Make new friends but keep the old: Keeping a long distance friendship during college

Anthony Furtaw '21, Staff writer

College is a huge commitment and with more and more kids deciding to go every year, the idea of leaving some of your relationships in the past in exchange for an education is becoming more commonplace.

In reference to The Atlantic, with the time and devotion it takes to get through college, a lot of teens end up distancing themselves from past friendships and relationships. Some end up leaving the state to go to school, while others are just too occupied with their focus on grades and whether or not they are going to pass their next exam to make time for their peers.

“I ended up going to Macomb Community College, while a lot of my friends from high school went to Michigan or Michigan State,” Mia Betanzos ’16 said. “My really close friends stuck by me throughout college, but there’s a lot of people I rarely see that I used to know and hang out with.”

Mara McMann ’16 said even though she and her friends had been distanced from each other for awhile, she kept in touch with a majority of them during her time in college.

“I go to Wayne State and only a few of my friends ended up going here with me,” McMann said. “It’s hard to keep up with some people when all of them are headed to different places, but I always make an effort to stay in touch with them. I also see them during breaks so it isn’t like we don’t hangout anymore.”

School counselor, Nick Bernbeck,said who students continue to hang out with throughout college is mostly circumstantial.

“When you leave for college, that is when you truly figure out how strong a friendship is,” Bernbeck said. “Being able to communicate is very important, but things happen and friendships can drift apart and that is fine.”

According to Alec Decker ’16, although he never went to college while a lot of his friends did, he is still just as close to his best friends as he was before they graduated.

“My advice to kids worried about losing their friends after graduating is that your true friends will stick by your side no matter what,” Decker said. “A lot of people and relationships will come and go, but the people that truly care about you will be there for life.”

Alex Curran ’20 said he believes he will continue to be close with the friends he has made at South no matter where he goes to college.

“My group of friends is very close-knit and I don’t really ever see us drifting apart,” Curran said. “With that being said, anything can happen in life and I’m just going to go with the flow.”

Betanzos said although she did move on from a lot of her past friendships in high school, she also made many new friends in college.

“College is great because there are so many people to meet and build relationships with while you’re there,” Betanzos said. “I’ve met so many people since I’ve graduated and I honestly wouldn’t trade the college experience for anything.”

According to McMann, a lot of the kids you meet in high school are only going to be with you temporarily, while the people you meet in college are who you end up knowing for life.

“Besides a few exceptions, the people I met after I graduated are the people I’m closest to now,” McMann said. “I was definitely worried about losing my friends while in college, but once you get there you realize it opens a whole new world of opportunity.”

Decker said even though most kids are going to college nowadays, it’s fine if that isn’t your thing and you want to take a different route.

“I know college is the new thing, but people should know it’s not the only option,” Decker said. “No matter what path you take in life, opportunities will come at you, and in the end the only thing that matters is the people you meet, and the relationships that you build.”