It’s been a whole year since I have graduated from college. Regardless of what my next step was (which was completely unknown), my friends whom I had lived, loved and laughed with for the past four years and I were going to separate. For a while questions plagued us like, “Would we still talk?” and “Are we still going to see each other?”
It was disheartening to think of our unique and magnificent bond might be gone, but only time would tell if we would really fall off. One year in, and I am happy to report that we have all maintained our friendship quite well. Though we have had hiccups, new cities and new lives, we have all still managed to keep one another a priority. That’s what friendship is. It’s consideration.
On top of having maintained my college group of friends (We3), my high school friend group and I have managed to truly embody what is means to be, “Day Ones.” Whether we don’t speak for months, or talk everyday all day, we know that it’s our duty to be there when called upon.
Now that graduations are happening all around the country, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve done with my friends that has helped us to maintain and grow our friendship, despite our physical locations. Here are my top seven tips to actually being best friends for life.
- Accept that you are at different places – At one point, some of my friends were well adjusted with their new schools or jobs, and I was still searching for what my next move was. There are going to be times in life where you might not be at the same level on a lot of things. Whether it be your location, education, career, political view, or mindset, it is okay to be in different places, that’s just life.
- Tame the jealousy – Even though you may accept that you are in different places that does not mean you won’t get jealous. YOU ARE IN FACT A HUMAN! Jealousy can creep up on you when you are focused on others progress and not enough on your own personal growth. Did your friend get promoted before you? Are you low-key hating because they make more money than you? As a friend you want them to succeed! So as Joey Gladstone has said time and time again, CUT IT OUT. No one likes a hater.
- Never forget the big stuff – Just as you have to accept that you won’t talk to each other all day all the time, you can’t forgot to connect when big things happen. Did you get a new boo? A new job? Make sure you go out of your way to share those accomplishments. No one who is your close friend wants to find that out via Snap Chat or Facebook. Not only is it hurtful, it makes a statement that you rather tell strangers and randoms than someone who has been there with you from the beginning.
- Be considerate and check in – Last time you talked, maybe a friend didn’t seem so good. Take the time from your new busy life to still be a good friend. Send a “Hey, how are you are?” text or maybe an uplifting affirmation or scripture. A phone call can go a long way as well. Even if your friend is doing well, if you see something that reminds you of them, hit them up. Everyone wants to know that they are thought about and loved.
- Be present – Of course you can no longer physically be there for all of life’s daily ups and downs, but I guarantee that you will get emergency texts and calls with both
exciting and terrible news. Guess what you have to do? ANSWER. That’s it.
Don’t screen all the calls or promise to call back later when you know you won’t. Enough of those and you will make your friends feel as if they are not important. People often do this when they get in a new relationship to. Forgetting your friends for bae is one sure fire way to lose them. So don’t be mad if they stop answering for you too, since you want to be fake.
- #ProTip: Group Messages . GroupMe saves lives. Being able to pop in and talk to whomever is available at the time is nice. You can drop in announcements, throw backs, and/or random anecdotes to share. It’s nice to have your friends in the same place to make it easier to check in, even if it’s not IRL.
- Meet up – Traveling doesn’t always have to be a big production. Hop on the Mega Bus or in the car and go see a friend for a weekend. It’s important to be able to kick it and be surrounded by their love. Make the sacrifice, save your money and plan stuff! GO on a vacation or hang out inside for free. Sometimes a little girl times binging Netflix and scarfing Talenti is needed. We3 has reunited in some capacity for homecoming (September) New Year’s (December) and graduation (May); with reunions in July and August soon to follow.It’s not always easy, but we make it work.
Overall I think it is important to remember that in order to have a friend, you have to be one. Friends are not easy to make, so it is important to hold on to the good ones you have.
Friendships are relationships too. Like any kind of relationship, be it romantic, familial or platonic, you must put in work. No one HAS to be your friend. Yes, it’s natural to grow apart from some people and there’s nothing wrong with that, but some are too special to let go. Those are the ones you put the effort into. Those are worth fighting for.
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