Ever since childhood I have loved having large friend circles and enjoyed playing games and activities with as many of them as possible. While ‘more the merrier’ worked till high school, things progressively changed post that. My small unit of school friends have been beside me through thick and thin. But with most of us going separate ways after school it became a bit difficult for us to stay as closely knitted as in school. Surprisingly while I was doubtful about it at first, I ended up making some very good friends in college as well.

Initially, it felt out of the place not seeing my school buddies every day. But I slowly eased into my college friendships without any troubles. While my mischievous school friends taught me not to take everything seriously and let go, my college friends made me realise the importance of finding your own space.

Together, against all criticism, we learned that who we are is the best version to be.

Back in school with no worries about the big questions of life, friendship meant being carefree and loyal to each other. We built a strong connection forged in support and trust. The inability to talk to our parents about sex, relationships and what not made our friendships stronger. At the same time, everything was laid back and we took life as it came. Teen years were rough, but I had people to fall back on. And that was a blessing.

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Together, against all criticism, we learned that who we are is the best version to be. I realised school friends will always catch you in a trust fall, be it game or life.

With meaningless insults and name-calling, they unknowingly boosted my self-esteem and prepared me for the tough world. I think my new college friends took over from where my school friends left.

I didn’t think college was the right place for me. But, by making new friends I slowly found my own headspace to grow.  There is a sense of maturity in college friendships. I spoke to my buddies about things I couldn’t in school. Sharing experiences of fat-shaming and talking about my sexuality came organically. They made me realise that I didn’t have to fit in but build my own space.

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Speaking to them about life and its meaning never seemed out of place. I was pushed to break barriers and do better. At the same time, we’ve sneaked out through the back door and enjoyed a pasta dish at a charming cafe. Unlike childhood, adulting is one of our favourite subjects to joke about, and a constant source of worry. It’s a challenge none of us are ready for. An important take away is that sometimes it’s necessary to have a plan, and other times ‘go with the flow’ comes in handy.

There is a sense of maturity in college friendships. I spoke to my buddies about things I couldn’t in school.

Be it school or college, both my friendships have strengthened different pillars in my life, they are equally important. Although my school friends will hold a special place in heart, my college mates are warming their way in at a fast pace. I know for a fact that come what may, they have my back at all times. I found acceptance and lack of judgements with both. The experiences have been soul-enriching with lifelong memories to look back on.

Bhavya Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the authors’ own.

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