Life

5 Hard Truths About Friendship You’ll Learn In Your 20s

It's all about making time, not having time.

The transition from high school to uni comes with its fair share of revelations, one of them being that it’s way easier to be friends with people when you see them every day.

As you all go your separate ways and new faces fill your daily routine, friendship becomes a whole new ballgame. And the new rules come hard and fast.

You’ll Drift Away From Some People 

It’s so easy for people to drift away from each other, you don’t even realise it’s happening.

You may message each other intermittently with the non-committal, “we should catch up soon!” but suddenly it’s been years and you both have degrees and jobs and have no idea what each other are like anymore.

It may be sad, but it’s an inevitable part of life. It’s no one’s fault; so long as you’re both living your best lives, it’s okay if you’re no longer a part of each other’s.

You May Not Recognise Your Friends 

Your 20s is a period of huge change. Grappling with independence, getting some semblance of a career and navigating the romance scene are all transformative pursuits. You can’t always be around for your friends every step of the way.

Then suddenly you’ll turn up to that high school reunion or 21st birthday and realise the friends you made in first year are completely different people. Like seeing kids who you swear were still infants, it can be jarring to confront.

But change is a crucial part of life. If you think back to your teenage self, you’ll realise that’s definitely a good thing.

You Have To Put Yourself Out There

When it comes to making new friends, the situation isn’t much easier. Trying to breach that awkward stage between strangers, acquaintances and friends can seem like a minefield, but it’s a necessarily evil.

If you do nothing about that cool girl in your tute, she’ll just disappear from your life when the semester ends. Trust me, she’s probably just as nervous about making friends as you are. Take the leap.

It’s All About Making Time, Not Having Time

Look, everyone’s busy, and it’s only going to get more hectic as you get older and take on more responsibilities.

There may never be that golden period where everyone is suddenly unattached and able to hang out with you. The most valuable thing we have is time, so it’s also the most valuable thing you can give. To make some friendships work, you may have to look at your time, and see where you can dedicate more to maintaining friendships. Because let’s be honest, no one really needs an eight hour Netflix binge.

Whether it’s staying out later or waking up earlier to make breakfast, friendship is about finding time through the busyness, rather than waiting for a reprise from it.

You Choose Who Stays In Your Life

In the end, everyone you know will pass you by if you don’t make a concerted effort to keep them around. As work, uni, new friends and romances eat up your time, it’s up to you to make the choices that will make your life full of the people you want there. A little goes a long way.

A network of supportive friends is an invaluable asset as you navigate your 20s, but it’s up to you to maintain it. From initiating a conversation to reaching out to old friends, it takes work; but it will be so worth it.

Kim Koelmeyer is and Arts (Journalism)/Law student at Deakin University and deals primarily in memes and blogging.

(Lead image: Friends/NBC)