The Other Break Up: An End of Friends

My name is Caroline + I recently finished my master’s degree at Boston College. I’ve been at Boston College for a while – I completed my undergrad degree here as well + was the Treasurer ++ Ambassador for Boston College CHAARG. I’ve also been a CLC [Chapter Leadership Consultant] for the past two years on Team CHAARG, ++ now am transitioning to an RCL [Regional Chapter Lead] for the 22-23 school year!

Before heading off to college, you might hear advice like this: be careful at parties, talk to everyone in your dorm, study a lot, + have an open-mind when meeting new people. What they might not tell you is this: friendships in college can be tough + they will change. 

I look back on my first day at Boston College + know that I am not the same person I was moving into my dorm. It’s no secret that we all change + that includes our friends + friendships. We cannot expect all of our childhood [or freshmen college!] friendships to stand the test of time + as I’ve learned, that’s okay. 

I always thought that the friends I met my first few weeks of college were going to be the friends I had for the rest of my life. Does this sound familiar? A lot of people will tell you “you’ll meet your best friends on your dorm floor” or “your sorority pledge class will become your best friends” – but it’s also important to remember that maybe that *won’t* be the case for you! 

In March 2020 the world changed + I saw myself changing too. The pandemic granted me the time to slow down + see changes I wanted to make for myself. I realized I wanted to make a change with some aspects of my life because they were no longer serving me in a positive way + bringing me joy. I no longer had a strong desire to go out + party three times a week. I no longer wanted to drink for the sake of getting drunk. I began to realize that this would also mean  some of my friendships were going to change because of these things I just no longer wanted to do! I also realized the kind of friends who I wanted in my life were people who would support the person I wanted to become [not just who I was] + enjoy new shared experiences with me. 

As I began realizing that I wanted new friends, I began asking myself these questions:

  • What do I want for my future self?
  • Are these the friends that help me be the best version of myself?
  • What experiences do I want to have with my friends? What are things I don’t necessarily want to do with my friends?

I began to let go of my past friendships + make new friendships on campus [keep in mind – this is my junior/senior year of college]! While this isn’t what freshman Caroline saw for herself, I am so grateful that I had the confidence + grace to let my old friends go. 

That being said – the memories I have with old [or no longer a part of my life] friends will always be a part of it. The experiences and times we shared together will always be building blocks to who I am right now + I wouldn’t change any of it! I am here today, the person I am, because of the experiences with those old friends + just because they aren’t in my life anymore doesn’t mean I am not grateful for them! 

I am happy that I had the flexibility to see when friendships weren’t serving me anymore + find friends that share the same values I do + can grow with me ++ support me in the ways that I want to be supported. While I haven’t had these friendships for long, these are the friendships that have had the biggest impact on my life ++ I’m confident will continue to do so. If you’re going through a friendship break up right now, know that you are not alone. There are people out there who will love you for you + it is OK [heck – it’s healthy!] to change. 

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