Home Self Life After College Breaking Up With Your College Friends

Here’s the thing: I’ve changed.

Yes, the fundamentals are the same. Yes, the core values are the same. What I thought I wanted from life – both in the short-term and long-term, however, is not the same. It’s like I woke up one morning and decided I just didn’t need to live up to any expectations. I didn’t need to put up with things I didn’t want to put up with. And I didn’t need to be around certain types of people anymore.

So, what do you do when those certain types of people are your friends?

Now I’m not talking about those few good friends that you’re stuck with for life. I am blessed to have a couple of those and no matter where I am in the world, I know if I really needed something I could count on them. I’m talking about some of the friends that you made in college, that you hung out with on the best and worst nights of your college experience and you reminisce about how awesome those nights were. But all of a sudden, you find yourself not caring to spend time with them; or simply not caring.

Here’s the thing: They’ve changed too (or they haven’t and that’s kind of the problem).

Technically, it’s not really a problem that some of my friends haven’t changed or that they have. They shouldn’t have to live up to my expectations or anyone else’s either. But we have different interests, and we’re having different experiences that are shaping who we’re becoming. I know that I don’t care for the same types of things I cared for a year ago. I know that I care about things I never used to care about too. All these things have changed the dynamic of my relationships with some of my college friends.

When some friendships start feeling like too much effort or you’re not willing to put up with certain attitudes or beliefs. Or you find yourself apologizing to new friends because of your old friends, well it’s time to re-evaluate your friendships.

I know I should probably cut some of my college friends some slack – this is the crazy twenty something stage and we’re all just trying to figure ourselves whilst “keeping it together.” Maybe this is just a rough or rather a stale patch in some of my friendships. The thing is I also made a few really good friends in college and even though we live in different cities and are having different experiences, we’re still really good friends. When I consider those friends and the friends I want to stop bothering to care about, it makes me think that some friendships just run their course.

I was once told by one of my really good friends that if a friend can’t give you what you need, just like if a boyfriend can’t give you what you need, well, you thank them for their time and you move on. There will always be a special place in my heart for  anyone who’s ever been my friend especially during my college years but I’m starting to think it’s time for me to move on. I’m not getting what I need from some of those friendships.

Am I in the wrong? Should I just wait and see rather than flat-out stop caring? Have you ever broke up with your college friends? How did you deal with it?

9 replies to this post
  1. I had the opposite happen! One of my best girlfriends graduated a year before I did, and went into the partying/drugs/alcohol scene. I focused on my career after I graduated instead. She slowly decided to hang out with her new friends and left me in the dust. At first I was pretty upset and wondered what I was doing wrong, but I came to realize that we were into different things now. We just have to remember that there are thousands of people to become friends with, not just the ones around you!

  2. HI!

    Thanks for sharing. I completely agree with your last line. One of the best quotes I saw recently was from a Thought Catalog post and it said:

    “Quit the job that’s making you miserable, end the relationship that’s making you act like a lunatic, lose the friend whose sole purpose in life is making you feel like you’re on the verge of vomiting. You’re young, you’re resilient, there are other jobs and relationships and friends if you’re patient and open.”

    For me this quote really puts a lot in perspective!

  3. I am actually realizing the same thing, however I’m now in my 30’s. After going home for a long weekend and catching up with old friends I realize that while we did have some good times in the past, I’m not the same person that I used to be, and these people clearly never grew up. It actually left me feeling really depressed for about a week. Then I got over it and said to myself, they can live their life and I can live mine and we don’t even really have to be friends anymore for all I care. I mean if they call to say hi, I will make some small talk, but that isn’t likely anyway because we have different circles of friends now and different priorities so I say just let it go and the friendship will eventually just fade away on its own.

  4. Hi Jen,

    It sounds like this is a phenomenon that can happen at any time in your life. I’m glad to hear that you’ve come to terms with these changes in friendships in your life. I think change is hard in anything but i think it’s more important to be true to yourself and sometimes being true to yourself means leaving things and even people that we used to know. Looks like you’ve come to terms with it all and are moving on.

    Thanks for sharing and good luck with everything!

  5. Hi,

    I completely agree with you. I am in my mid-20’s and and going through a life clean-up! I realized that I will always cherish the memories I had with all of my friends in college, but now I have moved on. I liked your statement about the long distance friends. I have realized that I naturally put effort in friendships that I value the most, and my friends do the same. We must just grow to accept that life will keep changing its course and we will keep meeting different people along the way.

    Thanks for always having great articles!

    – Ash

    • Hi Ash!

      I think we all put effort into the things and people we want to most of the time. Of course if the feeling isn’t reciprocated, we start re-thinking how we spend out time too. I think friendships and all relationships are almost always a matter of what we want. If we still want them, we try for them. But the minute we decide we don’t want them or could live without them, it shows through our actions. I love that last sentence by the way.

      Personally, I’ve always believed that God gives us the people we need when we need. Sometimes we need people for a period of time and sometimes we need them for a life time. And sometimes, we even get to choose :)

      Thanks for sharing!

  6. “We must just grow to accept that life will keep changing its course and we will keep meeting different people along the way”. yes ash, you are very right. that is how I am handling all my friendship now.

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