“Many people will walk in and out of your life, but only true friends will leave footprints in your heart”Eleanor Roosevelt
After finishing my degree and starting my first job during the pandemic, this year has been a strange one when it comes to friendships- and we’ve all faced new challenges when maintaining relationships during this tough year of turmoil.
But when it comes to friendships, it seems it isn’t unusual to see change, differences, and problems as you begin to navigate adult life- even without the added pressure of the pandemic. As you get older and enter your 20s and 30s, friendships change- and I think as your priorities change, so do the people surround yourself with.
I’ve noticed a few changes in my friendships as I’ve left University, especially throughout the pandemic. With the constant lockdown restrictions in place after I graduated from University, my friendships have become more about meeting with smaller groups, and changing my priorities as I get older.
To understand how friendships change and grow as you reach your 20s, I asked 6 bloggers to give me their opinion- and help others understand how to navigate friendship in adult life.
Speaking from experience, my friendships have changed an awful lot as I’ve gotten older. I used to think I was fairly dependant on a large group of friends, however now I can look back and know a big group of friends was just not for me.
As I’ve gotten older and settled down raising a family, I’ve changed what I want out of a friend. Someone with similar interests is important but also somebody who understands the importance of life with a young family and how difficult it can be to find time for yourself! I lost a lot of friends who didn’t necessarily understand that before.
I do think as well that there are people from when you leave school or leave a job that you think you will stay in touch with, but it’s definitely easier said than done! We all have the best intentions of staying friends with people and keeping them a part of your life, but life is busy and it can get in the way sometimes.
For me personally, my friendships have become low maintenance. We no longer live out of each other’s pockets. We don’t constantly need to be in contact but when we do get in touch it’s like nothing has changed. Especially during covid when visiting others has been prohibited- we made do with Zoom and a group chat.
As we all grow up, move out, move on, and find our own lives- we still find time to casually fall in and out of each other’s company. But we never find the time to fall out because, what’s the point? I even notice a difference in boundaries and tolerance of each other. We won’t take crap, nor will we allow others in our friendship group to dish it out. We’re upfront because we’re all getting too old for playground nonsense.
Overall, I just feel so much more at peace with my friendships now than I ever did before.
As you grow into an adult, you will notice that your friendships will start to change. Situational friendships from school or college might not last like you think they would, but that’s okay! I have found that as you may not get to spend as much time with people due to work or uni, you realise who makes an effort with you, and who you gravitate towards.
I’ve also learnt that you don’t have to be friends with everybody. Mental health is so important, and who you spend your time with has a huge influence on your mental health. My main priority now is spending time with people that make me feel happy.
Making friends in your 20s is not the easiest. Almost all of us go through that moment in life where there’s school, work, kids, and schedules that make it impossible to meet people. You realise as you grow up that not everyone is there to stay, and that’s absolutely fine. You grow and change- it’s inevitable.
Friendships will be looking different than when everything was about sharing a toy at kindergarten, or a bit of lunch.
All you need to know is that, no matter what the circumstances when you feel at your lowest, the ones that stay will be there for you. Maybe it’s not constant texting as it used to be in high school, but the best you can find is even one person that will be there to lend you an ear and listen or give up on everything to help you.
Your 20s is a transition period. It’s so different post-college because all of your friends are in different stages. Some people get married and have kids right away, others focus on careers and graduate school, and a few do neither or all of the above. It’s harder to stay in touch with people because everyone is so busy.
Friendships become more about quality than quantity. It’s more about taking the time to see and stay in touch with the most important people in your life.
Your 20s is a time that many people outgrow old friendships. People tend to drift apart as a result of shifting priorities and major life changes. Like relationships, strong friendships require open communication and trust.
Friendship in your 20s has been mostly for me figuring out what kind of friends people are, whether they’re just friends you have fun with, or the kind of friends you can call- snot-crying.
Learning to communicate better what we might need from one another is also important. As an empathetic mother-hen I used to give give give to my friends until I had nothing for myself. The past few years I’ve put up helpful boundaries, like delaying a supportive FaceTime if I feel too drained – or asking for help when I need it.
Have you noticed a change in navigating your friendships in your 20s? Are your friends different now than when you were in school? How do you navigate post-lockdown friendship?
Let me know all your thoughts in the comments below 🙂
Happy reading x
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