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The question posed in this headline is one of the hardest ones you will face throughout your college years.

The harsh reality is that sometimes you do need to say goodbye to friendships — and it will hurt and be uncomfortable — but you need to make sure you’re keeping yourself surrounded by people that motivate you and keep you happy.

While each friendship and situation you’ll encounter will be drastically different and most likely a lot more complex, there are a few basic concepts that you should take into consideration. These are things you should mull over while you’re deciding whether or not this friendship is really worth the blood, sweat and tears you’re putting into it.

The Drama King/Queen
If every single night you go out, there’s some sort of fight involving this friend or if he/she seems to always be at the center of the tension, take a good hard look at what you’re getting out of the friendship. Some people are just more naturally dramatic than others, but they are still genuinely good people at their core. Others just crave attention. Which type of person is your friend? Decide this first and then it may be time to move on.

The Bad Ass
Don’t let a friend be an anchor. If you want to stay away from trouble (drugs, crime, etc.), you need to get away from people who will put in you a situation that is conducive to end badly and end up weighing you down. It could be hard to walk away, but you’ve got to keep your future in mind. If this is a friendship you think is worth salvaging, try your best to talk to him or her to see if you can help them get out of this rut. If they are unwilling to understand how their actions could affect your life (and their own), this is a very shaky foundation for a friendship.

The Opportunist
If one of your friends is always ditching you or seems to only be out to find the best party, think about how they treat you. Does he or she only ask for favors without doing anything in return? Is your friendship more of a one-way street than a two-way street? Do they hurt your feelings a lot but don’t seem to care? Don’t allow yourself to be a doormat! Speak up. If they can’t seem to understand where you’re coming from, think hard about why you still want to be their friend.

One of the hardest lessons I had to learn in college was letting go of people who fell into some of these categories. It’s a lesson I wish I had learned a lot earlier because it would have saved me a lot of heartache!

While it’s never easy moving someone out of your life, you have to think about the future. Why would you want to spend time with someone who doesn’t have a positive impact on your life?

Don’t waste time on people who won’t matter five years down the road!

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