3 Tips for Balancing Old Friends and New Friends

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Once you've managed to break out of your shell in college, you're undoubtedly going to find yourself with a whole new circle of friends. This is a great thing because now you have a group of people to hang out with, study with, and enjoy all that college has to offer. However, you may now find yourself with a bit of a dilemma: how do you balance spending time with your awesome new college friends, while still keeping in touch with your amazing old high school friends?

It can be tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be a friendship guru. Here are three tips to help you balance your social life, and make new friends while still keeping your old ones.

1. Make the Effort.

It can be so easy to brush off your old friends for plans with your new ones. After all, your new friends are all at the same school, doing the same things, and having tons of new experiences. Your old friends, on the other hand, can be miles and hours away, and you might feel like you can go months without seeing them and still have the same die-hard relationship.

Even though these assumptions may be true, it's important to put in the effort with your old friends anyway. Rather than just typing a quick Facebook wall post, why not call your high school BFFs or Skype them for a virtual coffee date every so often? If you're all living far away from each other, arrange to meet back home for a weekend so you can balance the weight of traveling. Another idea is to alternate visits, with an old friend coming to your school one weekend, and you going to hers another.

It may feel easier to just stay in your new social bubble, but making a little effort is worth it to keep connected with these older friends.

2. Compromise.

You can't please everyone all the time, and sometimes spending time with one circle of friends will mean missing out on spending time with the other. The important thing is to compromise and not choose the same group all the time.

For example, if your high school BFF is having a Halloween party one weekend, but you want to go out with your college friends instead, let her know that you're sorry you have to miss it, and make sure to go to her next get-together, even if it means missing another party at school.

At the end of the day, it's hard to pick and choose, but compromising and explaining that your other friend invited you first will usually spare everyone's feelings. We're all trying to balance our old relationships with our new ones, so hopefully your friends will be understanding. Also, remember to be understanding yourself if one of your friends has to blow you off for another. It happens, and if they're a good friend, they'll make it up to you one way or another.

3. Introduce Them.

This is my favorite solution for balancing old and new friends at college. I love going to visit my friends from high school and meeting their new college friends while I'm there - it's a great way to expand your circle of friends and create a best-of-both-worlds scenario.

So invite your high school friends to your college, or bring a college friend to your hometown for the weekend. Usually, since they have you in common, everyone will get along just fine. Even if they don't become BFFs right away, they can usually find enough common ground to get along for a night or two.

Finally, remember this when meeting your friends' friends: even if they're not your cup of tea, your friend obviously sees something she likes in them, so they are worth trying to get to know. By introducing everyone to one another, you can join your circle of friends so that all the balancing gets a little easier.

Let's Hear It!

How do you balance your new college friends with your old high school friends? Have they all met? Did they get along with each other? Tell us your story in a comment below!

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