If there’s one thing I talk endlessly about in this blog, it’s the need for friends. Since my senior year of high school, I’ve pushed for how absolutely important have a good social network is. I personally believe that it’s impossible to survive without having a friend or two to keep you sane.
I’ve been having a rough couple of weeks lately, and the one thing that has kept me going has been my friends. I feel like I could talk about them endlessly. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving being near, here is my homage to all the people I’ve been lucky enough to call my friend.
Sometimes, a single person will fit into two or three of these categories. Maybe you’ll have a person who’ll fit into all of them. But all of these are traits in people you should definitely keep in you life.
The One That Motivates You To Be Better
You’ll know the type at first glance. They’re taking all the same classes as you, so you’re constantly with them. Be it studying together or sitting in lecture together, you have constant exposure to their brilliance.
Their study ethic is top notch and it makes you want to put down your phone and keep reading your chemistry book, even though it’s super boring. They take vigilant notes in class, and it makes you want to pay more attention. Everything about them is so wholeheartedly motivating and refreshing.
You will cheer them on when they succeed, and you know they’d do the same for you. They will pick you up and dust you off when you’ve fallen down, because they know you’d do the same for them. It’s not an arms race– no one needs to win. In college, you’re going to meet a lot of people better than you. It will be very disheartening, especially because a majority of those people don’t motivate you, they just put you down. Avoid those people like your sanity depends on it, because it does.
Instead, you need a friend like this. A friend that may just be a few steps ahead of you, but will always look back and help you along the path. College is a hard and lonely place. You’re not as smart as you thought you were in high school. They’ll make everything more manageable though.
The best part of them is that their light doesn’t outshine yours. They’re not here to make you feel inferior. Instead, you look up to them and get inspired to push yourself more; to be a better person.
The One That Calms You Down
College is stressful. Some people can handle it, but some can’t. I was one of the people that can’t.
I spent a lot of me third semester as an anxious mess. I cried a lot. From grades to my relationship to any little thing that just got to me. I was crying for it. In high school, I did all my crying in the solitude of my room and, let me tell you, it was miserable. It was a lot of pent up sadness and frustration that left me emotionally damaged and fragile.
Coming to college was no different, until I made friends with this kind of friend.
The kind of friend who has crap going on in their life too, but they’re okay with talking with you through yours. They will let you cry and cry and cry until you’re all dried up and then they’ll dust you off and fix you up. They make you smile throughout all the stress and the struggles. Because they know it’s hard and maybe they can handle everything a little bit better than you can. They love you, do they’ll help you throughout it all.
They’ll help you carry all your baggage, unconditionally, because they know you can’t handle it on your own. They will let you sit on their bed while they’re busy doing homework and let you cry about whatever it is you need to cry about.
They’re there for you during your lowest moments– times when you’re sure you’ve hit rock bottom. Times when you think there’s no recovering or getting back up. Times when you think no one could ever want to be around you. And they’ll be there for your highs too.
The Responsible Friend
Chances are, you’re going to make a bad decision here and there. From texting that guy you really should not be texting to staying up all night watching The Office instead of studying for your calculus exam, college is a hotbed for regrets. (Or writing a blog post when you should be reading your biology textbook.) You can’t make the right decisions all the time– no one can.
Enter: The Responsible Friend.
Out of all your friends, they’re definitely the parent. They make sure you’re eating regularly, and not just ice cream for dinner like you did in freshman year– real food. They’re who you come to when your exam did not go so well and you need advice on whether or not to just drop the class completely.
This friend keeps you grounded and sane. They walk you to your room when you have a wild night out and they order pizza with you because you didn’t really want to be alone. This friend says no to all your bad ideas– not because she’s a party pooper, but because she knows that it’s just a bad idea.
You’re not dead yet. You’re surviving. You should really go thank this friend for that because, if you’re anything like me at least, you’ve been a handful.
But they love you anyway because they will always have your best interest in heart. They know that they’re not your mother, and they’re not trying to be. They just really care about you and your well-being.
The One that Gets You
You’ll recognize them instantly. Sparks will fly, fireworks will burst. Okay, not literally– but almost.
Just like how you’d know your significant other was the one, you know they’re the one too. You two just immediately clicked with one another. You have dumb inside jokes that no one else would ever find funny (but you both somehow find absolutely hilarious). You are so comfortable with one another and their very presence just soothes you.
Everyone deserves a friend like this. A friend who would 100% understand you, even when no one else does. A friend who sends you cat pictures when you’re having a bad day or offers to bring you cookies because they know you need a pick-me-up.
It gets to the point where people are confused when you’re not together. Or when you feel lost when you haven’t hung out with them in a day. It seems rather codependent– always hanging out together, constantly scheduling dates– but you wouldn’t have it any other way.
Sometimes in college, you just get lucky and meet someone who’s literally the other half of you. And then everything gets a lot easier from there because they make it easy. They make you laugh obnoxiously in the library at two AM like no one else would. You’ll start wondering who on Earth let you two be friends while simultaneously thanking the universe for bringing them into your life.
The Fun Friend
I’m not very good at social situations.
I’ve said this before. I even wrote a whole article about it. The whole social aspect of it gets me nervous and I tend to either say really awkward things or resort to my defense mechanism: snarky one liners and avoiding eye contact when I talk. It’s not very conducive for a good college life and it can be very lonely when all your other friends are going out but you’re too petrified to join them.
The Fun Friend is a nice bridge to living that college party life. They’re wild and fun enough to bring you out of your shell, but not so much so that you’re left feeling awkward and uncomfortable in their wake. They hang out with you during parties and other social functions so you’re not standing off alone and introduce you to other new people.
You’ll thank them endlessly when you realize that parties can actually be kind of fun. And you’ll continue to thank them for making sure you’re not just that shy wallflower you were before.
The One You’ll Keep Forever
All of them. Without a doubt.
I know that I want to keep my group of friends in my life and in my heart for ever. These are friends that have carried me through my roughest times, and have loved me unconditionally. Even when I felt like I wasn’t enough or needed their support more than anything else.