Not worth your time.

Once you enter college, your high school friends will have no more impact on you than the grade you received in sophomore gym class. It’s in college where you’ll meet your lifelong friends.

That’s what I thought, at least. Turns out I couldn’t be more wrong.

In college, high school friendships are always talked about as something that fades away eventually as college progresses, either due to distance or because the friendships were superficial to begin with.

I found the opposite of this to be true, especially after being home to Pennsylvania and getting to spend time with a couple of my friends from high school.

I’ve realized that as I’ve grown and matured in college, so have some of my friends from high school.

This maturing process in college and a step back from the constant social interaction with my high school friends made me realize how cool some of them were.

One of my friends from high school named Maya is a prime example of this. We were in the same grade and attended the same school together since the second grade.

Our closeness in high school came from our time spent in our high school’s audition choir as well as in the theater department. A shared experience where our friendship grew the most was when we both acted in the musical “Into the Woods” our senior year. Our similar interests but different friend groups for most of high school meant we didn’t become close until our senior year.

Flash forward to my first semester of college, when I was neck-deep in Indiana snow, homework and a new school environment.

Because of these things, I was feeling a tad lonely and missing home and my friends. I decided to send Maya a letter in the mail, which began a long line of letters that we sent back and forth, bringing us closer than we had ever been in high school.

This friendship taught me something valuable that I hadn’t fully grasped in high school: just because a male is close to a female, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are romantically involved.

But I’m not just friends with those who were in the same grade as me. I have another friend named Ted. Ted was a freshman whom I befriended when I was a senior in high school.

The first constant interaction I can remember with Ted was when he sat at my senior lunch table first semester. A lot of my friends at the table picked on Ted because he was a freshman, so I ended up standing up for him a lot of the time.

Since we were three grades apart, we didn’t have any classes together, so a majority of our socializing came from playing a ton of video games, ranging from Overwatch to League of Legends. We mostly played after school and late into the night.

Our friendship while we were in high school together only lasted one year because of our age difference, but after my graduation, we hung out frequently during the summer in person with many of the people we played video games with.

Once I shipped off to college, Ted and I kept in touch through playing video games with the same high school group of friends, many of whom were now in college. But after a bit, that group disbanded.

However, even though the group fell apart, Ted and I still kept in contact with one another. I felt like I was at a great place to give him advice about high school since he has many of the same interests in high school that I did, such as the school newspaper and choir.

Looking back, I can see that the majority of the time that Ted and I have been friends is outside of high school. Just like Maya, it was the intentional hanging out that made our friendship truly blossom.

Don’t get me wrong. A majority of the friends I had in high school I barely talk to now.

But the ones that I do remain in contact with are intentional friendships that have grown stronger than they ever were in high school.