Whilst growing up, I’ve never understood why people always used to complain about how it’s so hard to maintain a friendship as you get older. Now, in my early twenties, I’m slowly beginning to realise why. Whilst Taylor Swift seems to be able to juggle a very, very successful career and a rather large group of girlfriends, I find it increasingly more difficult to meet with my friends. Nearly all our WhatsApp message start with “Sorry for the late reply, I was working and fell asleep” or “I was doing coursework” or something along those very same lines. “We’ll defo meet up soon, I miss you” is a catchphrase which is being more and more commonly used.
My friends and I are all over the place, from being scattered around the country due to university to working full-time, it’s getting hard to see each other. I remember the days, where we would hang out almost every other day during the Summer Holidays. Now, I see them about once a week if I’m lucky, but sometimes, it can go a month without a single white wine spritzer together.
Now, I’ve learnt the true meaning of good, quality friends. Like writing an article or a piece of coursework, it is more about quality than quantity. How do you know who to cut out of your life and how do you go about doing it?
Firstly, I think you should use your gut feeling and your instinct. If you dread meeting up with someone, and not just because you’re in a funny mood that day, you just genuinely are dreading it, then perhaps it’s worth evaluating your friendship. Spending time with your friends shouldn’t be stressful nor should it feel like a chore. You should get that buzz inside you when you get all giddy and happy.
Or if you feel like your friendship is very one sided and you’re making all the effort. A lot of the time, friends just drift apart and sometimes you just have to give up. I understand people are extremely busy, they don’t have a lot of time to socialise. But if you’re one of those people who are constantly snapchatting me/posting pictures on Instagram/legit always have your phone in your hand but you can’t reply to my message, even with a simple “Hey Jess, can’t talk right now, I’m busy but chat to you later” then nah. I know when I’m not wanted mate.
As well as your RLF (real life friends), sometimes you need to narrow down your virtual friends – especially those people who clog up your News Feed with irrelevant junk. How to narrow? I would advise using Facebook and birthdays. Facebook seem to love emailing and sending me notifications when it’s someone’s birthday. When you do receive that email/notification and if you think ‘nah cba to wish you a happy birthday’ or ‘Why is FB emailing me it’s so-and-so’s birthday’ then unfriend them. Harsh? Yeah, perhaps. But if you weren’t even going to wish them a simple happy birthday then you’re not really going to miss them. I know a lot of people have hundreds, if not thousands of friends on Facebook or Instagram or whatever else is the latest Social Media trend, and if that floats your boat then that’s cool. But for me, my social media is very personal. I’m very selective about what I choose to put on these sites, so if I don’t really speak to you, I don’t really want you to know my business.
IMHO, the friends you need to bin most are those friends that go off to university and forget you even exist. I guess if you were looking at my situation from the outside, you would probably say it’s because I hate university which is why I’m saying this but it’s honestly not. From my experience, people go off to university and they become so invested in their new life, they forget their old friends. If you don’t speak to me for the majority of the year and then you come home for a week in the summer and try to hit me up, do you really think I’m going to want to see you? Don’t forget where you’re from and who helped you get to where you are now.
Or those people who say they’re broke like all the time, and every time you suggest something they’re like ‘No Jess, I’m broke blah blah blah’. I don’t think I’m very expensive person, I mean, as a student myself, I like to do things on the cheap, I like to spend as less money as I possibly can. So I don’t think it’s my choice of activity/bar/restaurant/shopping centre or whatever it may be. BUT when their uni friends call them up, they’ll travel half way across London to see them, or go on a weekend trip and dine out. Every. Single. Night.
That being said, you’re never too old to make new friends. The saying “Friendship isn’t about who you’ve known the longest, it’s about who came and never left your side’ is cheesy but true.