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Peer Predicaments

Written by Ren Monin

Well into the second semester of the school year, it seems at least some of the idyllic friendships forged in the crisp fall are beginning to crumble. ‘Friend breakups’ are real. Nothing can last forever, and though it will hurt like crazy, here are some of the best things I’ve learned over the course of my friendships to help you understand, cope, and grow.

The very first thing you need to do is reflect on what went wrong. And more specifically, what went wrong that was in your control. In most situations, there is no one person who is completely right and completely wrong. And you cannot change the past, nor can you change how other people behave and what they do. You can control, however, the way you act. Recognize and accept what mistakes you made, and learn from them.

If the situation was relatively minor, or the friend is someone very dear to you, an apology may be enough to save – or even strengthen – the friendship. Make sure you start with taking responsibility, then move into a very brief explanation of why you behaved in that manner. If you have anything that the other person did that bothered you, summarize what happened and how it made you feel and why next. Then, you should acknowledge what you did again, and express your desire to understand their perspective and work things out. Open communication on both ends works surprisingly well in resolving these kinds of issues!

Unfortunately, some issues cannot be resolved so simply. Inevitably, you will eventually lose someone who was once close to you. And it sucks, it really does. But it isn’t the end of the world, even if it may feel like it for a while. Make sure you stay respectful of your former friend and try to avoid talking about them behind their back. I’ll admit that I’m guilty of this, but in the long run it cannot help the situation and only makes things worse.

If you’re feeling lonely, go out and spend some time with other people! Attend club activities, campus events, or even just strike up a conversation in Commons one night! Roanoke is a community, and in my experience, you’ll always have someone to rely on.