In this moment of life, everything for seniors is changing and evolving. We believe that one thing on seniors’ minds is their friends, to this we offer advice to keep hold of these bonds.
By Andrew Benitez and Ada Gonzalez
Seniors in high school are now in a phase where they are worried about the friendships that they created in their 4 years, they are not sure if they will last or end.
The challenge they will face when changing schools or moving away for the future may cause some friendships to end.
I (Ada) feel that leaving my friends behind is devastating. It was difficult to become so close in such a few months that I can’t even think about leaving them behind. The people I am now so close to are now a big part of the motivation that helps to keep moving forward in many aspects of life.
I (Andrew) making friends and having the thought of leaving them behind is scary because I couldn’t imagine leaving those who mean everything to me behind. It would make me feel terrible and would start blaming myself for leaving.
The Drama teacher Ms. Lee seems to have mixed feelings of bittersweetness. She came to realize that some friendships are seasonal; they’re there for a certain season or part of your life. You can be thankful for their presence in your life and how they impacted you and you can bless them as they move on in life.
When we interviewed Ms. Ohara she had a similar feeling as Ms. Lee when she left her friend behind but explained it in a different way.
Biology teacher Ms. Ohara expressed that she did not feel sad leaving her friends behind because she has a great group of friends who show excitement when new things come to her life. Her friends are so happy to see her changed because they know the old and new her.
Others felt differently regarding friendships post high school.
Anatomy and Physiology teacher Ms. Diaz said that she felt scared about the idea of moving on to college without her friends. She believed it was funny that she and her friends knew that with time they would break apart, but together made an agreement that at least memories were made.
Now, we will transition to giving some advice to you about the best ways to maintain a friendship post high school and actions that can cause the bounds of friendship to end.
One example of a way to keep in touch with those who are close to you is by texting them from now and then. Just keeping in contact about your well being and just not “ghosting them” will most likely keep them from forgetting you or you forgetting them.
“No matter the distance or where you are going, you can always get in contact. It could be with just a simple text or message on social media, but you can always show them what you think of them. Also, understand your friends when education becomes a priority, just don’t forget that it is okay to go out once in a while to distress yourself” Ms. Diaz said.
According to “How to maintain friendships after highschool” by the New York Times stated that making an effort to facetime them is a good way to make sure that they’re doing well and at the same time you’re keeping in contact.
There are many ways that will be helpful to maintain friendship but it also depends on the effort that both people put in.
“I would say create boundaries and communicate them with your friends. If one of you don’t communicate or you both aren’t consistent with each other, one will need to make the hard decision of creating a boundary and saying I won’t be giving myself and my time as much to them” Ms. Lee said.
Some boundaries that can be made are committing to talking in person once a week or a month. You can also make a schedule around each other’s work and school schedule of time that you can possibly facetime. There are many different boundaries you can make with your friends but it all comes down to your communication.
I (Ada) suggest the senior to not forget to once in a while tell your friends how much they mean to you. Complements and reassurance can be key to keeping the bond strong.
If you want to maintain your friendships we suggest that you don’t ignore your friends when they reach out to you. Ghosting them will just cause the friendship to become awkward due to the loss of communication.
Disagreement is something that happens in every friendship, now that each one of you are going to take different directions, do not ignore a disagreement by just rubbing it off. It is important to solve any issues or disagreements even if you are not together because it can become something bigger if ignored.
You will face some challenges when trying to select a time, day and place to meet up with your friends to spend some time together. You will have to adjust that you will not always have the opportunity to meet up on a specific day because the schedule of each of you will be different.
The best thing that you can possibly do is to pick a specific day every other week to hang out but that doesn’t mean that something may come up from either one that will cause the plans to not take place. You have to also think about how far away you are from each other to be able to decide how many times you both will want to spend a day together.
A current college student from UCLA stated “It’s hard to keep in contact with friends especially since school and work is always in the middle but just facetiming or calling for the time being is honestly the only way that i’m able to talk to my girlfriends until we meet up somewhere.”
As a senior, you will also have to come to the realization that your friendships may change for the better or even for the worse. It sounds scary and concerning but change is part of life, everyone will change causing friendship to change as well.
Change is not a bad thing, it is something that you will need to adjust and be open to. You will change due to the new phase of your life, everyone changes throughout their lifetime and there is no way to stop change whether you are ready or not.
Friendships are something that sometimes last a lifetime but there are times where friendships just come to an end. When we think about a friendship or bond ending, we may become fearful that the connection that was established has come to an end; it can possibly cause sadness and the feeling of emptiness.
When talking to our interviewees, they each expressed how they felt about losing their friend when they moved on to college. They were able to talk about the different ways they overcame the feelings they had.
“The way I overcame the feeling by breaking away from my own boundaries. I would talk to those around me and I would meet people that were pursuing the same major or had similar interests. I joined clubs and organizations and created study groups” Ms. Diaz.
There were also others who expressed a different feeling about how they felt with not having their connections, the loss of friends.
Ms. Ohara said, “I didn’t feel sad at all because friendships changed; but I didn’t feel a huge loss. I still consider her my friend but not my closest friend, we both knew that as humans we changed. I knew that when there was a time to see each other again we would still catch up, which did happen 10 years later.”
Our next interviewee, she mentions that she did not feel like she lost friends but lost the closeness they once had.
“However, I know that was because I made new friends, so I couldn’t be upset that they were still close if I wasn’t making as much of an effort to hang out with them. I had to realize that if I wasn’t putting in the effort I couldn’t hold it against them for not remaining close to me and inviting me to events.” Ms. Lee said.
Making new friends may be a challenge to those who are introverts and have a hard time being social with others. I (Ada) can personally say this is very true for me. I have always had a hard time making new friends at the beginning but after getting to know someone the moments of awkwardness are very worth it at the end.
We can advise you to push yourself to get out of your comfort zone and talk to the people in your lectures, after classes, or even to someone who just passes by you. You may never know that talking to someone can become a true friend throughout college.
Being an introvert can be challenging but it is not impossible to make new friends if you really try. It is always good to make new friends when you move to a new place where you may not know any single person.
A good way to make friends is joining clubs, sports, support groups, and talking to those in your major. You can make new friends with the same interest as you only if you push yourself to try new things or even find places around you that capture your attention.
If you push yourself out of your comfort place, it will become easier for you to make connections with new people but it also may take time. Everything will lie in your hands once you leave high school, how you choose to maintain your friendships and make new friends will all come down to what you want for yourself. We hope that you take this advice into consideration to help with your friendships post high school.