Cutting ties to stay on track

Julianna Eveland

Friends are an important part of college, but hanging around the wrong people can be detrimental to success at Chico State.


One of the reasons I chose Chico was because it’s near to my hometown where my old “best friend for life” lived.


Born on the same day in the same city, we were soul mates from the get-go. So of course, when I went off to college, she came to visit whenever possible.

Instead of going to class, we would visit the pool. Instead of finishing a study guide, we would waste time going out. In hindsight, she and I were never good influences on each other. We were not used to being separated just yet, so when she came to visit, I blew off school.

I fooled myself into believing I could manage school and maintain a relationship that needed so much attention. I knew something had to change.

Removing people, especially the ones who are considered the closest, can be a hard feat.

As fall semester of my first year rolled on, my old friend’s Chico trips turned into overstayed visits and became a barrier to branching out at Chico State.


My lack of success in college brought ill feelings toward the friendship I felt was holding me back.


So, I made the wearisome phone call, said the painful words, stayed calm and firm in my resolve and removed the unhealthy friendship from my life.

Being too close to a situation can often render even the most cautious of people oblivious to an unhealthy relationship.


I can’t say that after the “best friend break up” everything was smooth sailing. In fact, after taking a semester off from Chico, I came back and formed yet another crippling friendship.


My new friend’s lightweight class load, abundance of cash and party agenda was a recipe for disaster.


Free drinks and weekend trips to his family home in Danville had me caught up in the life of the rich and fabulous.

I felt free from obligations to school when I was around him. It didn’t hurt that his mom thought of me like a daughter, so a feeling of safety and comfort was part of this friendship.

But again, something had to change.


My new friend was not a bad person, just a bad influence. Whether it be on weekends or weeknights, the temptation to blow off tasks became a toxicity I could not manage if I planned to reach my full potential in school.


Of course, regardless of his keen attempts at persuasion, the final decision of whether or not to partake in weeknight festivities was up to me.


The temptation was too much and I had to separate myself from the situation.


So again, I made the wearisome phone call, said the painful words and removed the unhealthy friendship from my life.

Well, not entirely. I still keep in touch with his mom.


It’s not always best friends, as in my case, that can be harmful. It could be a roommate who doesn’t understand boundaries or a painful one-way relationship that may feel worth to carrying on. Cutting ties is one of the hardest things to do in these circumstances.

Let the invasive roommate know it’s time to find a new living situation. Bring the one-way friendship to a halt.

Chico State is a difficult place to settle in and truly find a balance between hard work in school and relaxing moments on weekends.

Not everyone who comes here is destined to succeed and personal associations impact a lot of that reasoning.

It was not solely the influences of my friends that held me back from flourishing in my Chico surroundings. But, in recognizing the troubles that came from these relationships, severing ties was better for all of us.

Not every friend will be a positive guide to achieving potential, but seeking out people who are going in the same direction can be the difference between graduation or flunking out.

Julianna Eveland can be reached at [email protected] or @janeca12 on Twitter.