Choose friends wisely

Liz Stephens, Columnist

Having friends and a healthy social life while in college is crucial, but it is also hard to maintain. Many students face the challenge I am currently facing where we outgrow our friends and question if we like them. We may feel like we are traveling back to junior high by talking about friends, but they are something we will always have throughout our lives.

I’m very selective about who I associate with and am friends with. So, it took me by surprise when I was hanging out with one of my friends and the thought “I’m not sure that I really like you,” crossed my mind.

I think what made that thought cross my mind was the way this friend was treating those around me, and learning her bad and annoying habits from seeing her multiple days a week.

I’ve realized that we are both in different worlds focusing on different things. I will always value her as a friend, but I’ve hit the point in my college career where she no longer fits in with what I’m trying to achieve.

I am a firm believer in the sayings, “You are who you surround yourself with,” and “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

I have found these sayings to be true throughout the many stages of my life.

I do not want to be like some of the people I used to surround myself with because I currently have bigger goals than they do. So, I have been removing some people from my circle.

It is not only difficult for me to maintain some of these friendships because we are focused on different things, but it also is difficult because adulthood simply sucks and keeps us all busy. A lot of my friends have transferred schools, some are married and some even have kids. Being only 20 years old, I couldn’t imagine being married or having kids like they do, especially since I’m so focused on school and work.

On numerous occasions my sisters and I have hung out and talked about friends. The popular opinion during those discussions are that friends are kind of overrated at times, and we all feel really dorky when we call each other our best friends.

Friends are nice, but the majority of the time family will be the only ones consistently there for you when you need it. I have been lucky to have at least one best friend who isn’t my sister or a family member for many years.

Many students use the term “best friend” loosely and have a million best friends, but you have to be pretty dang special for me to refer to you as that.

My best friend Carley has been pushing me to stay focused since junior high.

I have always looked up to her and still do because she stays focused on school at all times and makes amazing grades. Carley has no shame in telling me when I’m slacking- whether it be on school, as a friend, or even telling me when I need to get it together, and I love her for it.

She may have moved several hours away from me to go to nursing school at ISU, but I have no doubt that she will always be equally as focused and driven as me.

Liz Stephens is junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]