Freshmen, what I am about to say may seem harsh, but c’est la vie: in four years, you will be able to count the number of people from high school that you hang out with or even talk to on one hand.

Most of these relationships will not end with a big argument or a major crisis, but rather through apathy and distance. People outgrow each other. Example: in a sense, we have all outgrown our parents. We love them and need them on an emotional (and sometimes financial) level, but most college students do not rely on Mom and Dad to make their life decisions anymore.

Few at Fairfield are the same person they were in high school, and if you are, than you should not be proud of maintaining the intellect and emotional maturity of a 15-year-old. People back home whom I had socialized with on a regular or semi-regular basis might as well be strangers for all we have in common anymore (“So, you’re dating a married couple…how, uh, nice?”). I once heard someone say that when old friends have nothing new to talk about, they simply recollect memories together rather than create new ones. After a time, it becomes repetitive and draining, so each party quietly lets the relationship fade away.

In contrast, my parents and other adults whom I know keep in touch with several college buddies. Why do so many more college friendships outlast high school friendships? There are both practical and emotional reasons. This past weekend, I was on a road trip with my fiancée and two of our best friends. Being trapped in a car for a few hours with nowhere else to go, we relied on one another to entertain ourselves and keep an eye out for speed traps on the Mass Pike. In between tollbooths, we waxed poetic on everything from misogyny to Poison, the beloved 80s hair band.

This never happened in high school for the practical reason that I didn’t have a license until January of my senior year (even then I was the only one of my friends who drove) and no car of my own. I believe we also place greater emotional weight on college friendships because we watch each other grow from teenagers to adults (though I will concede that many of us probably know a 23-year-old who still laughs at page 69 of any book).

I have faith in my Fairfield friendships, but I know nothing is certain except for death and taxes (and if you’re crafty and good with numbers, maybe you can avoid the second one). I am going to try, which is all I can do, and hope that they will do the same. Even if we do lose contact, my friends will have to remember me; I’ll be in pictures in their wedding albums.

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