College life brings out the best and worst in people: You can either meet your best friends and/or make your worst enemies. You experience seasons of happiness and elation and other times of heartbreak and stress.

The collegiate journey is one of the most life changing game changers you will experience. In a blink of an eye, you leave your house, friends, and family behind and start this whole new life in a place where no one knows you. After a few weeks, you have made friends. People you go out with, study with, go to lunch with, talk to, watch movies with, etc.

By the end of freshman year, many have decided who they want to be friends with and who they don’t want coming within 100 feet of them. By the time graduation rolls around, you know that the friends you have spent the past four years with and shared many memories with are all going in different directions. Some people just click, and you know that you are going to be life-long friends: you’ll go to their weddings, set up dinner dates, and summer get-a-ways. Others, you know it’s just a “college friendship” – the kind that shares memories, but after graduation fades into the back of your mind only to be refreshed by photos found 20 years from now. It sounds sad, but it’s the way things often happen. Most of the time it’s not on purpose or because you never really loved those people, it’s just how life goes. Everything changes, and so do you, along with it.

I am now in the last four weeks of my freshman year of college. As I take a good, long look at each of my friends, the best friends, the good friends, and just the friends, I am finding myself quite blessed to be surrounded by the wonderful group of people, who I consider to be the next best thing to family, I have at college. With the school year coming to a close, finals coming up, and summer plans being made, we are all taking a moment to reflect on the past year – the joys, the heartaches, the drama, the laughs, the late nights, and everything in between.

Although I cannot it say for certain just yet, but I can almost guarantee that the people you stay close with all four years of college and into life in the real world are the people who have been there for you since day one. The people who you stay friends with are the people you can really laugh with – I’m not talking about giggling, I’m talking about full-out uncontrollable, on the floor laughter. They are the people you can pour out your heart to without shame or awkwardness. In fact, in your hurts, they cry with you and stand by your side, helping you through every moment. In your joys, they are still there by your side, with encouraging words and congratulations.

A while back I read a quote that went something like “college isn’t where you go to find your husband/wife… it’s where you go to find your bridesmaids/groomsmen.” Now, if you do end up finding your future husband or wife in college, well, that’s just the icing on the wedding cake – but the same bonds   that wedding vows solidify are the same unbreakable bonds of friendship that are made in your college dorms, on the quad, or in the classroom.

So will you be friends with your friends after college? That’s up to you and the depth of your relationships; but while you have the time spent with them, make these four years you have count.

 

 

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