The Rules Of Friendship After University

friendship

Have you ever felt guilty for not seeing your friends often? Despite grand plans to meet up, texts and messages exchanged, the meet up did not happen. Sometimes it was you who canceled, sometimes it was them. The result is the same however. You have not seen each other in ages. And you feel very bad about it. Are you still friends? What of your friendship? Will they still want to hang out together? What are the rules of friendship?

First of all, take a breathe and relax. Your friends are probably asking themselves the same questions. You, me, them, despite being different persons, we are all the same. You bail, they bail, you get lazy, they get lazy, you have the best intentions, they have the best intentions too. Thus, it is never one-sided (or very rarely).

Second of all, the first rule of friendship is that there is no such thing as a rule of friendship. No one shoe fits all. There is not one type of friendship. You’ve got different groups of friends with different dynamics, there is not right answer. The only sure thing is that friendship is a lot of work.

Maintaining friendship when you are at university is easy. You see your friends everyday, in class. Thus, you don’t need to put in a lot of effort to meet up with them. It is when you leave university that things get more difficult. You probably move town, sometime at the other side of the country. You grow up, might change interests, eventually couple up and have less time for them. Don’t worry, so will your friends. Does that mean friendship after university is impossible? No! It is possible. It is just a hell lot more work than it used to be!

But wait a minute. If you work, you’ve got no exam nor revisions, so evenings and weekends free, so loads of time, right? In theory, yes but let me tell you something. You might not be in any shape or mood to see your friends after work! You think university is tiring? Wait until you start working! Working is exhausting. I love my job but I am also very often drained at the end of the day. Despite wanting to meet with my friends, I also really want to be at home to chill and relax. Furthermore, knowing how my tired self is, I’d be very bad company anyway. So I’d rather spare them that!

So why do I still feel guilty over not seeing them more often?

We already all know that after university, and despite our best efforts, we will have fewer and fewer friends. That’s how it is. So the few friends we have left when starting to work, we are even more scared of losing them. And we feel like it will happen if we don’t see them often. If the friendship was never strong (or important to you and them) to begin with, it might happen. Otherwise, the friendship will go through silent periods, rough patches and collective unavailabilities.

While I truly believe that it is never one-sided, I also think that your behavior towards those who can’t meet up can really affect your relationships. After Christmas, I was very busy (almost overwhelmed) with work, blogging, my relationship, traveling, etc. and did not see my friends for a very long time. Did they hold a grudge? No. Did they stop being my friends? No. Simply because everyone in a group of friends will eventually take on the role of “the one who can never make it”. A small piece of advice, ditch the “they can never make it so let’s not invite them” because that “they” might just be you very soon. And you still want to get invited despite not being able to make it.

We truly enter adult life after university and we can all appreciate that if our life change dramatically, so will our friends’. Thus, I believe we all become much more tolerant towards others’ assumed lack of social life or commitment. Simply because it is not… it is just trying to get on with their own lives. And it becomes harder and harder is we grow up. I think what matters most is the thought, the intent, showing that you are still there and thinking about them. A strong friendship does not need constant meeting to hold but it does need small attentions – texts, messages, tags on social posts. Small things often mean a lot.

Small things can also save a friendship. We do not always have the physical means to see our friends – different city or country. If you are always the one texting, restarting the conversation, trying to arrange calls and always get empty promises or silence, you’ll eventually give up. Nothing wrong with that. No interest feeding a one-sided relationship. But again, this goes both ways. You don’t want to lose that friend? Answer her texts.

Sometimes, it is just the case of seeing your friends once a month and you have an absolute blast. You see your childhood friends once a year, maybe twice if you are lucky but every time you see them it is like you’ve never left. And that’s the beauty of strong friendships. So no need to put a lot of pressure on yourself because you don’t see them every other day. Although it never hurts to see them more often. How to now? A whatsApp group. It helps. A lot.

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What do you think? Do you feel guilty when you have not seen your friends in ages? Or when you want to see them but are not in the right mood? Did you maintain all your friendships after university?

Thanks a lot for stopping by! Hope you liked this post!

See you soon,
Love,
Corinne

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40 Comments

  1. September 23, 2018 / 7:06 pm

    Love this post – I’m currently going through this whole experience right now, as I’ve graduated this year and my friends and I are all doing different things and living that adult life haha. It used to get me down thinking of things changing and nothing being the same but it’s an unavoidable part of life I guess. And as you said whatsapp groups are handy!!

  2. September 23, 2018 / 7:07 pm

    Such a relatable post! Even transitioning from high school to University, I found it hard to keep in contact with a majority of my old friends. You do realise who your true friends are though and those are the ones that I make sure to meet up with when I can. It can definitely be tricky at times but as you said, group chats really do help.

  3. September 23, 2018 / 7:19 pm

    This is a very relevant post that many people just battle through life, friends come and go as you evolve in life but the true ones stick with you when you don’t communicate everyday or even every week!

  4. September 23, 2018 / 7:20 pm

    Such a lovely post 💋
    I do feel guilty when we haven’t seen in ages. But I’m sure we all do understand. We make sure to keep in touch via video calls and chats.
    I also didn’t keep in touch with all my friends after university

  5. September 23, 2018 / 7:21 pm

    I guess in any form of education it’s similar in the fact that you either remain friends or you dont. In my case i tend to have friendships just because i see people each day and then when i dont have to see them the friendship kind of fizzles out. Luckily i do have a few friends who i’ve maintained the friendship after education!

  6. September 23, 2018 / 7:25 pm

    This is a really great post! I didn’t go to uni but when I went to college I met my best friend and now that we have both finished it is hard to keep in contact as much as we used to but we both know that things change but we’re always there for each other! Xx

  7. September 23, 2018 / 7:35 pm

    This post is so relatable! I never went to uni but after college for the first few months I stayed really close with some friends but now we’re all in relationships and have jobs etc it’s so hard to try to find time to see each other. Friendships have definitely fizzled out because of this and it’s such a shame!

    Jess // foundationsandfairytales.wordpress.com xx

  8. September 23, 2018 / 7:41 pm

    I always feel guilty for not seeing my friends enough, but as long as we talk that is the most important thing and they know that I’m there no matter what!

    Love, Amie ❤
    The Curvaceous Vegan

  9. September 23, 2018 / 7:53 pm

    I can relate to this a lot. It can be so hard to keep up with friends when you don’t have a reason to see them every day, like going to school. I always feel guilty when I don’t keep up with my friends as much as I think I should, but we all have stuff that gets in the way so I think you are right in that we should be a little less hard on ourselves. On another note, I love your outfit! It’s super cute.

  10. September 23, 2018 / 8:32 pm

    This post really spoke to me. I’ve been thinking a lot this week about how long it’s been since I saw my uni friends and how much harder it is now. I don’t get to see my friends all that often. Most of them live in/ around the London area and I’m in the north so balancing life and schedules rarely happens in our favour but I’m blessed with friends I can see once in a year and it’s like nothing has changed which is something I think you really need in an adult friendship x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

  11. September 23, 2018 / 8:52 pm

    Even though I never went to university, I can still relate to this post a lot. I’m in my mid 30s now and it’s even harder to maintain friendships, as a lot of my friends are now married/attached and have children. I completely agree with the sentiment though that if someone turns down plans a lot, please DO NOT stop inviting them along to stuff. This has happened to me a fair bit and it can make you feel really rubbish. Just cos you couldn’t make it a few times doesn’t mean it’ll be like that forever! It’s never nice to feel left out. Luckily I’ve managed to keep hold of some really great friendships over the years. And even though we can’t see each other all the time, when we do we have so much fun together!

    http://www.missblogsabit.com

  12. September 23, 2018 / 9:04 pm

    As someone who’s entering her final year of Uni now, this was a really interesting read. I’m also a big fan of whatsapp groups! My friends from home talk everyday without fail because of a Whatsapp group!

    Jas xx | https://thoughtsfromjasmine.co.uk

  13. September 24, 2018 / 1:04 am

    I am guilty of being bad at maintaining friendships after uni. I know I’m definitely not in the best shape after work because I just want to go home and rest @__@. Friendship is definitely a two-way street. It’s nice when people are understanding of your life situation – things may not line up but that doesn’t mean they should take it personally. Thanks for sharing your thoughts :).

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

  14. September 24, 2018 / 2:11 pm

    I don’t feel guilty with my good friends. I talk to them regularly– keeping up with the major changes in their lives with visits from time to time.

  15. September 24, 2018 / 2:59 pm

    I have been through this after my university. And I am glad I am still in touch with them.
    However u look very pretty.

  16. September 24, 2018 / 4:05 pm

    I didn’t actually go to university but I can still relate to this post as I always feel guilty if I don’t see my friends in a while. It’s definitely a tricky thing to navigate as you get older xx
    http://www.imjustagirl16.co.uk

  17. September 24, 2018 / 4:25 pm

    I’m so pleased you wrote all of this because I’m constantly feeling guilty about not seeing friends very often, especially when a couple are particularly outspoken when I’ve had to cancel on them due to work commitments. I work freelance and I’m self employed so I find it even harder to find the time to socialise 🙁 you’re absolutely right about feeling drained after a work shift, sometimes you’re just not in the mood! x x
    Ellis // http://www.elliswoolley.co.uk

  18. September 24, 2018 / 4:32 pm

    Actually, I don’t see any of my friends from school or university these days. Partly because none of them live near me and partly because as time’s gone on, we have nothing in common any more. I do have a couple of friends I see once a year and those friendships are very precious because we just slot back together really easily. I’d far rather make an effort for friends like these than ones I have to struggle with! Especially after a long day or week 🙂 xx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

  19. September 24, 2018 / 5:59 pm

    This post is so relatable even after marriage and then again after kids. It’s all about the small things like you said and letting them know you still care even though physically you may not be able to always get together.

  20. September 24, 2018 / 7:11 pm

    It can be difficult to maintain friendships. I admit, I’m not always the best at it. I’m a bit of an introvert, so I’d rather read than text or call someone.

    I like this dress on you!

  21. September 25, 2018 / 12:40 am

    It’s very much the same with your military friends – being posted all the time, with spouses away for long durations, we learn to support our friends, get together as frequently as possible, and stay in touch, but the reality is long-distance friendships cool down a lot, no matter how close you were before. But, people that you’ve lost touch with often reappear in the towns and cities you are posted to, and without missing a beat, we’re back together. I wonder how this would be different without social media to stay in touch?

  22. September 25, 2018 / 1:05 am

    Such a great post! I found the transition out of college to be one of the hardest i have had so far. It is hard to stay in touch with people who were to much a part of your daily life for so many years. It is also hard to meet new people so I feel like there can be a bit of a void!

  23. September 25, 2018 / 1:19 am

    A lot has changed when I became a mom. and that includes friendships. There will be people you thought are your friends, but just because you can’t find time to be with them because you’re busy being a mom, they tend to cast you out and not bother asking about you. What I learned after I became a mom about friendships is that people come and go, some stay, some leave. There are those who you unexpectedly form a bond with because you are in the same boat. It’s rare to have someone constant – someone who stays and understands you, even if you’ve become the messiest and busiest person there is because of parenthood.

  24. September 25, 2018 / 1:24 am

    I do often feel guilty when I go a long time without seeing my friends but I do live on the opposite side of the world to most of them. Luckily I have a good group of friends so we understand even text messages can be quite challenging with the time difference.

  25. Rebecca Bailey
    September 25, 2018 / 1:30 am

    I think maintaining friendships does require effort on both sides, but it also requires patience and understanding. One of the points you made is that you shouldn’t have to see or talk to a friend every day, or even once a week, for them to know you still care. When you move on from college and start a career, both parties to a friendship need to understand that circumstances have changed. If the desire to maintain the friendship exists on both parts, then that friendship won’t dissolve. Both people just need to be willing to understand that you may not be able to see or talk to each other as much. Thanks for the post.

  26. September 25, 2018 / 3:03 am

    Maintaining friendships after college is SO DIFFICULT. Like, it’s insane how much trouble I have keeping up with my friends, especially since I live in a different state from most of them. The FOMO is real, yo! Definitely going to have to take your advice to heart!

  27. September 25, 2018 / 4:43 am

    I think university friendhips last a long time…at least mine have. Now that we all are married, have kids etc., we are busy but that does not mean that we are not friends anymore

  28. September 25, 2018 / 5:52 am

    I so love this post. This reminds me when I moved to the US after my graduation to pursue further studies. This is what I went through too. my friend and I make it a point to at least text each other every other day or so. Sometimes we get busy, but that’s fine, we catch up.

  29. September 25, 2018 / 6:05 am

    It’s so hard to keep in touch with everyone once you leave the place where you would meet on a scheduled basis. Gotta maintain the relationships that are important!

  30. September 25, 2018 / 9:27 am

    I never went to Uni so I can’t relate on that level but I basically speak to none of my school friends now. It’s so hard to maintain friendships when you’re all adults xxx

  31. September 26, 2018 / 4:07 am

    Life gets so busy sometimes and our calendars fill up quickly. It’s really important to make time for those people in your life that are important to you. Sometimes it could just be a “phone date” to catch up but it’s necessary to make friendships a priority.

  32. September 26, 2018 / 4:40 am

    I have not kept in close contact with friends from college. Perhaps because I did not really have anyone that close. It’s good that there’s social media where I get to chat with them sometimes.

  33. Nadj
    September 26, 2018 / 4:59 am

    There are only a few people from University whom I get in touched with. But I think it’s the quality of friendship that matters. Right now with technology, phone or via social media catching up is easier.

  34. September 26, 2018 / 5:16 am

    College can be such a unique and fun time, after which everyone gets busy. I try to stay connected to friends but it’s not the same as casually hanging out like we did when we were younger. Life happens though, you are right, you definitely have to be intentional to grow friendships.

  35. September 26, 2018 / 7:13 am

    It really hard to meet with your friends and fellow after leaving university because everyone is busy in their practical lives. I seriously believe that friendship is not depending on any rules or boundaries. It doesn’t matter after how much time you’ll meet with your friends if friendship is true. By the way, love your pics. Looks stunning

  36. September 26, 2018 / 11:58 am

    In general in life, I believe that if you want something, you have to take the initiative. If you want to talk to your university friends more or see them, you have to be the one to pick up the phone. If you just sit around and wonder, nothing will ever happen.

  37. September 27, 2018 / 9:27 am

    Actually, I have more friends from my school than from University, it is hard to keep your old friends, because people change and sometimes in a bad way. I personally am a career girl and some of my friends forget what they are reaching in life and give up and start planning a family, but not because they want that kind of life, but just because they gave up trying to change the world.

  38. September 28, 2018 / 8:45 pm

    Such a great post! It really does become harder to maintain friendships after you leave university. I actually still have maintain most of my friendships that I had in university. Even though we don’t see each other much as you mentioned WhatsApp groups are a lifesaver! xx
    https://beaulife.org

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