Don’t Trust Your Freshman Year Friends


If reality TV has taught us anything, it’s that humans, when placed under extraordinary stressors in unfamiliar environments, will do anything to survive. They’ll hunt, gather, kill their young, drink shitty vodka, pull all-nighters, and live to tell the tales. If you think you know where I’m going with this, then yes, you’re right. This is obviously a column all about how you can’t trust your freshman year friends. Solid allegorical structuring.

Well, let’s back it up a bit. I really mean that you can’t trust your freshman year first-semester friends. And by “can’t trust” I don’t mean that they’re embezzling your money and plotting to steal your boyfriend (although if that has happened to you, may I please suggest you call up Lifetime TV Network and pitch a new Movie of the Week to them? It’s all about the side hustle, ladies). I just mean that you can’t trust that your first semester freshman year friends will always be well, your friends.

And there are a few reasons for that. I mean, think about how you guys met. You were probably being forced to do an insane new student orientation game while sweating your ass off in-between being hit full force with an overwhelming desire to call your mom and ugly cry for a solid hour. On the surface you were all “happy brochure college student” but on the inside, you were about one more awkward moment away from a full mental breakdown. So what did you do to take your mind off it? Form unreasonably fast attachments to people you barely knew in an attempt to cognitive dissonance your way right out of that uncomfortable time in your life. I know I sound like that sociopath Chad from The Bachelorette right now, but stick with me.

The important takeaway here isn’t that these people aren’t your friends, it’s that most of them are friends of convenience. You stuck together because you all needed people to hang out with, not because you formed deeply personal bonds that sparked something true and deep in your souls. It’s highly likely that as you move through college, these first semester friends will fall by the wayside. Not because of anything either of you did, but because you were never really that close anyway.

Maybe you’ll all join different sororities and slowly but surely spend more and more time with your sisters and eventually choose to live with some of them next year. Maybe some of them will change their majors and suddenly you never see them because they’re always in chem lab. Inevitably, at least a few of them will get a significant other and completely fall off the face of the earth. And some of the others? Well, maybe you’ll still be friends. I don’t really know. But this is for sure: your friend group senior year will probably look pretty different from you freshman year friend group. For better or for worse.

So cherish your friends as they come and go and remember — just because they’re not all for life, it doesn’t mean they didn’t matter.

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I came for the wine, but I stayed for the complimentary appetizer sampler plate.

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