In my closest and most memorable moments, from the best highs to even the lowest of the lows, my friends have earned their merit every time. As a graduate of a high school that focused on cultivating permanent quality relationships for life, I learned many skills from women of all walks of life and eras.

Friendship is, regardless of convenience and beat, found when the people involved love nothing more than the other person to succeed. Learning from another person is just as difficult as trusting another person and both can only occur after establishing a level of respect. This level of respect and equality can and should be a given, but within common pop culture and mainstream culture it is made to feel more as a rarity. Ignoring common culture and viewing women as competitors instead of potential best friends just sounds plain exhausting! The amount of effort spent on worrying completely detracts from being able to focus on more important issues and interests. Viewing women as potential life time connections instead of the opposition is just healthier- stress isn't a good thing to constantly have, but luckily friendships and respect help lessen the worry.

I learned that some people in life only love you for what you can give them in return and how much you can give them before you break, but after making one quality friend it slowly becomes easier how to discern a genuine from a fake. It's by a strange amount of comparison (and unfortunately trial and error) that true friends can be found within college. Look to find the girl who doesn't mind sending you those class notes and has strong bonds with girl friends from high school. It's usually a red flag if a girl doesn't have at least a small amount of close friends because that might be a reflection on her true character after the honeymoon portion of the friendship ends and people from her past just couldn't keep up. Good friends that take out their own hair tie and give it to you because sometimes the weekends are a struggle and your hair either needs to be restrained or chopped off with the nearest pointy object.

It's those moments when you're walking to your car and another girl looks up from inside her car and just waits until you get into your car and lock the doors before she drives away. It's that time when someone kept your little sister safe and pretended to know her when she was on the bus and struck up a conversation until she got home. When something doesn't feel right, but hell, you speak up because awkward is a best case scenario from a misread situation. Learning respect for strong female friendships also means gaining a sense of duty to help out. It's a sisterhood you have a duty to represent even if other women don't behave the same.

In a time and in a country where many values and rights are being questioned, it's now, in this new year and unknown future that strong female friendships will prove their merit.