Relationships, like most things, require work. If you are one of the very few lucky ones, you coast through your relationships with ease, never having a problem. However, that is not the case for most people. Both parties are required to make an effort to keep it alive. It is not fair to place the burden on one person, for them to be constantly reaching out in the hopes the other person will still be there. It becomes tiring for that person. It becomes a burden for them.
It is easy to maintain a friendship when you see them five days a week. School not only nurtures your education, but your social life. It gives you a medium to make and maintain your friendships. You do not need to put in a huge amount of effort, apart from organising your seats in class. Sitting beside them in class and in lunch is enough for you to make memories and jokes that will sustain the relationship for the next coming years. These memories are paramount to your friendship. They are the things that can save you in the coming years, when it all changes.
Leaving school irrevocably and undoubtedly changes your life. You leave behind a highly structured environment that was once so familiar to you, to be replaced by a huge campus filled with hundreds of strange faces. The way of learning, socialising and living is completely different. This is unknown territory for you. Walking up the steps of the lecture hall that sits 400, trying to look inconspicuous while searching for a seat, you begin to long for the days when it was understood that your seat beside the radiator, second row, belonged to you. It was your seat. Beside it, were the people you wished to find beside you now in this lecture hall.
The people who were with you when you went through every necessarily embarrassing thing a teenager goes through.
The people who helped shape the person you are today.
The people who, unfortunately, some of which are now hard to find. Leaving school and the comforts of its structure highlights the strength of the friendships made there. It shows you which ones were based on convenience, and which ones were based on true friendship.
Forcing a friendship is no mean feat. It is not enjoyable, it is not rewarding nor is it time-worthy. Convenience is not enough anymore. Maintaining and sustaining a friendship requires both parties to put in effort. To put in effort in maintaining contact, to put in effort to meeting up. These things are necessary to keep alive the same sense of camaraderie that was felt in school.
If you are left the one constantly pursuing, it becomes more like a chore. Something you are forced to do. This creates bitterness, resentment and spoils the friendship.
There comes a time when you have to accept that it may be time to cut the ties. The ties that were founded on embarrassing stories, laughter-inducing memories and shared secrets. It is sad. It is hard. But not as hard as forcing something that doesn’t want to be forced. Friendship is a two way street. Let them make the effort. See if they come over to your side for a change. But don’t stand there waiting for them, flagging them down. The ball is in their court now. Let’s just hope that if, and when, they come to your side, you will still be there waiting for them.