We’ll still see each other when school ends, right?

This is one of the lines you hear over and over again in your last few weeks as a Year 12 student- friends looking for the reassurance that just because this phase of your life is over, doesn’t mean your friendship together is. Maintaining your high school relationships is hard and let me tell you, it often takes a lot of effort to keep those friendships strong. Leaving high school with all your friends by your side feels amazing. But it doesn’t always stay that way.

Throughout high school you tend to see your friends 5 days a week because that was just what you did. If one of you was sick, you’d be more annoyed that you didn’t have anyone to sit next to in Maths, rather than being stressed about organising a catch up.

Watching my parents throughout high school as they tried to make time to see their friends was not something I thought I would feel. They often found it hard to agree on a time with their friends when they could both squeeze in a two-hour coffee and catch-up. At the time, I didn’t picture myself doing that. At least one of my friends was always ready to hang out at the push of a button, a quick message in the group chat was all they needed and off we’d go.

After exams were all over and we had signed ourselves out of school, the friendships we had were still intact and life was good. We were hanging out all the time; spending days the beach, planning road trips, staying up late at night, driving around to Maccas and Kmart, enjoying ourselves as we had all these free days to do whatever we wanted. The topic of next year came up often and we’d have chats in parked cars about the different paths each of us were planning to follow when the next year rolled around. Some were planning to go to uni, some on overseas adventures while others planned to jump into full-time work.

All of a sudden our hang outs became less often, maybe once a week. We started doing other things: meeting new people, starting uni degrees, working full-time. It’s wasn’t because we didn’t want to see each other and reminisce on what used to be our usual Krispy Kreme run. It was just life getting in the way, forcing us to grow a part from each other.

Maintaining your high school friends does take some effort. The harsh truth is that without the convenience of school, you will say goodbye to some of your best mates. Some of your high school friends will stick around, and some won’t- it’s up to you to make it work.

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