Fair weather friendships no match for stressors of college

Friends are great. It’s always nice knowing that you have people you can talk to if you’re having a rough day. But how many friends are too many? In elementary, middle and high school, you could have all the friends in the world because you didn’t have to worry about endless amounts of homework, jobs and internships. Those years are meant for having as many friends as possible because you know you can give them all the attention they want. But that all changes when college comes around.

College is where friendships go to die. There are simply not enough hours in the day to satisfy the friendship contract with a dozen people, and therefore, it is time to start picking and choosing who to keep and who to cut ties with. Some friendships are easier to cut ties with than others, the easiest being the friends you came to college with. Do those friendships every survive college? The way I see it, your friendship counter goes back down to zero the second you accept that high school diploma in whatever hideous robe you had to wear across the stage.

It is a horrific mistake to base the college of your choice on how many of your friends also want to attend there. Outside of the cost efficiency of Oswego State, the main reason I chose to attend this university over Syracuse University and St. Johns University was that only four people from my high school came here as well, compared to 10 or 15 that were going to the other two schools of my choice. Of those four people, I have only talked to one since I came here as a freshman.

A college student should only really have three to four friends in order to be happy. Some only need one or two. Any more than five friends could end badly. Now, when I say friends, I mean good friends. I’m not talking about the "friends" that you meet for lunch once every four weeks because if you honestly think that you two are "friends" then something is clearly wrong with the way you interpret your friendship situation. When I say friends, I’m talking about those distinct people you can share everything with no matter how embarrassing or personal, and they will try their hardest to help you. I’m talking about those people that will stand up for you when you need them to. I’m talking about those people that truly care for you and want to see you succeed in life.

As a whole, we are afraid to let things go. We never want to throw things in the garbage because we feel like there is a personal connection between us and something we’ve neglected for the last year or so. Friendships are the same way. Some people can’t face the fact that a friendship is failing and will do everything in their power to bring the friendship back to the glory days. They’ll ask you if you want to see a movie or ask you if you want to go to the park or something dumb like that. And when they say no you just about get on your hands and knees and beg them to hang out with them this weekend. If you’re going to that extreme, I have some unflattering news for you: that friendship is over.

Friendships die. As sad as that sounds, it’s the truth. There’s a reason why you are no longer friends with that boy that you sat next to in third grade. People grow apart from one another as they get older. It’s human nature for this to happen. If you look closely at the word "friend" you will notice the last three letters that make up the word, "end." Friendships end. There’s a reason why they are not called frievers. Friendships don’t last forever. Do you really think that your best friend in high school is going to be by your bedside when you are 95 years old and on your final breaths?

All one needs to be truly happy is a few good friends who truly care about you. They may not always approve of what you are doing, but that just means that they are trying to protect you from harm. Three or four is all you need to make it through life happy. You will always have other friends, acquaintances as I call them, who you hang out with on occasion but would never ask them to help you with a certain problem like you would with your good friends. Don’t let Facebook tell you how many friends you have. When you find yourself in trouble, 1,423 of your 1,426 Facebook friends will dissipate into the darkness and only those three good friends will remain at your side.

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