When people told me that me and my friends would drift apart after high school, I only half believed them. Yeah, I knew I’d lose a couple of people I was never really close to, but me and my best mates had survived the mess of deadlines, hungover weekends and late-night cramming- surely we’d survive graduating?
I was wrong.
Sure, there was a couple of people who managed to stick around for a while. We’d arrange to catch up here and there and squeeze each other in between uni assignments and full time work and everything else.
But for most of my high school friends? Graduation was the last time I saw them. It was like we completely dropped off the radar for each other.
It was like all the hours, days, months and years we had spent with each other didn’t count for anything. All the times we spent sitting in our spot at recess and lunch, the squad photos and study sessions in the library- all were forgotten. That group assignment that we left to the last minute and the pre exam cramming outside the school hall didn’t seem to count for anything.
Looking back now I realise that most of these people were friends of convenience rather than genuine mates. It was easy being friends with each other because no matter what happened, we would keep seeing each other week after week. It didn’t matter how busy we were, or how much we had going on, we knew that each day we would be sitting next to each other in class, laughing at something dumb and complaining about our latest assignment.
I’m not bitter about it. I know that most of our friendship was based on the comfort of knowing that we always had school in common. But it’s still a little bit sad, ya know?
To think that the people, some of them that had stuck by me since Year 7, or even kindy, aren’t a part of my life anymore. At one point I called these people my best friends- we drove to formal together, caught the bus home from school and helped each other through the shit storm that is final exams. We got drunk for the first time and spent house parties playing beer pong and King’s cup until we threw up. We went to soccer games, road trips and late night Maccas runs. Our group chat would constantly be going off with memes, or rants about people that pissed us off. My parents knew who they were and would ask how they were going. They could walk into my house like it was their own- they knew where we kept the milo and were long past the stage of asking to get a drink.
I know that things change after high school. Everyone told me that once you leave high school friendships will get tested and unless you put the effort in, you’ll lose the people who meant the most to you. I knew it, but I never thought it would happen to me.
Yeah, my high school graduation was the last time I saw a lot of my old friends. But looking back I don’t know if we would even be friends now anyway. My Facebook stalking and Instagram creeping tells me we’ve all changed so much- and that’s not a bad thing.
Do I miss my high school friends? Yeah, sometimes- how could I not? Some of my most important memories feature them. But as time goes on I know that people grow up and away from each other. And I’m okay with that.