Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Life | Thoughts on Losing & Making Friends

I'm only 21 years old but my fingers and toes wouldn't be enough to count the amount of friends I've lost. I completely agree with the belief that losing friends shows that you are changing and/or growing up. I've left some people behind because I needed to take my life in a different direction, and occasionally it's been the case that people have left me behind because they could do better off without me. 

I believe losing friends is a significant life lesson. From the friends that chose to leave me behind I learnt what kind of person I was. I lost two close friends in two different stages of my life for a very similar reason; one I grew apart from towards the end of college and another during university. The reason I know we grew apart wasn't only because I never treated them right, but also because we were very different people and never realised it. I admit that I took them for granted because I thought they'd always be there. They were two very generous people and I believe had things gone differently, I'd still be friends with both of them now.

But the fact of life is that things didn't go differently. I don't like to look back on all the friends that are no longer in my life. In this day and age most of us still have our old friends across most, if not all, of our social media outlets so it's never like their gone and forgotten. It really just means that you don't feel comfortable commenting on their photos or communicating with them unless it's via a private message, even if it's to say the briefest of greetings. With a lot of the friends that I just drifted away from I've tried an endless amount of times to arrange a date to catch up but we simply never manage to do so. I think when this happens it's a way of telling you that whilst you didn't realise it, you drifted apart for a reason.

Like I said, it's part of growing up. Sometimes you have to leave people behind. Whether they're a negative influence on your life, you just feel like they're holding you back or if you now longer have as much in common as you once did, it often just happens. And when it does, don't hold on forever.

As I've passed through my teenage years and entered this thing called 'adulthood' I've started to think more about keeping the close friends I have and potentially making new ones as I move to new places, instead of mulling over why and how I lost all the friends of previous years. 

To me, losing friends is just as hard in some ways as trying to make new ones as you grow up.

I feel like I made friends quite naturally as a child but as I grew up more effort was required of me. Like everyone else, people weren't so happy to bond over both liking the same colouring books or playing on swings. Instead, more was required for some real 'bonding', like having the same sweeping fringe, liking the same bands and favouring two belts around your butt (can you tell I was in the 'emo' crowd?). 

When you go to school, college, university - everyone there is also trying to make friends. Some begin with friends but the large majority are as alone as you, meaning that you begin on an equal footing. You're also constantly encouraged to mingle with new people with lessons and lectures pulling you away from any current friends and pushing you into the opportunity to make new ones. 

University is a good example. Each semester your modules change, so your class is completely mixed up. You'll get get used to seeing the same faces each week, but 12 weeks later there are fresh faces in a completely different class. It seems that as you go through university you remain quite content with the good friends you already have so you don't need to make that effort with new people. You might form friendships naturally without even trying and sometimes they're the best but that's the beauty of being in education, you can bump into different people all the time.

Then it comes to graduating. I for example live in a city where the only people I know are my boyfriend, his family and a handful of his friends. Then I know the people I work alongside, whom, having worked there longer than myself, know each other quite well and know plenty of others within the business. Therefore the fact is, the only people I see on a daily/weekly basis are my boyfriend, his family, a handful of his friends and then my co-workers. I'm not likely to sit next to someone and bond over the most peculiar of things like I once could have at university. Whilst I'm throughly content knowing only a handful of people in this city, it'd be nice when my boyfriend is busy or at work when I'm not to be able to go for coffee and catch up with a friend. Currently, if I want to do this I have to book a 2 part train journey to Stoke-On-Trent and often have to stay overnight!

And there's also the lack of alcohol in adult life. Alcohol fuelled my confidence at university and without the nights out I would be friends with an entirely different group of people to the ones I'm still close to now. You can't exactly roam into work with a jagerbomb in hand and expect to make a new pal after they down this in one without a hint of hesitation and you all start cheering (I don't think I ever made a friend doing this at university either, but you get the jist). 

In my opinion adult life doesn't present you with regular opportunities to meet new people quite like the educational years of your life do. Work in my opinion feels separate to normal life, I for one don't know where the line should be drawn between co-worker and friend. Outside of work you have to put in a lot more effort to meet new people, like joining clubs or regularly visiting new places.

Which leads me onto my next post. I've been quite content in Nottingham over the past few months but I haven't made much of an effort to get to know the city or the people within it. I thought I'd set myself a challenge that I could keep you all updated on. Advising people on how to make friends in a new city is one thing, but without actually having tried it yourself, how do you know it even works? I've been trawling the internet for top tips on how to meet new people - which I shall share in a blog post soon - and then I'll give these all a go! It'll be a lengthy adventure to go on so keep yourself updated by checking back regularly or by following my Instagram and my twitter

In the meantime, I'd love to know your thoughts on making friends as you age and losing them along the way...
MissIsGoode

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