Why Friendships in Your Twenties are the Hardest to Keep
Even without being in the same situation, true friendships will overcome our different situations.
Words by Amy Gibson
Friendships are a strange thing, you find someone that you like a bit more than other people, tell them everything about your life and do stuff with them. Sometimes though, just as quickly as you build these relationships, they can fizzle out. If I look at who I consider my closest friends now, compared to six months ago, there’s a few changes that I could not have expected. I guess it’s because friends can be made through different channels like school, university, work or even through mutual friends but all of these can be quite variable. You won’t stay in education forever, and it’s unlikely you’ll stay in the same job (and if you do the people around you will change) so naturally all friendships will evolve and develop.
Friends often bond over a shared common interest, at school that’s pretty easy. At secondary school in particular, I had some friends that I thought would always be a part of my life but the thing that united us is that we were all in the same boat. We all had to take our GCSEs at the same time, we all experienced the same stress, a common dislike for a particular science teacher and the same frustration with our hideous uniforms. During A Levels, some friendships changed as people left school to do apprenticeships, but very few of my friends did. My school years were amazing (even with a crappy science teacher) and some friends have stood the test of time, but not many. The summer after I finished school was the best of my life. I was out several nights a week with friends, enjoying our newfound freedom. We could drive at last, had no bills, no responsibility and looked forward to the new chapters of our lives. Those memories will last a lifetime, and I’ll always be grateful for the people that I had around me.
About a week before I went to university, I went to get my eyebrows waxed and tinted (not overly relevant to the story but oh well). The beauty therapist asked me if I was nervous, and I remember telling her that I wasn’t worried because I already had enough friends here, so if I didn’t make any new friends then it wouldn’t matter. When I got to uni I tried to hold down friendships, a few friends from home came to visit but as they went travelling or got a job their priorities changed and so did mine. I told myself to only bother with people who put the same amount of effort in with me and got a new outlook on friendships because of it. I was forced to recognise that I no longer had the same interests as the friends I had left behind, and without that common ground, we just didn’t all seem compatible anymore. It was sad, but just another stage of life, and now I had a common interest with the people I met at uni and they became a new group of close friends.
I graduated last summer, some university friends I still regularly catch up with and some (who I again thought would always be around) I have hardly spoken to since graduation. Since coming home, I have re-kindled friendships with old friends, started a new job, made new friends and lost a few friends. I have three friends in particular that I have known for over ten years who I consider my closest, one stayed at home and went to uni, one went travelling and one left education early and has been working since. Even without being in the same situation, true friendships will overcome our different situations. As I go further into my twenties, some friends I’ve had now have houses, mortgages, children and entirely different priorities to me. I’m working and saving whilst living at home and don’t really know what the future holds. It’s always going to be difficult to maintain every friendship I make because our lives are just so changeable, especially at this age. I am truly grateful for everyone that I have considered a friend at some point because they’ve shaped me and given me some of my greatest memories. At some point I’m sure I will rekindle more friendships, make new friends and lose others but that’s the way life goes. My twenties are bound to get harder, and the positions that others my age are in will become even more diverse, but as long as I can always keep a close knit group with me to support me and vice-versa, then I’m more than happy with that.