Instead Of Having A Boyfriend, I'm One Of The Boys

Instead Of Having A Boyfriend, I'm One Of The Boys

To everyone who says girls and guys can't be friends without romance: you're wrong.

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Through High School, I had a pretty solid group of friends, most of them were girls, that I hung around with and told everything to. I had guy friends too that were people I cared for but never really got super close to. They were the guys I would be friends with "if I was a guy" kind of people. I feel like this is true for most girls in high school, those guys you don't want to date but don't ever talk to out of your way.

But College changes your life around and now some of my girl friends are gone and my guy friends have become closer than I would have thought they would become. Three of them, Mike, Brad, and Jared, have somehow let me into their longtime standing "Squad."

Having known these guys for my entire high school career, never did I picture this happening, but let me just say that in 2019, having a boyfriend is out... being one of the boys is in.

Mike Megan Carmen

I never had planned on assimilating into "The Egg Squad," as it is now called, until one day I was a part of the community Spotify Playlist. It was kind of an impromptu thing, it just happened. Now I really do not know what I would do without them. I live in a dorm with five other girls, so having a group of friends to balance out the overwhelming levels of estrogen is always a good thing.

Jared Megan Carmen

There are a lot of neat things about having a group of guy friends. Things girls probably wouldn't even think about. For instance, It's funny to see them talk endlessly about the girls they like or the past relationships they've had in the same way girls do. It's fascinating to watch them get way too competitive over rockband for no reason other than just because. It's wholesome watching how they show their affection for each other in ways different and the same as girls typically do.

I like telling my friends that I love them because I think everyone needs to hear it and I just assumed that because they are guys they wouldn't feel comfortable showing emotions like that. I figured they'd slap each other's butts and say dumb stuff like "don't wreck on the way home" to show they cared... but while they do that, they say "I love you," too. When one of "the boys" leaves, there's an I love you. In the group chat, there's "love ya" or "<3 yall" stuff.

When one of us can't hang out there's a "we miss you bud," and it's true.

Brad Megan Carmen

In a way, it is refreshing to see that they, too, are insecure in the same ways I am about my body and about how people see them. They were appreciative of my candid pictures because, as all girls know, guys are awful at taking good pictures of themselves. Guys get a lot of crap for not being 100% confident, but everyone, no matter what gender, feels bad sometimes and that is okay, too.

Rockband Night Megan Carmen

There are some funny things about being friends with guys, too. They are always late, always. I've learned that guys are just not that punctual. Trying to get a picture of all of us was such a chore, that I ended up just having to photoshop Brad into the picture. The only time they are not late is when they show up (sometimes uninvited) to play guitar hero on my ps2. Riding in the car with the boys means loud bass and stick shift driving because as Jared says, "driving stick makes you way cooler than the rest of the peasants."

They treat me like a boy for the most part, and sometimes they look a little shocked when I mention a guy I think is hot or respond to their vulgar comments in an equally gross way. I think sometimes they are shocked that women think like that, too. They ask my opinion as "a female presence" on what pictures are good or what their Bumble profile should include.

Egg Squad Megan Carmen

When I told them I was writing this, they chuckled. Mike said, "write whatever you want about us." Jared mentioned, "I want credit for my quotes." Brad sent me a meme about girls and guys being friends without any romance being unacceptable to society. I don't know what they thought I was going to say about them, but it was never going to be bad.

So, guys, since I made you read this, I hope you get how much being one of the boys means to me.

Thanks for being cool.

Thanks for being genuine.

For anyone reading this without a strong group of guys by your side, go find your "Egg Squad" because the laughter and genuine affection is well worth all the bad dad jokes and the incredible amount of gas.

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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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Finding Your Niche In College Starts With Finding You

Attempting to be someone you are not for the sake of having company only hurts you in the long run.

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Transitioning to college is hard enough, but trying to find a place where you feel "at home" can make this time even more stressful. Here are some tips on how to find that place/group of people that make you feel like sunshine.

I have always felt a little out of place wherever I went, but it wasn't until college that I realized that this feeling was so special and more people should capitalize on their differences rather than conforming to a certain mold. Transitioning to college and finding your place among so many people can be very overwhelming. The added stress of attempting to be someone you aren't for the sake of having company adds a whole other layer to this problem. The easiest thing for me to do in any situation like this is trying to make the setting a little smaller. One of the most obvious ways to do this on a college campus is by getting involved!

It is inevitable that within the first few weeks of the semester at any college, there will be an organization fair. This is a chance to scope out all that your school has to offer! Chances are there will be some type of group or club that lines up with your interests. Most college campuses have extracurricular opportunities ranging from social sororities and fraternities, professional ones, intermural sports, vocal groups, and so many more. You are more than likely going to find some type of organization that you can call home if you seek them out. Joining an organization is such an easy way to interact with people with similar interests. An interest can bring two completely different people together and create some beautiful friendships. It is situations like this where it is important to be your authentic self and mingle with those you share something with.

That being said, finding your place in college isn't always about being involved. Getting involved on campus is just one of the simplest ways to start. There are so many other opportunities on campus to meet people whether it be among others in your residence hall, people in your classes, or just people you find yourself stumbling upon! Finding people to spend your time with is easy; however, you should make it a point to surround yourself with people who bring you up.

Once you have a set group of people that you find yourself spending time with, it is important to pay attention to the way you feel when you're around them. If you find yourself feeling bad about yourself or get the impression that you need to change something in order to "fit in," chances are the people you're around are not the best for you or your self-esteem. It is important to surround yourself with people who allow you to feel comfortable in your own skin. That being said, you also want people who encourage you to make good decisions and help you reach your goals. People who encourage toxic behavior in your life might be fun in the short term, but in the grand scheme of things, you need to be surrounded by people with your best interest in mind. Essentially, surrounding yourself with people who influence you to be your best self is one of the best decisions you can make short and long term.

The key to all of this is being conscious of your own feelings and needs. Pay attention to who reaches out to you to hang out. Notice the ones who pay attention to you as you speak when it feels like no one is listening. More than anything, be conscious of who you're with and where you're at when you experience moments of pure happiness. Life is too short to waste your precious time on people who don't build you up. Wouldn't you rather spend your time with more moments of pure joy than self-hate? Start living for you!

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