Is it Healthy to Have Seasonal Friendships?

I listened to a podcast the other day that said, “When you put long-term expectations on seasonal things, you will ultimately get disappointed.” Luckily, my car was stopped at a red light so my spastic reaction to this quote didn’t cause a car accident.

This is one of the hardest parts of college I’ve had to accept. College for most people is a time when friendships are at their highest quantity. I realized I followed a dangerous trend where I designated a different friend for almost every single aspect of my life. I started to constantly dial a strict circle of friends when I craved sesame chicken from my favorite Chinese takeout. There were only a couple of friends I felt I could contact when I wanted to go on my black coffee bender to revive my run-down body. I fell into this mentality that my life would constantly have a plethora of different friends that could fill these crazy, absurd requests. I started to question if I really needed the same person as my “grocery store friend”. Scratch that. I will always need a buddy for Trader Joes.

I remember when I graduated from high school I thought I was leaving with a gigantic basket of best friends. I got a rude awakening after the first year of undergrad when that big number dwindled more and more as the months went by. It didn’t upset me; it more or less felt like a gentle slap in the face that there will constantly be people in your back pocket and others that will naturally grow apart from you. It’s healthy. It’s life. The sooner I accepted it, the more I was able to move on and appreciate those people that were so special to me during that one season in my life.

Now as I approach my college graduation, I’m strapping my seatbelt to prepare for this same situation to happen. I’m not only ready for it, but I’m excited to see who shocks me and stands by my side as I dive deeper into my 20s. You want to know a fun fact? One of my best friends from high school was a girl that I actively tried to stay away from freshman year. Now, I talk to her on the phone almost as much as my mom (a true accomplishment since my mom doesn’t just get daily phone calls, but hourly checkups). It took my best guy friend and me secretly 3 and a half years of being in the same friend group to finally realize that we just click. Those are the friendships that I crave. The friendships hiding around the corner, patiently waiting for you to get the lightbulb moment that they are meant to play a role in your life’s story.

I want to give you a gentle warning. Don’t have expectations of who will be your right-hand man for the rest of your life. Going back to the quote above, having such high expectations will lead to inevitable disappointment. I’m not saying to not put the effort into those relationships. Far from it! I want you to pursue those friendships full force. Don’t give up on people you think are worth it (because they probably are).

I had people I truly believed were worth it. If I had a choice in the matter, they would still be in my life. They just didn’t think I was worth it. Ouch. These hard pills I had to swallow made me grow some tough skin during college. The problem is you’re not going to hit a home-run every time. Life is funny that way. It enjoys throwing curveballs. Those were the friends I had to unwillingly let go. It crumbled my confidence and I started to question what I did wrong. Let me tell you right now, the answer to that question is absolutely nothing. Remember, every relationship is a two-way street. Some of these people will be chicken and afraid to cross the road. That just means they are not supposed to be in your life in that specific season.

But you want to know why I love seasons so much? They come back around. The winter might not be as cold next year but who knows, the snow might show up again in 3 or 4 years.