Welcome back to our regular feature offering advice to students on aspects of family/friend/personal relationships. In the hot-seat is Rosie, a former 6th former at Kesgrave High School and a founder member of the Student Life steering group.
When it comes to new beginnings, one of the most prominent aspects of a new start is friendships. Whether you are finishing GCSE’s and going to college, or sixth-form, or are a sixth-form student going on to university, the friends we keep are often very unpredictable.
It sounds harsh to say it, but the majority of high school friendships don’t last long outside of school. We all move on to bigger and better things, and sure, some people will stay by our side forever, however many of our friendships will dissolve.
My attitude towards this has often been very simple; if I want to keep a friend in my life, make the effort, and if they put the effort back in then great! But if they don’t, then its not a friendship worth hanging on to. Anyone who has experienced the GCSE to A Level transformation will know exactly what I’m talking about. We all have our friendship group, maybe a small group, or maybe a big one, but a group that we’re pretty sure will last forever. News flash for you, it won’t. Within the first week of sixth form, my live-together, die-together group were already scattered across three separate areas of the school at lunchtimes as opposed to the years we all spent in a form room together every single school day. Every year we still have a big get together and go camping, but other than that, very few of us keep in close contact.
However, this in ways has been a positive thing. I know that the old squad will always be there for me, and I’m confident that we will continue our yearly meets for at least another few years, but I spent every break and lunchtime with these guys for five years straight. Every weekend I was meeting up with the group, every house party was with this group, and I never stepped outside the group. In that five years, I made very few new friends, and those new friendships I did make were often a result of other people introducing a new member to the group. Socially, whilst I had a group of very close friends, I was highly unsocial; I made no new contacts, I didn’t attempt to communicate with others, because I had ‘found my friends’, as if they were the only ones in existence.
But when you move on from that group and a dynamic change occurs, such as the GCSE transition into A Levels, with that comes new friendships……I promise, and it’s one of the best experiences ever. Sure, A Levels were a seemingly neverending pit of despair, but the new friendships I made helped me through and made me love the experience. And, I have a feeling these friendships will last even longer than those that are already 5 years old, because you help each other through more. GCSE’s bond you through a shared experience of colouring-in for homework, gimmicky science lessons and a shared love of making up nicknames for teachers. But further education bonds you through stress, life-changing exams, heartbreak, family problems, drama, real-life problems, and that’s why these bonds are so much stronger.
Your friends will still be there, I can almost guarantee it. I’m not saying they are gone forever, but what I am saying is that when this September rolls around, be prepared to lose a few friends in exchange for some new ones. Even going from your first to second year of sixth-form or college will throw your friendship group off, and bring in new people, or lose a few.
I’ve already been in contact with people who will be going to university with me in September, and have already learnt about loads of them, but even when I start, it’s highly unlikely that I will end up friends will all of them. More likely, I will end up friends with people I currently don’t even know exist! Be willing to let your friendship group change, because it will, whether you like it or not, but trust me; it’s for the better.