One of the biggest changes for freshman year is a new peer group. You may have friends that you’ve been with since the beginning of high school of even longer. Although graduation time is exciting, it can also be anxiety filled as you think about moving on without your same friends to support you. As you head off to different colleges, think about some of the strategies below:
- Celebrate your accomplishments!
Graduation is a time to celebrate! Take pictures with friends, maybe exchange gifts, and celebrate each other. It feels good to have accomplished this goal together. Honor your friends and tell them how much they’ve helped you become the person you are today.
- Spend your summer together with meaningful experiences.
Create opportunities to make memories with your friends this summer. Take a trip together, have a regularly scheduled get together, or share a new experience. Summer will fly by with work, vacation, internships, or other activities. Schedule in time with your friends.
- Reflect on what you love about your friends and think about new relationships.
There will be many opportunities for you to make new friends in freshman year – from freshman orientation on, there will be a plethora of opportunities for meeting new people. As an introvert or an extrovert, this could be thrilling or terrifying. Stay true to yourself. Think about the qualities you love and admire in your high school friends and consider ways to find people with similar qualities. Shared interests (clubs, sports, activities) or common experiences (classes, dorms, pre-college orientations) are great opportunities to bond with new friends.
- Plan a visit.
No doubt, you will enjoy meeting new people freshman year. It can also be fun to share your new home with your old friends. If your high school friends are attending colleges nearby, make plans to visit each other. Attend a game or event on campus together, or just share a night in the dorm and dinner in the dining hall. It can be comforting to see old friends during your freshman year.
Whether you are heading off to college near or far, with lots of friends from high school or on your own, keep in touch with your high school friends. You’ll likely have a chance to get together during college breaks. Make an effort to maintain your friendships from home as you get to know a new group of peers.