In high school, I was the girl who was just friendly to people. I never wanted to cause issues, and even when I would get caught up in drama, all I wanted was to resolve it with no hurt feelings. I wanted that peaceful resolution and just to get through that phase of my life without any problems. I never went to parties in high school, but occasionally hung out with some really good friends on the weekends.

I have come to realize that most of my friendships in high school were just toxic. By that, I mean that my "friends" were never supportive of my goals or milestones in life. It all became a competition of who could achieve what, in the classroom and outside the classroom.

Frankly, looking back on those friendships, I don't really know what we had in common. We got along with each other, sure, but there was no true foundation to our friendships. We were friends probably out of convenience even, though we filled our minds of false illusions of "being roommates" in an apartment someday together when we wouldn't really hang out outside of school. Once again, we would text each other but that does not define a friendship.

And the fact that said friendships have fallen out because of social media just makes me laugh. I chose to leave a group chat because of the toxicity and negativity that would just come from the texts. I always felt anxious whenever we would hang out every few weeks since I wouldn't know what kind of mood they would be in or what they might say because of their mood.

Now, I have realized I was a punching bag for their bad days. I would brush off their behavior. I also would find myself trying to making them feel better and even taking on the blame for why they were feeling that certain way, that it must have been me.

For anyone who has ever experienced such a friend dynamic, get out now. You deserve better.

Last semester, I found myself trying to keep these horrible people still in my life. I felt like we had to be friends since we went through high school together. I didn't even realize how unhealthy the friendships were until I came home Christmas break. I cut all ties. I decided 2018 was going to be a year of just happiness and I was going to do whatever I could to achieve it.

Over the past few weeks, I have just been reflecting on how grateful I am for the friendships I have made so far and continue to make. For once in my life, I finally feel like I'm being appreciated for who I am. The friends I have now are supportive of me in all that I achieve and vise versa. When I'm having a bad moment, I know I can turn to any one of them and just vent with no judgement and only love and support. I also feel when I ask any one of them to hang out, they genuinely want to spend time with me.

It feels so fulfilling to finally feel like people like me rather than just just putting on a show or trying to just pose for Instagram pictures.

And even outside of my college, I have strong friendships with people who I only got close to my senior year. Rather than just talking about high school gossip, I feel like I can carry an actual conversation and have just a genuine connection.

So to the friends that I have now, thank you. Thank you for showing me what friendship is supposed to be like. Thank you for putting my broken pieces back together again. And most importantly, thank you for just being you.