To most of us, college sounds great, and that’s fine, because it is. We all know that the worlds of college and high school are somehow closer, though there are many parallels that we can draw between the two. Basically, high school life introduces you to the senses of what adulthood will feel like. On the other side, college life allows you the opportunity to take charge of your adult life responsibilities and who you wish to become.

As long as you don’t stray off course, you’ll be good to go. Work hard and have fun a bit. We’re talking about maintaining a healthy balance, as that’s the most essential key to pushing through college.

Besides that, there are chances that you’ll meet and make new friends in both worlds. Maybe you thought that leaving your high school friends would be the most difficult about joining college, and admittedly, we all have many pals from back at home whom we’re still very close with. However, there are notable differences between high school and college friends, as explored in this article. Keep reading.

high school friends vs college friends

High School Friends Vs College Friends

College Friends Are More Mature

It’s not uncommon to talk about such jokes as malls, crushes and dreams while in high school, right? Well, this rings true especially for girls, but even boys find themselves inside this box as well. Your high school pals might have changed time and again, but some topics just won’t leave your present conversations, despite your efforts to avoid them. This is especially true for those of us who had a sweetheart in high school. You might find yourself talking about that person no matter how hard you had tried to avoid hearing it.

How about college friends? They’re extremely different. Yes, the friends you meet in college are more mature. While you hang out with them, you’ll hear talks such as building families, making money, side hustles, stress, depression, responsible drinking, parties, jobs after graduation, internships, and such.

Friends and Diversity

If you were told to place your high school friends under categories, then there would be, without a doubt, the popular ones, the bullies, and the underdogs, yeah? You see, style wasn’t cultivated during high school life as all of you were almost the same age, plus you all wore school uniforms. Apart from these, it’s also true to say that you had the same aspirations and views of life. Let’s see what college friends are in respect to diversity.

In college, the individuals you meet have different personalities and cultural backgrounds, so that we’re able to interact with punks, weirdos, and jocks. You’ll also meet these chaps that are way too older than you, but they’re in college because education has been christened ‘’the key to success’’. No matter the kind of friend you meet in college, one sure thing you can expect is that each of them will let you view life from a different lens; according to their beliefs and values.

Such a rich diversity also goes a long way to make you open-minded, which is one trait almost all employers look for when recruiting suitable candidates.


It goes without saying high school has got a high level of familiarity as compared to college. You realize that you high school buddies are people you grew up with, which implies that they’ve seen you grow from a rowdy nursery kid to an awkward teenager. And they know more about you than you can ever imagine.

When it comes to college friends, the new friends you make know you only by what you’ve said about yourself; what you’ve let them discover about you. What this means is that it’s possible to have your college friends believe that you’re actually the person you said you are, even if it means faking it all. Also, it means that you can easily be anything you desire to be and rebrand yourself without them comparing your present life to your past self.

Level of Intimacy

Now, you’ll realize that almost all points in the list of high school friends vs college friends boil down to intimacy. There is someone you always give more kisses and hugs than other friends. This means that you don’t have a physical attachment to every of your pals, right?

Well, as they say, college buddies get closer and closer by every time they hang out together, as compared to high school friends who get to see each other mostly during reunions. This doesn’t imply that the latter don’t or can’t bond as frequently as the former, though. You know, it depends with your priorities, who you can find worthy of your trust and time, etc. Friends should be people you can have some good time together. You should be able to joke around with them, slap and spank them when need be without anyone getting hurt, all in the spirit of having good times together. Do you get the idea?


Truth be told, most of your high school friends were you next door neighbors. Others were blocks away from your apartment. Save for your decision to join college, there’s probably nothing else that can keep you off from remaining in contacts with them. On the other hand, your college friend could be your classmate, or even your door mate, with whom you share the same hostel. That means that they see you on a daily basis and as such know more intimate stuff like who’s your girlfriend, where you hand your undergarments, and why you hate bathing!

That speaks volumes about how they’ve become sort of a new home to you.

They’re Friends for Different Reasons

College will see most students start to put together the pieces of their future. That’s when you realize that you actually require little help from your pals, as serious life issues are personal investments after all. Besides your social groupings, you’ll have to make for classroom and work friends.

High school friends don’t really need to create connections, but it’s overly essential for college friends to create networks that will go a long way to help them land their dream careers. While it may feel disingenuous and intimidating at first, it’s better to navigate connections that can help you establish a career before you grow old. The friends you make while in college are very helpful when it comes to navigating professional career life. This explains why missing a hang-out planned by your friends would mean that you’re missing a lot.

high school friends vs college friends

College Friends Have More Freedom

It’s quite clear that high school life doesn’t come with a lot of freedom, but college life does. This means that college friends are more independent both mentally and physically. You are away in college, where your parents aren’t around to set ground rules or place a curfew regarding how your weekend should feel like.

You can spend time with buddies till late night wherever you feel like. You also get the freedom to pursue engagements, and sometimes serious engagements, that you wouldn’t have pursued before. Sadly, it’s at this particular point of excess freedom that most college friends choose to go overboard, effectively ruining their chances of keeping the grades up, and forgetting about their safety. This is not to mean that you shouldn’t take advantage of new-found freedom to do all the things you’ve been craving for and to make everlasting memories, but you should do it responsibly.


Every friendship you make grows better and stronger, or worse and weaker. They say that friendships are like wines, they taste better when older. Unlike with college friends, high school friends spend a really many years together, from nursery school to intermediate, or high school. This deepens the bond you share with them. You see, these high school buddies have been part of your growth. Recall the day you feigned illness to avoid an examination. Or the day you refused to attend school to go and enjoy yourself out in the rains and mud? Think about that, who was beside you, warned you at first but then joined you?

That crime partner of yours, someone you’ll live to hold dear. On the other hand, college friends don’t have ample time and space to become partners in crime, nor do they get the opportunity to grow their new-found friendship. You see, most college friendships last up to a maximum of 6 years, which is the duration that many courses are scheduled to take. Additionally, this small duration comes with lots of activity and classwork, which denies friendships the chance of becoming stronger.

High School Friends Vs College Friends: Time Spent Together

Time spent together is in real terms the major thing that sets apart high school friends from college friends. In high school, you are seeing your buddies consistently, maybe during sports time or extracurricular activities after classes. You share less freedom because you’re still living under your mom’s roof, so it’s almost impossible to hang out whenever and wherever you want. You bond on small shared experiences such as your recent breakup with Tom. This simple yet consistent regimen strengthens your friendships while in high school. Join college and you’ll be surprised.

College friends are a unique breed as a whole. You’ll realize that college friends can spend up to twenty hours together. Yes, twenty hours. Surely, they become more of a family than students, so much that they know about each other’s smallest details. Additionally, they share the same social circles, so any gossip is still relevant. On the other hand, there are chances that college friends are doing their own stuff and they’ve different schedules. This usually allows buddies to have a slight separation because after all, all that time spent together is still a lot of good time together.

Chances are that you lived with your family fulltime throughout your high school life, but in college, it’s not uncommon to live far away from them. While in high school, you could expect to meet your friends the next day and during weekends and holidays to share the latest gossip in town. However, your college friends are certainly going to be different from your high school pals. When you live away in college, you just can’t wake up and rush home for comfort whenever you’re facing difficulties.

Instead, your college friends have got your back whenever you want advice if you scored low grades in some subject you studied really hard for. Got a new job promotion? Call your college friends and celebrate that achievement together. What this means is that your college friends should be your go-to whenever you’re faced with hardships. Always make sure to call on them whenever you feel that you’ve no one to turn to. You see, college has never been an easy feat, so stay together and stress together.

high school friends vs college friends

High School Friends Vs College Friends: Why They Matter

You’ll realize that your old high school friends still hold onto the perception of your high school you. But the thing with college and other institutions of tertiary education is that rebrand yourself into whatever image you want. The second you step into college; you’re literally given a restart button. This should be the foundation that your new true self should rest on. That is what is more important after all- improving a bit by bit no matter how horrible your past is. Your college friends eat, live and study with you.

Yes, they also party with you, so they’re your newest crew in town. And probably none of you is exactly the same way you’re while in high school, so you’re able to learn and improve together. Such conversations are a sure great way to stimulate your brain and learn new ideas together. The thing is, both your high school and college friends were or are your friends for a reason- you can always rely on them anytime.

Don’t miss our guide to making friends in college. Read more here!

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