Generally speaking, the people you walk into high school with are not the ones you will walk out with. However, it’s not always because you hate each other’s guts. From my time spent at Mills, I’ve found that the picturesque preconception we imagine high school to be like is in reality, far from the truth. With the new environment and welcoming attitudes, it’s in our human nature to be attracted to new people (platonically) and romantically).

A freshman at Mills anonymously stated, “I think its the environment people are in that makes people change [friend] groups.” As teenagers are easily influenced by the actions of others and tend to notice what’s “cool and trendy,” it can lead them to make decisions with unintentional repercussions. These decisions may lead you to hang out with a new set of friends, but it does not necessarily mean this effect is a negative one.

The number of new people we are exposed to in high school can be another factor that leads to friend groups separating. The same freshman stated that she was simply seeking out new people. While you all have strong bonds with a group of people you’ve been with for years, it can get a little dull at times. High school presents the opportunity for people to explore different aspects of themselves and meet new people with the same interests along the way. Although it seems cliche, building new friendships with people who share your interests, but not personality, is a good thing.

According to another freshman, we need to be aware that people change and so do we. Like mentioned before, just because you are not close with a certain group of people anymore, does not mean that you will never talk to them again or that you were the only reason why you drifted from them. Relationships are a two-way street (and sometimes much more complex than that within a group). If someone is drifting apart from friends, chances are it’s not simply “all their fault.”

One of the many faults of high school is the stereotype about popularity. Although none of us want to believe that popularity gets to our heads, it has probably unknowingly happened to us once or twice, if not more. In some cases, the popularity game is what fuels people to separate from their greatest friends.

Even though this is an ugly truth of high school, we need to acknowledge the fact that people deal with losing friends in different ways. While it may sound mean, some people may even want a break from the same friends they have known for years, simply wanting a closer look at what else high school has to offer.

However, some people perceive talking to new people as creating a new friend group. While this may be the case in some situations, we need to accept the fact that sometimes friends come and go. You can never tell when it will happen, but you have to enjoy the time and memories that you made together. In most situations, separated friend groups are still friendly with one another and share an abundance of inside jokes.

While it is common for friend groups to change in high school, it is possible to have the same general friend group throughout your childhood and teenage years. Once you reach adulthood however, you’ll look back and be grateful of the friends that you have, along with the people who helped become the person you are today.