Realizing That You're Losing Full Custody of Your Friends is a Bittersweet Thing

There are a lot of things I don't miss about college. Trying to fake my way through math class, for example. I don't miss that. Not knowing what I wanted to do with my life was annoying. I'm glad that's over. Crying because a boy I thought I was in love with freshman year didn't love me back is another thing. That hurt. I don't miss that.

But there are some things I miss more than I ever could have imagined I would when they were just part of my normal life. For example, I really miss going to the dining hall on Sunday mornings with my best friends and eating a million Belgian waffles as we talked about that weekend's antics. This is probably why I gained the freshman 15, but I'd still go back and do it again in a second.

My friends and I all lived in the same building, or else we lived within a half mile radius of each other. We'd converge in our pajamas with our messy buns and smeared eyeliner to talk for hours. None of us had any real obligations, though we certainly felt like we did at the time. Some of us had boyfriends, sure, but our main focus was each other. It was awesome.

As much as I love getting older because I love feeling confident in myself and knowing what I want and having some disposable income and knowing what kinds of clothes look good on my body, I also miss having full custody of my friends.

While I love nothing more than seeing my friends fall in love, get married, and have kids, a teeny tiny part of my brain also goes into panic mode each time a friend announces one of these life milestones. It makes me realize I'm closer to becoming the last single one standing, I think. For most of your life you hit the same milestones at the same time as everyone else in your peer group. Then somewhere along the way other people started to advance further into adulthood. Sometimes I think to myself, "Wait, I didn't know it was time for that stuff yet."

I know that life isn't a race and everyone does their own thing at their own time. But when you're so used to moving in a big pack and having the next step planned out for you--okay, you just finished 7th grade. Here comes 8th grade-- getting all disjointed in your progress can feel unnerving.

Also, suddenly instead of the total focus being on your group of girlfriends, your friend's focus starts to shift to their partner and/or their kids. Girls' nights are harder to plan, and if you live in different cities finding time to see each other can feel about as easy as figuring out a gun control solution that everyone can agree on. It makes me feel nostalgic for the days of being out until 4 a.m. or wandering down the hall in my jammies to knock on my best friend's door and see what she was up to. As much as my friends and I drove each other crazy when we lived in a tiny flat together as we studied abroad in London, there are some nights when I would sell my left ear to be able to lie in bed and reach out and grab my best friend's arm as she lies in her bed while I loudly whisper, "Hey. Eva. Are you awake?"

But while I do get freaked out about changes in friend dynamics and having to come to terms with the fact that we're not kids anymore, I also try to force myself to appreciate this time in my life too. In 10 or 20 years, I know I'll look back on this period with equal fondness. And hopefully I won't feel as much embarrassment about my current fashion choices as I do when I think about how I chose to dress myself in my early college years.

This post originally appeared on Life with Lauren.