Growing up you have your core group of friends, maybe these are your same friends all the way from kindergarten. You went from trading Pokemon cards to trading dips. These friends were with you when you thought that piercing your ears would get you pussy. P.S. it doesn’t. Of course they roasted you, but they still were your best friends. These are the friends that you went to your first party with. The friends that you smoked your first joint with, drank your first beer with, and made sure you didn’t die as you puked throughout the entire night. These friends were the first to know that you got your dick wet for the first time. They were there for you after you got grounded because your parents found your weed. The friends that helped you clean after you threw your first house party. There’s a special bond with these friends that have been with you since you were 4. During senior year you saw these friends pick out colleges that were different than yours. Everyone of course said that it didn’t matter how far they were that nothing would change. Friends soon enough were scattered throughout the country, and maybe you are like me and stayed very close to your hometown.
At first you guys are texting all the time, and you are all pumped for how college is going. You guys tell war stories, and how different college is than high school. You exchange dorm stories, and creep on the hot chicks Instagram. Then slowly things start to change, nobody texts as much as they used to, you notice that all stories are with a group of the same friends, and you can feel everyone drifting apart. The late night Xbox parties are replaced by frat parties.
I don’t have college friends. I went to a tiny community college where most people were older, and everyone commuted. There was no forced dorm life that made you get friends. My big plans were that I was going to get away from my tiny little town, I was going to escape to a big city. How plans change, I dropped out of that tiny community college after one semester, and I’m still in the same town that I grew up in. I didn’t struggle with college the one semester I was there for I was on the Dean’s list, but I commuted 50 minutes everyday. I thought I would be smart and not accumulate college debt so I paid for my schooling as I went. I was in college for 3 full days, and worked 6 nights a week. Things just got to hard, and I was never a person who enjoyed school so I said fuck it. I of course said that I’ll take the 2nd semester, and summer off, but I’ll go back to college right after that. Well that was 7 years ago, and I’ve never stepped foot into a college again. Life comes at you fast, I got married, had a kid, and work at a “decent” job.
As my friends kept on their college journey, my life couldn’t have become more of the opposite. When they were parting, I was working the closing shift. When they were popping adderall and studying for 8 straight hours, I was changing diapers. It was safe to say that my friends and I had drifted apart. They would come home for winter and summer breaks. We would be part of the high school reunions that would happen at midnight in a tiny ass bar.
As they have graduated from college some of them have come back to our tiny hometown. The friendship has become more of the same since they’ve been back. They stay at their parents house, and wait tables to save money.
There’s still times when I can see how close they are to their college friends. It’s hard for me to know the relationship that college friends have. I just know that those are the people that you live with for 4 years, and that you spend all of your free time with. These people are with you as you change from a dumbass high school kid to an adult. When you’re making big life changes, college friends are the ones that you crack open a beer with, and talk about it. There’s more weddings that you’ll be taken to because you have so many more college friends than you did high school friends. There’s golfing trips that you’ll go on just so everyone can get together again. It doesn’t matter that 2 guys in the group have never swung a club, everyone will be there.
In the back of my mind I know that one day they’ll leave again to pursue what they went to college for. Where I’m from it’s a giant tourism industry. There’s no accounting jobs, business jobs, or the more common jobs that people get after college. So one day they’ll leave, and that’s how it is. I know this, and it is what it is. I’m not upset about it, or happy about it I just know that’s how life is.