Treasure Your Friends

Treasure Your Friends

Respect One Another, Love One Another, Be There For One Another
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In second grade I moved two states away and I lost touch with many of my childhood friends. After eighth grade I transferred schools and I lost touch with most of my grade school friends. The moment I walked across the stage at my graduation ceremony, I lost touch with most of my high school friends. After my freshman year of college, I had lost touch with nearly everyone I had been friends with before college. And after my sophomore year of college, I was only friends with people I had met in college.

Don’t get me wrong, many of these friendships were crucial in helping me become the person I am today, but walking away from the friendships benefitted me more. Some of my friendships were only there because I saw the person on a daily basis at school, some friendships extended outside of school because we had similarities, and very few friendships were maintained over time.

At one point in time these friendships meant the world to me, but we grew up and we learned who we were. There were life events that wedged us further and further apart, some we could control, and others we couldn’t. I’ve lost friends because one of us moved, one of us found other friends, we found different hobbies and interests, relationships became more important, or because we simply could not see past the wrongdoing of the other.

Today, I have a very close nit group of really good friends that I keep up with regularly. I have other friends too, such as work friendships, school friendships, and organizational friendships, which I value because every person that comes into my life influences and shapes me. The close group of friends that I do have mean the world to me. They are the people I can count on to cheer me on, help me through tough times and let me vent for hours on end. Never let go of the friends that make you feel better about yourself.

If you are reading this, I am asking you to value your friendships, both past and present. Be respectful of one another, love one another, and be thankful for one another. Respect one another, whether that be their property, their opinion, or their choices. If you don’t agree on something, address it, but let it pass. If it tears the friendship apart, then so be it; it was not a friendship worth keeping. Stop tearing one another down because of something that is out of your control. Do not gloat because you won an argument within your friends group and do not sulk because you lost.

It is the most painful thing in the world to lose a friendship that meant the world to you. These people are often harder to lose than a romantic relationship. If you can save your friendship, please do so, and if you cannot, understand there is a world with millions of others searching for a friend like you.

And for the friends I lost touch with, I'm still here; I'm still your friend from afar.

Cover Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10202417144586262&set=t.1206141412&type=3&theater

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I Blame My Dad For My High Expectations

Dad, it's all your fault.
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I always tell my dad that no matter who I date, he's always my number one guy. Sometimes I say it as more of a routine thing. However, the meaning behind it is all too real. For as long as I can remember my dad has been my one true love, and it's going to be hard to find someone who can top him.

My dad loves me when I am difficult. He knows how to keep the perfect distance on the days when I'm in a mood, how to hold me on the days that are tough, and how to stand by me on the days that are good.

He listens to me rant for hours over people, my days at school, or the episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' I watched that night and never once loses interest.

He picks on me about my hair, outfit, shoes, and everything else after spending hours to get ready only to end by telling me, “You look good." And I know he means it.

He holds the door for me, carries my bags for me, and always buys my food. He goes out of his way to make me smile when he sees that I'm upset. He calls me randomly during the day to see how I'm doing and how my day is going and drops everything to answer the phone when I call.

When it comes to other people, my dad has a heart of gold. He will do anything for anyone, even his worst enemy. He will smile at strangers and compliment people he barely knows. He will strike up a conversation with anyone, even if it means going way out of his way, and he will always put himself last.

My dad also knows when to give tough love. He knows how to make me respect him without having to ask for it or enforce it. He knows how to make me want to be a better person just to make him proud. He has molded me into who I am today without ever pushing me too hard. He knew the exact times I needed to be reminded who I was.

Dad, you have my respect, trust, but most of all my heart. You have impacted my life most of all, and for that, I can never repay you. Without you, I wouldn't know what I to look for when I finally begin to search for who I want to spend the rest of my life with, but it might take some time to find someone who measures up to you.

To my future husband, I'm sorry. You have some huge shoes to fill, and most of all, I hope you can cook.

Cover Image Credit: Logan Photography

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Irish-American History Is Just As Important As Any Other Culture, You Can't Prove Me Wrong

I cherish being Irish and I will not let anyone let me feel bad for that.

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Depending on when you're reading this, Saint Patrick's day has either just passed or is around the corner. For me, Saint Patrick's day is tomorrow. I've been debating this article for some time now because I didn't know how it would be perceived. At this point, though, I feel it's important for me to get out. No, Irish people were never kept as slaves in America, and I will never be one to try and say they were. However, Irish people were treated tremendously awful in America. A lot of people tend to forget, or just try to erase entirely, the history of the Irish in America. So much so that I felt shameful for wanting to celebrate my heritage. Therefore, I want to bring to light the history that everyone brushes under the rug.

In 1845, a potato famine broke out across Ireland. This was a big deal because the Irish lived off, mainly, potatoes. They were cheap, easy to grow, and had tons of nutrients. So when the famine struck, many people either died of starvation or fled to America in seek of refuge. When the Irish arrived in America they were seen as a threat to the decency of America. People viewed them as drunk beasts, sinful savages, barbaric, violent, belligerent, stupid, and white apes. When the Irish would go to look for jobs, many times they found signs that read "Irish Need Not Apply," even when the job was hiring. Therefore, the Irish did the jobs no one wanted, and even jobs African slaves wouldn't do. The biggest example of this is when Irishmen built canals and drained swamps. They were sent to do these things because of the enormous amount of mosquitoes; in the swamp, they would get bit and ultimately die of malaria.

Also, during this time, Irish people were poor and therefore lived in the same neighborhoods as the free African Americans. A lot of the Irish people were friendly with their neighbors of color and even got into interracial relationships. Because the Irish lived in these neighborhoods they were seen as dirty and even a lot of people at this time put African Americans higher on the totem pole than Irish. One person during the time even said, "At least the black families keep their homes clean."

The main reason American's outlook on Irish people changed was that most Irishmen took up fighting for the Union in the Civil War. I make this argument, not because I think the Irish suffered more than African slaves. I don't say this in means of trying to erase the struggles of the African slaves. I do not think that any of our ancestors should have been treated the way they were. I mean to say that the Irish did in fact suffer. Irish people were treated wrongly on the basis of...nothing. Simply because my ancestors hailed from the shores of Eire, they were treated with malice. And I write this simply because I want people to remember. I want people to understand what happened.

On Saint Patrick's Day this year, next year, and for the many years to come, I want people to embrace the Irish culture. I want the folks of Irish heritage to not be ashamed of where they come from; to not be ashamed to share their culture the way I have for many years. I want everyone to have a beer, wear some green, eat a potato or two, and dance the Irish step; to celebrate the history of Irish people with a bit more understanding than before.

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