Reflections & Lessons Learned In College: When Your Friends Choose A Different Path

It’s been three years since I graduated from being a teenager. Yes, I feel like that is a “thing” because being a teenager is a long, rough, ten-year state of endurance. during those teenage years, I developed many relationships that did not honor God.

One thing led to another in my high school years and I found myself in a long-term relationship with a man who did not believe in God.  Not only did he lack a belief in God, but was a self-proclaimed atheist. I was then exposed to drugs because he wanted me to try them.

Woah! This blog post got real deep, real fast didn’t it?  I know. Sorry about that. But it’s what happened.

During that same time, I also developed a close friendship with someone who was a “church goer”.   Sin spreads faster than kudzu in the south and I’m ashamed to say that my sin spread to her. If you aren’t from the south, kudzu spreads faster than you can contain it, and chokes off the life of anything in its path.  As a result, she no longer went to church, and no longer talked about God. Instead, we talked about getting high, when the next party was, and where.

Looking back, it’s hard not to blame me for this path we went down together.

It was not until I was finally out of that horrible long-term relationship that I started attending church and enjoying it.  Soon after that, I was saved and baptized. However before she and I had a chance to re-align ourselves with Jesus together, she went off to college and our paths took different directions.

She never got to witness those special events in my life, and I never told her about what Jesus had done in my life. She was still in college, still doing drugs, still drinking, and still partying.

The dilemma came when the next year of college rolled around and plans were in place for us to room together. I felt like it was only right for me to tell her that I was no longer going to be doing drugs and partying because I had a life change when Jesus saved me.  Despite that, I assured her that I still wanted to remain close friends and stick by her side.

She felt angry and had every right to be. I failed as a good friend to keep her updated with how things were going in my life, and I failed to encourage her to drop the bad habits and get back into a church, to seek God, and draw near to Him.

Once I moved in with her, I thought we would have been able to keep our close relationship and hang out with each other without those bad habits. I was quickly mistaken. We hardly spoke to each other. It was extremely awkward. I was trying to stay in her life, but it was terrifying to be around someone who was going down an ever increasing deeper and darker path. Not to mention that I knew I was placing myself in a position that could cause me to go back down that path as well.

When I look back on it today, I still regret how things were handled and how we no longer speak to each other. Even though I felt guilty about how things ended between us, I had to know when to close the door on a  relationship so that I could continue down my path with God. Sometimes, no matter how guilty you feel about ending a relationship with someone, never forget that the most important relationship in your life is the one with Jesus. 

Hailey Briley

College student with her toes nearly touching the finish line of graduation. Elementary Ed. bound. Lover of clean food, but not prejudiced towards french fries. Looking and longing for misplaced creativity. Jesus lover. God follower.

  1. Hailey wonderful, vulnerable blog post! Way to go! I’m going to share this with my graduating seniors!

  2. This is fantastic! Thank you for sharing your heart, Hailey! My 13-year-old cousin is learning lessons of friendships and is seeking help in making the right decisions. This will be good to encourage her that she isn’t alone.

  3. Hailey, what great courage it takes to step out and be real with people. Making your self transparent is not an easy task yet, you accomplished it beautifully! You have such an amazing testimony to use for Gods glory, it will be exciting to see the doors He opens for you through this! Thank you for sharing! God Bless!

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