Friends…? Easy Word, Complicated Definition

It is a cold, snowy day here in Grinnell. Hello, this is Oraaaaaa, and I will talk about a change that I have felt the most between high school and college life.

There is one change in the environment I felt during the first semester of college that I still ponder over. I came from a middle school and high school with an extremely small number of students. So small the school was that the norm was to know all the students and at least something special about them. Of course being in that frame of mind for six years changed my initial thought on college life. Not knowing the names of all the people in my class made me feel awkward and isolated in all of my classes.

This was all the students and some teachers from my high school.

The largest change that I felt was in the definition of the word, friend. Coming from a small high school, friends were people that I could completely rely on and trust. I would be with them for almost 7 hours and still have something interesting to talk about. Maybe I could go further to say that I did not need to think of what to say in front of my friends in high school; any topic could be expanded into an interesting talk. Here, it is completely different. Even with friends whom I meet everyday, I do not even know a fraction of their personalities. What they like, what their interests are, what motivates them, what ticks them off, the questions that flow around my head are countless. With so much unknown even with people I meet everyday, I also struggle to find an entertaining topic that fits people I am with.

The question that has been lingering in my head is whether people that I know so little about compared to friends in high school are still categorized to be friends. If so, all of the students in my high school would also fit in the category of “friends.” On the other hand, if I choose to limit friends to being the people whom I can trust everything with like my friends from high school, everyone that I have talked to in college would simply be an acquaintance. This dilemma is something that I have thought more about after coming back from winter break and seeing the difference in how I interact with friends from high school and friends from college.

Right now I am on the fence on this problem; however, I am slightly leaning towards keeping friends to being people who I completely can rely on, even though it would mean that I have close to no friends in college. Maybe it is because I have been thinking like that for around 6 years, but I have no logical reasoning to back my idea up. Three years from now, my friends from high school will still be my friends. I wonder three years from now whether people from college will be my friends from my definition now or from me loosening what “friend” means.