Being in the bubble that is Happy Valley can sometimes make us forget about things from back home. The feeling of our bed, how our parents probably don’t approve of every decision we’re making, what it’s like to have a home-cooked meal, what it’s like to hang out with our high school friends – oh right, our high school friends.
Coming home for a break and seeing your friends whom you haven’t seen in months can be incredibly awkward if you haven’t been good at keeping in touch. If you haven’t realized it yet, you’ll realize it when you see your friends: going to college changes people. That’s OK, but it does mean that it will have changed your friendships as well. Let Valley help you keep your friendships stronger than ever before.
Don’t monopolize the conversation
You’ll probably want to tell your friend everything that’s happened to you since August (and rightly so), which means she’ll want to do the same with you. Set aside a few hours to catch up with each other so you can both learn about the new ups and downs of each other’s lives. Listen to her and give advice if needed.
Be honest, even if the truth hurts
Be honest with your friends and be honest with yourself. If they’re doing something to upset you, let them know, and don’t try to tell yourself that you’re OK with it. Stay calm, but realize a fight may come out of it; nobody likes to be told they’re doing something wrong. That being said, if the reverse is true and she’s angry with you, don’t jump to the defense – let her explain herself.
Continue to support your friends
So she’s in Greek life and you aren’t, and you don’t approve with it (or whatever club she joined that you think is lame) – but don’t knock it. Put yourself in her shoes and imagine her hating something you love. Seriously, just don’t do it. Unless she’s miserable and somehow got sucked into it, just support her, quietly or not.
Communication is key
Don’t go back to school and totally ignore your friends. Granted, everybody will have a busy couple of weeks with finals coming up, but if she texts you, make an attempt to answer. If you’re too swamped, say something like, “Hey, I’m really sorry but I don’t have much time to talk these next few weeks. Catch up after finals?” Everybody understands.
Bottom line: Remember that you and your friends have changed. However, friendships shouldn’t take a ton of work all the time – they should just be. If you read this and thought that no matter what, nothing could salvage a friendship, please realize that not everybody finds their soul mate of a best friend in high school. You probably found yours in college.