No Regrets: The College Friend Turnover Rate

When I first found my freshmen year roommate, I had the naïve perception that I would be rooming with her all four years.  I thought we would be best friends, perhaps bicker a little at times, but overall get along fairly well.

Needless to say, I was wrong.

I’m still friendly with my freshmen year roommate.  When we lived together, we had a lot of the same friends and hung out at the same places.  But when sophomore year rolled around and I had decided I would rather not live with her again, I noticed I was also hanging out with a new group of people.

A family friend who went to the same university as me (who had actually graduated before I got there) told me that after her sophomore year she completely “threw out” her old friends and found new ones.  I didn’t think that would happen to me.  It sounded far too drastic.

Turns out, that’s exactly what happened.

After sophomore year, following some inner turmoil, I realized many of my friends were not the friends I thought they were.  Almost simultaneously, a new group of girls reached out to me—ironically, they were to be my future sorority sisters.  Since I was an unaffiliated sophomore, I simply hung out with them outside of Greek events, until I ended up joining.

Sometimes the best thing to do in college is try your friends on for size.  You’ve probably heard this advice given with regard to dating around your campus, but I strongly believe it also applies to friendship circles.  I know from a far off standpoint it seems like such a huge jump to make, but sometimes it’s a necessary one.

My freshmen year roommate is still great friends with our mutual friends from our first year—and I’m still friendly with all of them, but I don’t consider them my closest friends.  Sometimes there isn’t a turnover rate with friendships, as in my former roommate’s case, and that’s perfectly fine, too.

As for me, I’m pretty glad it happened.  If I had stuck around with the same group all four years, I never would have met these equally amazing girls.  It’s always good to stray away from your core group of friends just to experiment, whether it’s through your extracurricular activities, classes, or sports—but that doesn’t mean you have to change anything permanently.  I don’t consider my change of friends permanent, seeing as I still talk to my “old ones.”  But they have become what is probably the most important element of my life on campus.

So don’t be afraid if you find yourself hanging out with new groups.  As long as you make the effort to keep up contact, you can always still have a connection with the friends you’ve had for longer.  The change doesn’t have to be a cold, hard shift from one group to the next.  In fact, it’s a common college experience:  healthy, helpful, and normal.