College camaraderie not always made to last past graduation

Illustration by J.Q. Hammer

I wonder if it will be out of sight, out of mind with friends I have made at Chico State.

College students live life in transition, only settling down for months at a time before packing their bags again.

I have had new neighbors and classmates every semester for the past three years. I realize these companionships are casual and perhaps not meant to last but to make people grow.

In that way, friendships come and go.

So are four years even enough time to build true camaraderie?

I do not believe bona fide friendships can be defined by time, but not all friendships are bona fide and not all friendships last.

I do not pose the question to devalue the relationships I have made at Chico State. But the convenience of these relationships is only temporary.

To put things in perspective, after high school graduation, I lost touch with high school friends who live in my neighborhood and return to my block every summer.

My friendships from high school are founded on years of attending grade school together. I will never have that sort of history with my college cohorts.

The 17,000 students attending Chico State come from different hometowns and walks of life.

While I’ve established genuine friendships in Chico, maintaining them is a two-way street. Relationships, old and new, require time and energy from both parties.

So I reiterate, will it be out of sight out of mind with college friends?

In my opinion, the friends whom students value most are the friends whom students will naturally work to keep close with after graduating.

This helps weed out average peers from true friends that nourish the soul, which makes room in life for more meaningful friendships to blossom.

It may sound harsh, but it’s reality.

Graduates can only dwell on their time in Chico for so long. Ultimately, however, they have to move forward and sometimes this means leaving friends behind.

It is not as harsh as it sounds.

In my case, forgotten friends will not be forgotten intentionally. I think it will happen subconsciously.

I foresee them fading out of my life as we make the effort to stay in touch, but over time — life happens.

Hopefully the breakups are innocent because those friendships are still important. Even the most insignificant friends, the casual classmates, the baristas I know by name but only ever talk to in Starbucks evolve a person and teach valuable life lessons.

Of course, certain friends I will never forget.

Camaraderie is not based on time. It’s based on chemistry, and I have made some unbreakable bonds with people in Chico.

Yes, some friends may be out of sight, out of mind after college. But in the not-too-distant future, Chico graduates may long for the days when so many best friends were a walk away.

Enjoy it while it lasts.

Miles Inserra can be reached at [email protected] or @m_inserra on Twitter.