Like the “Picnik” edit you made in middle school says, “friends are the family we choose.”
This is super cliche — even for a 12-year-old — but it’s absolutely true. In life, we make different groups of friends. Each friend group you make in life serves a purpose that is different from the other.
Work friends are great because you can vent freely about people they’ll probably never meet. Online friends are an interesting relationship because you have the sense that you’ve known them your whole life but in reality, you’ve never even met. Contrary to online friends, there are the friends you have met but you don’t know why you still follow them after all these years. These people are usually your “spring break” or “vacation” friends. Then you have the two groups of friends that know you better than you know yourself — your hometown friends and your college friends.
Hometown friends and college friends usually have a different vibe from each other. Although the groups differentiate, that doesn’t mean that one is better than the other. I mean, you’re friends with these people for a reason. With that being said, it’s interesting to compare the two.
Hometown friends tend to hold a special place in your heart. These are the people who were there for you during crucial times in your life, from your parent’s divorce to your first ever heartbreak. You go through all kinds of monumental life moments with them.
The greatest gift these people bring into your life is the memories you share together. They understand the stories you tell about school, sports and growing up because they were right there with you. To quote Farmers Insurance “they know a thing or two because they’ve seen a thing or two.”
The great thing about hometown friends is that you can pick up right where you left off with them. The tricky thing about hometown friends is that when you all go off to college, you no longer know the ins and outs of each other’s lives.
When summer ends and you all start to migrate back to school, you keep in touch heavily in the group message. Then as the school year begins to unfold, you tend to drift away from the once constant texts. This is the sad truth, but as these friends unwind your college friends are in full gear.
Living with these people progresses your friendship in a way that makes you feel as if you’ve known them your whole life — they eventually become your college friends.
When you are confined in an eight by ten room, you are forced to get to know a person in an intimate way. When I say intimate, I don’t mean it in the sexual sense but in a deep and personal way.
The great thing about college friends is that they know what you’re doing at all hours of the day. If it’s 1:00 p.m. on a Tuesday, you know Bri’s in a lab, Meg has practice, and Molly will be out of class in 15 minutes to go get food with you.
It’s your first experience of living with other people your age and caring for them like a family. There’s something to be said about making friends with people that are from different places and backgrounds than you. The downfall to college friends is that you usually don’t see them for weeks at a time. This is okay because absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Friends are special people, no matter where or how you made them.
It’s important to keep in touch and check in on them whenever you can. For all the nights they held your hair back in a filthy frat basement bathroom, you owe it to them.