Everyone gets told that they’ll eventually ditch their high school mates, and that it’s really your uni and work friends that stick with you for life. Of course, your 17-year-old reaction is instantly like, “No way, you don’t know us, we’re BEST FRIENDS FOR LIFE.” Etc. But honestly, then you leave school and relationships change and you start to think that maybe there’s some truth to that tale.
It’s really hard to know who to keep and who to leave behind in life, especially with high school friends because you’ve been through so much together. We’ve put together some tips with our friends at headspace to help you figure out if you’ve outgrown your high school friends. Maybe it’s time to spread those wings and leave the nest.
#1 You Aren’t Into The Same Things Anymore
One of the quickest ways that you realise you’re over someone, is when you run out of things to talk about. Which is most likely to happen if you just don’t have anything in common anymore. It’s easy to be friends with kids that you see every day at school, but when you’re not being forced to see each other, it’s hard to remember what kept you together in the first place.
After the basic stuff is exhausted, you eventually start running out of conversation that’s actually interesting. Small talk is great and all for like, a minute, and then you’re left feeling bored and wondering whatever happened to those times you had sleep overs and stayed up talking for hours. If the mutual interest is faded, you can fade out the friendship too.
#2 You’re At Totally Different Life Stages
Something that I really felt after leaving school, was the difference in life goals. Some people start working after school, and eventually move on to pursuing careers or degrees. Others don’t, and instead take a gap year or studying, or travelling. It’s hard when you’re doing one thing and your friends are doing another.You just stop having time for all your old hang outs when you’re pursing work and studies at the same time, and that’s fine.
Or maybe you’re travelling and taking it easy, and leaving the work for later. Either way, it can feel like you’re just moving in different directions to your old friends, and you’re losing sight of what you have in common. If that’s the case it’s probs time to focus on new mates that can empower and support you in your goals.
#3 Hanging Out Feels Like A Chore
This one’s one of the main signs that you’re def done with your old school mates. If hanging out just feels like a chore that you have to get over and done with, then it’s time to drop that and move on. Friends are supposed to be fun to hang with, ’cause that’s what it’s all about. If you’re at the stage where every plan is a hassle, and you’re just going because you don’t know how to say no, or are too polite, then you probably don’t like your friends as much as you think you do. Spending time together should be the highlight of your week, not just another job on the check-list.
#4 You Find Yourself Getting Annoyed By Everything
Omg, when everything your friend says just instantly pisses you off, it’s time to get outta there. Sometimes you just grow up more than your old mates, and now all those jokes just seem insensitive and mean instead of funny. Being unreasonably irritated or impatient is actually a sign of anxiety and agitation, so it’s likely your friend is upsetting you or stressing you out – maybe without you realising. Friends are supposed to make you feel better, not worse – if it’s gotten to the point where you just feel annoyed whenever you’re together, then you shouldn’t hang out.
#5 You Don’t Really Miss Them
The whole absence makes the heart grow fonder thing isn’t actually real, but people say it for a reason – chances are, if you love someone you’ll miss ’em when they’re gone. Realising that you can go ages without so much as thinking about your high school friends is probably a good indicator that you’re over them. If the idea of seeing them or hanging out with them isn’t particularly exciting, then it’s time to work on finding friendships that actually get you feeling some kinda way.
If you’re struggling with your friendships and you’re not sure what to do, it might time to make some tough decisions. If you’re not sure where to start, check out headspace’s tips on making new friends to start making some inroads into your new (and better) friend circles. You’ll be just fine, and ultimately glad you made a change!