Research shows that only one percent of the total friendships from school continue till later in life due to a number of different reasons. The media and movies, however, glamorize long-lasting friendships, regardless, making the lived experiences of the transition from teenage to adulthood seem out of place.
Speaking for those who had a bunch of friends at school, back then it was difficult to imagine life without them. As time passes, and the space that one occupies, physically and otherwise, not only the imagination of life without those friends becomes possible, but the reality of life without them itself. One begins to realise the impossibility of this future from the perspective of the past, and goes about life believing that “losing friends is a part of growing up.” However, is it that simple?
A study reported by ‘The Conversation’ shows that only one percent of the total friendships from school last till later in life. Looking at these figures in comparison to the number of times “friends forever” is repeated during the simple days of school is not only appalling, it is funny. As mentioned, school days are simpler, at least in retrospect. The bars and check boxes of liking and disliking someone are based on proximity, common nemesis, popularity in school, opinions about teachers, and things of the sort. However, as we commence life after school, and take this journey of what most people would say is “self-discovery,” the perception of the self, as opposed to that of others becomes a determining factor in the kind of relationships we form, as we go along.
Especially, in the current times of political turmoil, the philosophy of “we can disagree and still be friends” is demeaning, among all other things. Differences in political opinions are one of the major reasons for growing apart nowadays, especially when all incidents have been completely polarized into two differing directions. Where still-the-same-friendship, and not-in-touch-anymore look like the two binaries of an old friendship from the outside, things on the inside are much more complicated. There are days when one feels like “friendship is political” is the only correct stance, but there are also those days when one scrolls through old conversations, and the past and the present don’t seem to connect except in the hope to either return to the simple days of the past, or for things to be simpler in the present.
There is no doubt about the fact that as a person knows and grows after stepping out of school, they pick up other people along the way based on other similarities and connections. And, with time, the WhatsApp group chats that were the most active once upon a time, become the most useless, screaming through the mobile-phone screen to be left and deleted. With time, the chat windows that were always on top of the screen move to the archived chats. With time, the shared celebrations become opposite reactions or instances of complete indifference. However, it is with the friends from school that the promises and hopes of staying-in-touch-always seem to have the most substance and weight.
Research has shown that is completely normal to grow apart once common interests divert and priorities change. It is also completely normal, that names, in most cases, are the only things in people that remain the same. It is normal because human beings, unlike things are living, breathing, changing beings, and the shared lives that they live keep constantly changing with or without their will and wish. In this change, one just loses that capability of feeling good with old-friends anymore.
Alfisha Sabri is a student pursuing English Literature at University of Delhi.
Edited By: Malaika M Khan
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.