Many university or college alum who lived away from home can relate – moving back home after graduating is a bit of a downer. The good news is that you have a degree and that you’re ready for the “next chapter” of your adult life, but leaving the friends that you’ve made can be tough. The other day, I was at brunch with some of my best pals whom I met in first year and we spent the afternoon reminiscing about old times and talking about the new and exciting times ahead. It was then that I realized that no matter how far away we live from each other or how long we go without seeing each other, my university friends will always be an important part of my life for a few reasons.
1. They saw you through some of the craziest times
When I started my university experience I was only 17 years old. Now I’m 22. Those years are some of the most integral, as you transition from an awkward teenager into an adult and a LOT happens in that time. The friends that I made at university have seen me evolve from before I knew how to do eyeliner properly and had hair that went past my torso to where I am now (and it has been quite the evolution). It goes without saying that your post-secondary years are some of the most turbulent and life-changing, and those friends were by your side through it all.
2. They know you in ways most people don’t
If you went away to school, the years living with your friends gave them a front row seat to all the good, the bad, the ugly, and all the late night chip binges in-between. Friends that you’ve made in high school and in post-university work life may get to know you pretty well, but they’ll never know what it’s like to watch you roll out of bed hungover and reach for a bottle of water only to find that it’s actually vodka. They’ll never see you eat ice cream at 2am in your underwear. You’ve never forced them to hang out with you while you’re bed ridden with strep. It just doesn’t happen.
3. They are your biggest fans
The part of the university experience that is true for everyone (no matter how much they have their life together) is that it’s tough. Whether it’s maintaining grades, trying to get into grad school, personal strife, relationships, physical and mental health or a combination of all. These friends have been there to support you through the ups and downs, and have watched you flourish and go out into the world as a successful adult. I feel an overwhelming sense of pride to watch my friends who have worked so hard and have been through so much, doing great things, and I’m sure everyone can relate to this.
4. The best times of your lives, you shared together
Let’s be real, some of the most fun you’ll ever have is in university with the friends you make there. Sure, you turn legal drinking age with these people, but that’s not the real reason. You find friends who are similar to you, who are your “friend soulmates” and this is not just because you were thrust together by circumstance. These are friends who you sought out, who came to you through a shared interest, and with whom you’ve had and will continue to have some of the most fun times of your life. You feel like you can really be yourself around these people. You just can’t beat that.
5. They helped to shape you
They say that you become like the six people with whom you spend the most time (or something like that). I’m not too sure about this theory, but it is undeniable that the people you spend the most time with will impact you in some very significant ways. This is especially true when you live in close quarters with and constantly see these same people every day for four or more years! These people have influenced you greatly as you’ve grown into who you are, and for that reason they will always be important to you.
The bonds that you create with your university friends are less like friendships, and more like a sisterhood or brotherhood or both (in my case). It’s nice to know that no matter where you go in life and no matter what you’re up to, you will always have that shared experience and you will always have a friend to call.