The Importance Of Strong Friendships

To The Friend Who Changed My Life

"Thankful" is an understatement.

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I don't think I ever told you the impact you had on me.

We met almost three years ago in Philosophy Club when I mistook you for your twin sister.

We were basically instant friends. There was no awkwardness of trying to figure out what to say to each other; you just radiated good vibes from the start.

We bonded over teaching each other dance tricks, shared interests and personalities that seemed to click perfectly.

Dropping out of college for a year was a difficult decision, but you supported me all the way. Despite the fact that we didn't see each other for over a year, we were able to pick up right where we left off upon reunion.

I can't tell you how happy I am that our beautiful friendship remained intact.

On October 12, 2017, you changed my life forever.

I remember how we were outside in the cool Autumn weather past midnight having a three-hour conversation.

Between multiple long hugs, hair braiding and one of the most meaningful conversations I've ever had with anyone, somewhere in there everything changed.

Happiness has always been a huge struggle for me. Growing up, I wasn't surrounded by the best people, which greatly affected me as I grew up.

When you finally find wholesome, kind and genuine individuals who truly have your best interests at heart, the world just opens up in ways it never did before.

You helped me discover the necessary tools to create my own intrinsic happiness, and I made the decision to implement them in everything I do.

I've been riding that high ever since like it's the elementary Scholastic Book Fair.

You are one of the most admirable people I've ever had the privilege to know. Your passion for the things and people you care about is absolutely astonishing, and it inspires me to be better today than I was yesterday.

You showed me nothing but love and compassion even when I didn't really deserve it.

As someone who is a lover of hugs, you give the best hugs out of anyone I know.

I can't tell you how proud I am of all that you've accomplished over the years. Though I will miss you very much (as I do already), I know that you are going to accomplish great things as you start this new journey.

I love you more than you will ever know.

Lastly, don't get too "knotty" in Grad school!

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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It Is OK To Have Guy Friends That Are Literally Just Guy Friends

Some of my best friends are guys and sometimes they are better friends than girls are.

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Lately, I have come to the realization that some of my guy friends are better then some girls I call my "friends". Ever since middle school, I have always had many guy friends that have always been just guy friends, and nothing more. Some girls had a problem with it back then and they still do now, maybe because they are jealous, or maybe because they feel left out. However, I decided a long time ago to keep those guy friends for reasons like...

1. They Don't Take Things So Seriously

You can always joke around with them, and they will joke around with you right back. You can be as nice as you want or as mean as you want to them, and they will always take it as joke. I think that sometimes girls have a difficult time deciphering between when you are being serious or when you are joking. Most of my guys friends tend to not things too seriously at least 75% of the time.

2. They Are Always Honest

When I need a blatantly honest opinion I always ask my guy friends (and my mom). I do this because guys do not really care about whether or not their response will make you mad. Also, guys do not think about if their answer will benefit them personally or not before they answer.

3. They Genuinely Listen To You

Not all the time. But when I am upset, they are always the ones most concerned. Some of my guy friends take over the "big brother" role when it comes to some situations. My guy friends always listen to my problems or just the same old rants I give all the time because if something is wrong, or something has hurt me, they want to know, in order for them to try and fix it.

I am not trying to say that my girl friends are not my best friends either, and I really do have the best best friend. But sometimes, it just feels good to hangout with my guy friends. Guy friends, that I have never had a romantic relationship or feelings for and they have not had for me. These guys have always been there, and for that I am grateful.

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