I’ve lost all my friends from last year, but I’ve definitely grown apart with a few and gained a few. I know exactly why I’ve drifted from the friends I’ve lost: housing and lack of effort.

1)     Housing

These friends that I’m no longer close to live on CoRo while I live in Walsh. At first I thought that we’d have lunch every day and we’d visit each other to watch TV shows together. But now that we’ve drifted apart, I’ve come to realize how big of a deal geography is. To walk from CoRo to Walsh (or vice versa) is a huge inconvenience, and unless you are in a relationship with someone who lives on the opposite side of campus, you really don’t have much motivation to make that trek.

2)     Lack of effort

For any relationship to work, you need a two-way street. By this, I mean that both parties need to put in the same amount of effort in the relationship. I’m definitely not a huge fan of relationships where I have to do all the work, especially when I get nothing back from the other person. And with the friends I’ve drifted apart from, I grew tired of constantly trying to set up lunches with them or asking to hang out when they’d never reciprocate my efforts.

The most important things about making friendships is that you click well, you have fun when you’re together, you’re able to be silly with each other and honest, and both parties treasure the relationship. There’s not much you can do about housing. But if you and your friend end up on the opposite sides of BC, as long as you both continue to make an effort, I can guarantee a lasting friendship.

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