The Devil’s Advoctes

Q: Why does college change people so much? My friend and I seem to be growing apart so much ever since we got to college. We went to high school together, and now it’s our junior year. We have been friends for over 10 years, and it seems that now I see her with a completely new set of eyes. She has changed so much. She used to be quiet and shy, and now she’s just out of control. She’s always going out with her other friends and never has time for me anymore. It almost seems like she’s trying to wipe me out of her life so that she can start a new one with another crowd. She doesn’t even spend as much time with her family anymore. I’m over at her house more than she is. I just want things to go back to the way they were in high school. Most of all, I want my friend back.

-Pushed Outta the Pic

Dear Pushed,

That is what college is for: people should be expected to change. Granted, it is never good when people change for the worse when they go to college, but it does not seem that your friend has done that. She has simply grown into a sociable extrovert.

You say that you are used to her being “shy” and “quiet.” Is that because in the past you were used to dominating your relationship and she willingly went along with everything you said? It almost seems as if you miss having a fan club. But guess what? Ten years of bootlicking can really begin to irk people. It is about time that your friend developed a mind of her own, and more importantly, begin to use it. I applaud her efforts toward change and independence.

Your friend has used college as an opportunity to step out of her comfort zone and try new things, and maybe you should do the same. She has made new friends, so why don’t you try the same thing? Change is good. Besides, just because the two of you lead different lives does not mean your friendship has to end. In the end, your relationship will be strengthened.

Q: My best friend is a girl. And this is a real problem. We spend so much time together that when there really is a girl around that I may be interested in dating, the other girl is scared away by my friend. Of course, my friend doesn’t do anything to scare them away. It’s just the fact that my best friend is a girl that scares away other girls. And I don’t know why. My friend is a complete tomboy and isn’t a threat to anyone. What am I supposed to do?

-One Too Many Girls

Dear One,

Your problem is funny. I always find that whenever I go to a bar with a friend who appears to be my significant other, the notion of being “taken” makes me more attractive to the opposite sex. People always want what they know they cannot have; it’s human nature. But you have just blown that theory out of the water!

I am not going to tell you to drop your best friend so that your potential mates will not feel threatened. I feel that it is all a question of where your loyalties and priorities lie. How important is this friendship to you?

Just think about one of Ricki Lake’s old episodes and the tidbit of advice she gives at the end: Boyfriends and girlfriends come and go, but friendships last forever.