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Navigating friendships in university

By Nimra Amir, September 21 2022

Growing up, I heard the phrase “best friends forever” or “BFFs” everywhere from Disney shows to Hallmark movies but I have come to realize that those friendships are rare. 

The hard truth is that when you enter any new stage in your life, losing friends is a natural part of the process but fortunately, so is making new friends. You might have already experienced this change in friendships with the transition from elementary school to middle school or middle school to high school. Simply not every friend you have can be a friend forever. University is no different.

As you take on the seemingly daunting task of becoming an adult which forces people to grow into new versions of themselves, you might find yourself no longer aligning with some friends. Especially, when you might not get to see them everyday like you used to in high school — even if you are in the same program at the same university. At that point, your friendship may come to its natural end and that is okay. 

Of course, the loss of a friendship, just like any other loss, is not easy and it is important to grieve when you need to process and accept what has happened — but try to do so without judgment. It may seem easier to blame yourself or your friend but this will only make the loss harder to grow from. Instead, be understanding that maybe you or your friend were busy or not interested. If nothing else, take comfort in the fact that even though this friendship may have come to an end, as you keep growing, you will keep making new friends and they will keep enriching your life like you will enrich theirs.

If you do not have those friends yet, the University of Calgary is a great place to meet them — but no two friendships will ever be the same. From the friends you make during orientation week to the study buddies, some friends will be friends of convenience that thrive on proximity. But who knows, when you combine hours spent together at the library and the quick snack breaks at MacEwan Hall, you might end up with a friendship that grows with you. 

The most important friendship, however, will be the one with yourself and as you grow into the new stage of your life, naturally, your friendships will reflect that growth. That is the beauty of friendships — they are constantly changing depending on where you are in life. Embrace this new era in university and what comes along with it.

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