Reconnecting With High School Friends
College Life |  Source: @christinacorso

Reconnecting With High School Friends

Do you really need to see how they're doing after all this time?

There are some friends that last forever... and then there are some that you lose contact with immediately after high school ends.

You might be tempted to reconnect when you're back in town, whether you're only home for the holidays, or home for good, but honestly...

I wouldn't recommend it.

You probably drifted apart for a reason.
Maybe their personality just didn't mesh well with yours, maybe they were actually having a toxic influence on your life, maybe you just didn't have the same life goals. Even the best of friends can have differences that drive them apart.

It's highly likely that you can find a friend who meshes better with you and is actually in the same city. You're in university, have some faith.

Distance can put serious strain on relationships.
It becomes a bit of a hassle to maintain a long-distance relationship of any kind. This really depends on your personality, though; if you think that you can maintain a long-distance friendship without being seriously stressed out about hidden meaning in text messages and when you can make time to head back to your hometown to hang out, then go for it.

I know from experience that I can't do that. When I moved, I had a relatively new boyfriend. Less than two months later, I was happily single.

This one does become a non-issue if you've permanently moved back to your hometown.

They may have changed (or not).
When I was home for winter break, I met up with a guy I hung out with a lot in high school. He'd always been a negative person, which seriously clashed with me, because I'm really positive, and he would always try to bring me down (intentionally or just because it was in his nature, I don't know).

My thought was that maybe he'd just really hated high school, and in adult life he would have a more positive outlook.

Oh, how wrong I was. He was still negative, and although he seemed to show remorse for some of the things that he'd said to me in the past, he said some seriously downer stuff during our hour and half of chatting.

On the opposite side of this, it's very possible that your ex-bestie has gotten in with a completely different crowd or taken up a new religion, especially if you're trying to reconnect once you're done with university. They're probably not the same person you knew in high school.

This can sometimes be a good thing if you didn't mesh well in high school, or it could be bad if the old dynamic is completely ruined, but either way, you have to take it into account, along with the fact that...

You've changed too.
I've gone through one single semester of university, and I feel like a completely different person than I was in high school. I can't be sure of how different I actually am, but just my opinion that I'm different than I was reminds me that I probably couldn't be friends with certain people now.

Think about how much changes in four years for both of you. It's ultimately up to you to decide whether or not reconnecting is a good idea, but remember to keep these things in mind and give it a lot of thought before it potentially blows up in your face.

I know that for me, I'm going to be taking this approach to the high school friends I lost touch with:

No regrets.

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College Life | 

The Five F's to be F'ing Thankful for This Thanksgiving

Why not go in for seconds? And no, we're not talking about turkey.

1. Family
If you're like me, the last words you uttered to your mother as she tried not to break down in front of you some three months ago when she dropped you off at school were "See you at Thanksgiving!" (Hopefully there have been a few phone calls between now and then.)

Well, that time has come. Now you can sit back, be surrounded by people who want nothing more than to hang on your every word, and tell you (rightfully so) how smart and talented and beautiful you're getting. And when having a curfew and living under mom and dad's rules again starts to cramp your style, just remember that you only get to be with your family for a few days over the holidays, and these people are putting you through college, so be a little grateful. So indulge them when they ask you about how your roommate is for the 70th time. And spare them the details about holding her hair back.

2. Friends
Sure, first semester is full of meeting new people, but three months is nowhere near enough time to build those friendships that will be waiting for you at home this holiday season. Maybe you didn't do the greaaatest job of keeping in touch, I mean, hey, you had a new life to start! So Thanksgiving is the time to get the first inside scoop on what your friends have been up to without your ever-so-insightful advice or shoulder to cry on. Be thankful for these gals who took you in when you had braces and sported those layered A?ropostale tanks--Because if you don't put in the effort now, they could be out of your life as soon as the leftovers are gone.

3. (Old) Flings
The leaves have changed, a light snow is falling, the Thanksgiving Day football game is on TV, and something about your ex wrapped in that scarf you bought him last Christmas has you wondering why you broke up in the first place. So why not go in for seconds? The most fun hookups are the ones that you know you shouldn't be doing--but this time, no harm no "fowl." You'll be hopping the next flight on Sunday morning, and any possible regret will be erased from memory as soon as you're resurrected from your food coma.

4. First times
If the ex is too emotionally risky for you, why not try something(one) new? It looks like college worked wonders on that kid you were lab partners with in chem sophomore year. The high school stigma is gone, no one will know, and no one will care. Why not pursue this freshly blossomed cutie, or even a crush you never quite had the courage to pursue before graduation? If sparks fly, maybe you'll even secure yourself a nice FWB to cuddle with over the long winter break in the not so distant future. Just planning ahead here.

We can't forget what the holiday is truly about--and don't be mistaken, it's not friends, family, or even the freakin Pilgrims. It's food, people! What better way to break the long stretch of dining hall meals than with the best food ever. Speaking for myself, I know I will be VERY grateful for stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin cheesecake this November. Today is not the day to hold back, fill yourself to the brim with home cooking while it's readily available, and have some leftovers for breakfast while you're at it.

As they say, it's the most wonderful time of the year. (That's about Thanksgiving, right?) So indulge yourself, and be thankful for the delicacies and amazing company, because it'll be back to school--and time for finals--before you know it.

Give freakin' THANKS.

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College Life | 

Throwback to Season 1

Every transition is a new season of the ridiculous sitcom of my life.

I have this running joke with my current friend group where I refer to some of them as the, "Season 4," cast in my life. As I've graduated high school, entered college, and then got shuffled into my major, friends have come and gone.

Every transition is a new season of the ridiculous sitcom of my life.

So, Season 4, the season of my Maturity ArcTM, where I'm bravely forging ahead with my life, taking opportunities and preparing for life after graduation. Things are going good. Great, even. So, of course, there's gotta be a callback to my Origin ArcTM.

And that's when we start bringing back the Season 1 characters that we thought were out the door.

To put it less dramatically, a friend from high school came to visit me, and we had a really fun time. No awkward silences, no not really knowing what to say to each other, we just picked up from where we'd left off.

Being fairly out of touch with my graduating class, my time with them has kind of fuzzied out in my brain, but it took maybe an hour (and three beers) for it all to come back. The embarrassing stories, the inter-clique politics, the illicit romances.

God, high school was truly one of the most infuriating times of my life, but looking back on it after having graduated almost three years ago it all seems so funny. And past that, it was just so nice to have someone who's known me for so long back in my life for a night.

If you graduated and didn't look back then that was your decision. Burn those bridges, man. Don't let anyone tell you what to do. But laughing about all the dumb shit you did or saw is miles better with a beer and an old friend than it is by yourself.

The first season may be shittier than the rest, but hey, it's there for a reason.

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College Life |  Source: @RachelAnne

The Dissipation Of The High School Friend Group

As we go on, we remember, all the times we, had together...

There comes a time in every young collegiate's life that a great schism is made. The shift when your dorm floor cohabitants or suite-mates are the ones lighting up your phone at all hours of the day rather than those og hometown homies who used to know every detail of your life, your locker combo, and where you'd be every minute between eight and 2:30.

During the beginnings of freshman year they were still there to share the intricacies of your new lives and exchange stories of your first times getting fucked up without each other. But as the weeks became months, and maybe even years at this point, they no longer were the people you dished the deets to after a wild night out or rough breakup.

Constant contact shifts to random bursts of news every so often detailing a new relationship or summer plans. But this parting of ways is only natural when you go from seeing each other every day since kindergarten to once a semester if all of your breaks happen to line up.

And while this dissipation can be disheartening, there's nothing to say it has to be.

Friends will come in and out of our lives through each phase we go through. The high school squad was exactly who you needed as an angsty budding adolescent looking for companions to share your first sips of alcohol and last school dances with. And now you'll meet and surround yourself with friends who will foster the person you'll be in college when you're experiencing the most stress and probably alcohol consumption in your life. There's no reason to say friends from either cohort won't remain in your life for years to come, but if they don't that's okay, too.

All in all, the breakdown of a friend group does not mean loss of friends. Anyone who's organized a so much as a birthday dinner knows it can be nearly impossible to organize a group of people, and being dispersed across the coast or country doesn't make it any easier. But this difficulty will only stand to clarify the friends who mean the most to you and who you want to take the time to foster the relationship with. It will be clear who values your friendship even when it means putting in a little extra elbow grease.

So if the hometown group chat isn't blowing up like it used to, or if you're not even sure what your friends are majoring in, there's no need to panic. Friends will ebb and flow, and while they may not be the most prominent factor in your life right now at school, you'll always be there for each other when you come home.

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College Life | 

High School vs. College

It's a whole new ballgame, people.

Throughout high school, my teachers would always tell us they were "preparing us for college." And whenever my parents refused to help me with a problem--admittedly, one I was perfectly capable of fixing myself--they would say they were "making me independant for college life." But once I actually stepped foot on campus, it was pretty obvious: Nothing that I learned in my high school days could be applied to my new life.

College is, without a doubt, a whole new ballgame.

First off, in college there is no such thing as "popularity" like there was in high school. There isn't a table during lunch where all the popular kids sit. There aren't dances that you need a date for or games where all the "cool" students sit in one section. No one cares about how you dress, because everyone looks like a slob all the time. Friends aren't made by wearing the latest trends or by sitting at a certain table at lunch. In college, you make friends by being kind and considerate. Seriously. College is stressful enough on its own; and no one has the time or the desire to hang out with negative or snobby individuals. So don't be one. In college, the people with a lot of friends are the ones who are genuinely nice to others.

In high school, I would always try to skip class. By the end of each year, my absences would be maxed out and I literally couldn't miss another day. But in college, attendance usually doesn't matter. Many professors don't even take attendance. But the thing is, in college, every class actually does matter. Admit it, there would be days you went to class in high school and probably walked out of there not having learned anything. That does not happen in college--There may be a whole section on a test of information that was covered in just one day. And conveniently, that will probably be the day you decided to take a nap instead of attend class. Before I left for my second semester of college, my dad calculated how much each class was worth: If I skipped class to take a nap, that nap would cost me $70 dollars. I haven't skipped a class since.

Another college trend: Effort is attractive. Studying hard and using your resources is not looked down upon in college, whereas in high school, my peers would always pressure me into doing something fun, rather than studying for a test. But in college, every student is paying thousands of dollars just to learn, so most take it more seriously. In college, effort is noticed, appreciated, and highly respected among college students.

Something I always disliked about high school was that I felt like I had to look, act, or talk a certain way to be accepted. And when I look back on it, that way of thinking kept me from doing a lot of things that I would have really enjoyed or excelled at.

But being a college student gives you the freedom to break out, try new things, and embrace a different side of yourself. You may have been the cheerleader in high school, but you can be a sports writer in college. Or you may have been a band kid in your hometown, but in college you can embrace Greek life. There are no labels when you take your first steps on campus. You can create your own label--and your own college identity.

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College Life |  Source: michaeljung

Tips for Staying in Touch with High School Friends

It's hard, but it's worth it.

As an incoming college freshman, I know I'll be on a new campus soon enough, making new friends. From what I've gathered, it's perfectly OK to not stay in touch with every single friend from high school.

It's just not reasonable if you want to make new friends in college and not spend every waking minute on iMessage or Snapchat. But, if there's a few friends from high school you'd like to stay in touch with, here are some tips for making that happen.

Tip #1
The first step in staying in touch with high school friends is choosing the friends who you really want to remain in your life. These are the select people who will be there to hear all about your freshman orientation, the crazy stories you have from college, and the ones who you can talk to about anything. This may very well mean cutting ties with old friendships because, let's be honest, not all friendships are forever. It is very difficult to do this, but sometimes it's for the better. And, always remember, nothing is forever.

Tip #2
If you want to have someone your life or be involved in their life, you have to make it a habit. If you don't get in a routine of communicating with someone, chances are, you won't. You won't get to hang out with them in person that often, so find a way to effectively stay in touch.

Tip #3
The most common way to stay in touch with people is through social media. It's easy to see what people are up to via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Snapchat. However, you don't have to rely on social media to stay in touch. Remember that you can call or FaceTime your high school friends on a weekly or biweekly basis. It'll feel very comforting to hear their voices, almost like you're with them in real life!

Tip #4
Write letters. This may seem like an ancient way of communicating, but it is an extremely fun and personal way. It's very exciting to receive mail at college, and writing letters can be a great destresser. Buy some cute stationery and colorful pens to send letters. Exchanging letters does take time, so you won't have the pressure to immediately text or call someone back.

Tip #5
Send care packages. If you have some extra time (and money), send your special high school friends some love in the form of their favorite candy or food, a picture, and apparel from your college. This will truly make their day and show that you really do care for and miss them.

Tip #7
Visit your high school friends at their schools. This way you can temporarily be a part of their present lives. I know I'm looking forward to visiting my best friend from high school and going to basketball games at the Carrier Dome with her!

Tip #6
When you are home, make sure you set aside time to spend with your high school friends. This is your opportunity to hang out with them in person. Summer in particular is a great time to plan a weekend getaway or road trip.

Staying in touch with distant friends is a challenge no doubt, but it is possible - and well worth it.