• Keeping Friends

Graduation can kill

Published: May 22, 2007 | Last Updated: April 2, 2016 By | 4 Replies Continue Reading

During the high school and college years, many women (as well as
men) develop close relationships with roommates or classmates that they expect
will last a lifetime.

Students are thrown together in
dorms, lounges and classrooms. Being in the same place at the same time, they find they have much in common—regardless of their diverse backgrounds. They forge new friendships on soccer teams, in drama clubs,
and in campus newsrooms.

In his article Friends
– Will I Really Be There for You?, Michael S.
Borress, managing editor of the Binghamton
student newspaper, Pipe Dream, points out that Graduation Day often marks the unexpected death of
many of these friendships.

The same theme is echoed in a recent commentary in the Wall Street Journal, Growing
Apart from Old Buddies
, by Emily Meehan. The journalist suggests that when different social, career and geographic paths are followed after Graduation Day, close friends often go off in different

As women leave school and get serious about the business of achieving emotional and financial independence, they have have less time to nurture friendships they once cherished. Clearly, maintaining friendships after graduation takes time and
effort. What has been your experience?

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Comments (4)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am a step-mom to two girls, one recent college graduate and the other a junior in college.

    While in H.S. or college, I have observed, friendships often grow quite strong over the four year period, particularly amongst those who spend long periods of time playing sports together or engaging in other time intensive activities. It is understandable then that we would expect those frindships to be life-long; however what actually happens is that we generally remain “close or very close” with one to three of the many close friends we had in H.S. or college. This is the experience my step children have had. H.S. friends get replaced with college friends. It makes sense that as we move on to other experiences and activities, we will develop new and at times, closer friendships. Shared experiences, shared environments such as school or work will inevitably lead to new opportunities to meet and maintain close friendships. It is the really special ones that will endure over a lifetime.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is a very interesting posting, Irene. I would have to agree that in the moment of graduation, many women feel that the friendships will last forever. Then weeks turn to months and you realize you’re getting married and have not spoken to your best friend from college in years! In my experience, I have held strong to my friends from high school. I have found that after high school and college you will have many “Hi/Bye” friendships (as I like to call them). However, you will also have the friendships that can take on anything. A friend that after a couple weeks go by, you can reconnect and it feels like you spoke yesterday.

    Great blog, Irene.

    Amanda L

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think if you have a truly two-way relationship with a friend, where you feel free to really express yourself, whether the friendship originated in high school, college, or through work, you can go many years and just pick up the conversation. It’s so difficult to really find that special friendship. Too many times, your trust is misplaced in a person, and you end up being hurt. I’ve found that I’m definitely not as trusting and ready to make close friends as I used to be. It takes a long time for the hurt to go away.

  4. Anonymous says:

    My experience after college was that the worst toll was taken on my closest friendships, which were necessarily affected by distance. It’s true that college makes you seem almost artificially close to people with whom you are almost artificially compatible. However, in most cases I have found that college friendships are more renewable than some others–run into a college friend or acquaintance that you haven’t seen in awhile and you still have a great framework for striking up conversation and relating to each other again.

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