Let’s take a moment to say Congratulations on finishing the HSC! you have worked hard, now you get to have a few months or years off from the books and the study. The ATAR grind is over forever. But now you have new things to focus on that during school did not even occur to you.
School is an amazing environment to make friends, some may think it’s hard but trust me; in terms of keeping up with the people you care about and staying involved, being outside of that high school environment, things change. You don’t see them 5 days a week every week of the year, you guys aren’t cracking jokes and being there every second. The end of High School can be very lonely and isolating. You may feel as if everyone has deserted you and to a certain extent that’s true. You and your friends are no longer on the same trajectories, you all have gone from having the exact same goals and motivations to completely different Universities, Countries, Courses and Disciplines. That does not mean your friends don’t like you anymore, it just means you’ve got something new to deal with, making effort.
Before the end of High School, all of your friendships were wrapped in a neat little bow at school and you have organized times to have banter and good times. Long gone are the days of recess and lunch, now are the days of coffee and drinks after work (if you’re 18 that is…). This starts to give you some perspective, who actually around you want to make that effort, who is going to make plans and stick to them. There is a tough period of time after HSC that I called ‘The Cleanse’. It was a period of time where people who I’d see in High School and were close friends just sort of stopped. People you saw everyday just disappeared, and even when you try to hang with them plans just don’t stick.
Don’t give up, because among all of the people who say they would love to see you for coffee or would happily catch a drink with you after a class then cancel 2 minutes before, you managed to sift through and find the people who are constantly reliable, constantly eager to hang out with you. You find the people you can truly trust and can rely on. You may feel like you’ve lost some great wealth of friends, but you’re losing fool’s gold, and in return you gain diamonds – friends who you’ll keep till the day you’re old and wrinkly. Cherish those people, be there for them as they would for you. Pay it forward and be caring to them, because at the end of the day, they may be all you’ve got. Nurture the people who nurture you.