Stomping the Yard

Freshman Memoirs: Making & Breaking Friendships

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This summer, I’m featuring “The Freshman Memoirs” from current college students who want to share their experiences and advice with incoming freshmen.  This week’s memoir comes from Nyia Fairley, a sophomore at Hampton University who battled with maintaining a lifelong friendship in her first year of college.

Unlike most graduating high school seniors in 2013, I was not eagerly excited about entering college. In fact I was nervous and terrified I would be alone in a new place filled with people I didn’t know. But, all of that changed when I found out that one of my best friends would be attending the same university I was. I gave a huge sigh of relief, because I would be tackling this new challenge with one of my besties. In fact, upon the first day of school, we made a vow to each other that we would not let anything or anyone tear our friendship apart.

The first couple of months of school things were great. We talked and spent lots of time with each other. But, by the end of first semester I was able to sense that things were taking a turn for the worse. We both made new friends, and started spending less time together.  I just wasn’t into a lot of the things she and her new group of friends were into.

Some arguments, disagreements, and pretty ugly stuff went down.  Although I often felt confused and a little hurt by us growing apart, by spring semester, I came to accept that we were two different people on different paths. We both were growing up and finding out who we were. And, we were no longer teenagers taking the train to go shopping in downtown Chicago. But I still wanted us to maintain our friendship.

I learned in my freshman year that it’s tough to maintain friendships when you’re having so many new experiences, focusing on meeting certain goals, and trying to successfully finishing college.  Ending a friendship that held so much history was easier said than done, but to help me make this major decision I followed the following steps:

  • Get advice from close relatives and mentors:  I knew I would not be able to make this decision on my own. I knew my family and more mature advisors would steer me in the right direction. Some told me to end the friendship because our season had come to an end. And, others advised me to look past all that dissatisfying occurrences because every friendship experiences bumps in the road.
  • Be sure to make quiet time for yourself:  In order to take everything that occurred and all the advice I was getting, I spent a lot of time by myself reflecting and meditating.

My final decision was not to completely part ways with my lifelong friend. Experiencing those tragic events freshman year taught me a lot of life lessons.  I realized that in friendships, individuals will create new paths and avenues for themselves. But, true friendship will always make sure that those paths cross to maintain a strong dynamic bond, because true friendship is everlasting.

About Kelly Fair

Kelly Fair

Kelly Fair is the founder of the highly successful Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program that has served more than 600 girls 7-17 years old to be effective communicators, and career and community conscious leaders! This work has been supported by a network of 300+ volunteers from the Chicagoland community and area businesses such as Bloomingdale’s, Microsoft, ThoughtWorks and many more. You can follow Kelly on her blog and on Twitter at @KFairtheMentor.