Your friends are the family you choose, as the saying goes. The people you find along your life journey who just get you. And the friends you make in high school feel like they’ll be the friends that that’ll stick with you for your entire life.

But then, high school’s all over. Exams are done, and everybody cries at the formal, your last night as a year group. There’s heaps of big hugs and promises to keep in touch no matter what as you all go off into that big, limitless, post-school world. And it is a big world. Which is why those promises of friendship forever, as you go off to uni, get a job, travel or just live, get really hard to keep.

It’s a fact of life; every is busy. Your schedules clash, and it can take a lot of work to carve out just an hour to meet up for coffee or go to a party together on Saturday. You’re not all in the same place at the same time anymore, and everyone’s living separate lives.

It sucks. You can feel really lonely or like you’re missing out when the only time you see your high school friends is when they post photos of their gap year. Or when your science class partner who you occasionally hung out with stops replying to your texts. The people you used to see everyday seem to have dissolved from your life, and you feel like you’ve lost a bunch of friends.

But some friendships, as much as you want them to last, are built purely on being in the same high school at the same time. Then suddenly you’re not, and sadly you won’t see or speak to them anymore.

You have different goals now to what you did in high school. You’re a different person now. And that might mean that your best mate, who you had so much in common with, seems like a stranger when you catch up. It can be so painful when you look at someone and don’t recognise them anymore because you’ve grown apart.

Honestly though, it isn’t always a bad thing. It can even be a chance for you to quietly remove some toxic people from your life. They probably won’t even notice, and you won’t miss them and their bad vibes one bit. Plus, now is your chance to make new friends and find the people who really will stick it out till the end.

It’s a part of life that friendships fade. People grow apart and you just stop talking to some people no matter how much you miss them. While your high school friends might not be there forever, it doesn’t mean they didn’t make a massive impact on your life and you’ll always be able to look back on your teenage years with them.

By Kaitlyn Hudson-O'Farrell