During the college years, friendships often revolve around routine + schedule. You become friends with the people in your classes, in your dorm, at your work, + in your orgs [sup CHAARG!]. You don’t usually have to plan out time to hang out with them since you see them every Monday//Wednesday//Friday or every Tuesday evening. On the weekends, you mainly hang out with the people you live with. Of course, you get a relative say in who you spend your time with, but much of it is based out of convenience.
As a post-grad [or grad student ; )], your life + your friendships change. You could be living in different areas or even different states, + your schedule has changed. You no longer base your friendships off of who you can go to the dining hall with. Other than your new co-workers [+ hopefully new friends!], you choose who you spend your time with.
CHANGE IS INEVITABLE
When your life has changed, you shouldn’t try to cling to what your friendships used to be. You are allowed to grow//evolve, + your relationships are too. Some friendships might become stronger than what they were + some might fade. That’s natural. With our personal growth can come mutual growth, + true friendships can be strengthened.
Technology now allows us to stay in touch more than ever, so it’s possible to maintain many friendships + stay connected. Still, the people we prioritize to spend time with can + will change over time. Whether you’re spending time together virtually or in-person, it’s up to you to decide how to spend your time.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Each friendship is different, though, so try not to get caught up with the idea that *one-size-fits-all.* Some friends may not like being on their phones 24//7, but they still might be your best friends. Communication is key, regardless. If you’re really busy with a project + have to sacrifice your social life for a few weeks, let your friends know that you still care deeply about them + are thinking about them. It can be as simple as a goofy Snapchat with your fave inside joke. If you are struggling mentally + need some alone time, communicating that with your friends further ensures that they are checking up on you as need be while still giving you space.
FRIENDSHIPS ARE AN INVESTMENT
It can be difficult to make new friends post-grad, + these types of friendships may be different than before. They may not be able to relate to your stories, but you can create new memories together. But, friendship is also about equity. If you’re constantly trying to cultivate or maintain a relationship + getting nothing in return, don’t try to force a friendship simply because you’ve been friends for so long or you think you could be BFFs. There are no sunk costs for former friendships — only lessons learned.
Think about the first people you tell your good news to — that’s who you should prioritize. Friends are there to support you, encourage you, + make life more fun. The people you spend the most time with say a lot about who you are as a person, so prioritize your best friends who promote the best you. <3
+ Mary K [@itsmarykfit] // VirtCHAARG Chicago