7 Ways To Be The Best Friend You've Ever Been

7 Ways To Be The Best Friend You've Ever Been

Real deal friends should always be treasured.
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As I had conversations with friends over the holidays and reconnected with people who I don't see every day, I began thinking more and more about what it means to be a good friend. Most of my friends and myself are in our mid-twenties and just on the brink of discovering what it means to truly enter adulthood. Though being in your twenties is exciting, it comes with quite a bit of uncertainty.

Though I am in the midst of my twenties, I believe you experience the lowest lows and highest highs in your relationships. In those times, it is important to cling to a solid community. Your friends become your rocks. I am by no means a perfect friend and I fall short of the friend I would like to be over and over again, but I think there are some ways in which we can simply love each other better.

1. Take the time to listen and understand your friend's perspectives.

Grey's Anatomy

You may level with your friends on a lot of beliefs, ideas, and values. That's great. Even if you don't, that can be beneficial too. I think it's important to constantly evaluate what you believe and why you believe it. Having conversations with friends that validate and challenge those ideas can be so rewarding. I find the best conversations I have with friends are the ones in which we are just trying to understand the world around us and life.

2. Take a genuine interest in your friends' dreams.

One Tree Hill

People have goals and things they want to achieve. Those goals and ambitions can be private sometimes, so when they're revealed its important as a friend to validate those dreams. It's also important to give honest feedback when friends seek advice. Surround yourself with friends that have your best interests at heart.

3. Learn your love language. More importantly - learn your friends' love languages.

Parks and Recreation

How do you best show love? Is it through quality time? Is it through providing acts of service or words of affirmation? How do your friends receive love best? Understanding what makes your friends feel loved is priceless. Keeping these things in mind will enable you to love your friends better and will deepen your relationships. Not sure what the love languages are? Check out "The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts" by Gary Chapman. While I believe the intent is meant for more romantic relationships, but these ideas can still translate to friendships.

4. Be intentional about getting to know who your friends are and what matters to them.

Friends

Knowing and remembering small details about your friends - like what their favorite book is - is the key to really understanding who they are.

5. Be open and honest with your friends.

The Office

Being your authentic self is the only way to be. There's no sense in being friends when you can't really be yourself.

6. Make plans together.

Spongebob

Basically, spend time together. Making future plans, from a small brunch to a major international trip shows that you find the relationship willing to invest in.

7. Acknowledge what your friends do for you.

Cory and Shawn

Mostly, people just want to know that they are known. They want to know that what they do is important.

Friendships bring so much joy in life. They need nurture and care as much as any other important relationship. Without your friends, where would you be?

Cover Image Credit: Sam Manns

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Dear Mom, Now That I'm Older

A letter to the woman who made me the woman I am today.
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Dear Mom,

Now that I'm older, I definitely appreciate you a lot more than I did as a kid. I appreciate the little things, from the random text messages to constantly tagging me on Facebook in your "funny" photos and sending me pins of stuff I like on Pinterest. Now that I'm older, I can look back and realize that everything I am is all because of you. You've made me strong but realize it's okay to cry. You've shown me how a mother gives everything to her children to give them a better life than she had, even when she's left with nothing. And, most importantly you've taught me to never give up and without this, I would not be where I am today.

Mom, now that I'm older, I realize that you're the best friend I'm ever going to have. You cheer me on when I try new things and support me in deciding to be whatever person I want to be. Thank you for never telling me I can't do something and helping me figure out ways to be the best woman I can be. Your love for me is unconditional. They say true, unconditional love can only come from God, but mom, I think you're a pretty close second.

SEE ALSO: An Open Letter To The Cool Mom

Now that I'm older, I don't get to see you as much. But not seeing you as much just makes the times I do get to see you the absolute best, and I look forward to it every time. Now that I'm older, I'm not going to live at home. But, I promise to always come back because I know the door is always open. Your house is always going to be my home, and no other place is going to be the same.

Now that I'm older, I realize how much I miss you taking care of me. I miss you making me dinner, making sure I was doing well in school, and taking me to endless appointments. I miss you waking me up for school and then waking me up again because I didn't listen the first time.

But, Mom, now that I'm older, I can see all that you've done for me. I can look back and see how big of a brat I was but you still loved me (and let me live) anyways. I can understand why you did certain things and frankly, you're one bada** of a woman.

To have you as my mom and my best friend has been the best thing that has ever happened to me. So, Mom, now that I'm older, thank you, for everything.

Love,

Your Daughter

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Visiting Your Friends At Different Colleges Is Worth The Drive

Learning about the lives my friends are living at other schools is extremely interesting.

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When I went to college, many of my friends went to different schools. Some of us went to the same college, some went to other in-state schools and some even went out-of-state. If you are ever bored and are thinking about spending the weekend with your friend at their college, I recommend doing it!

As a student at the University of Florida, I already know the best places to eat, party and relax in Gainesville. During my time here, I have met so many new people and have experienced so many new things. But, sometimes I forget that my friends are living their own lives at different schools, as well.

When I went to visit one of my best friends at the University of Central Florida, it was neat to see how she matured as a person. She took me to all the cool bars, introduced me to all of her new friends and gave me a tour of campus. Getting to see how she has evolved so much was so fascinating.

Visiting my friends at Florida State University was a whole experience in itself. I had many friends go to this school. Each of them lives their own lives, some still hang out, and some are even roommates. The culture at each university is so much different than the culture at my school. It was fun to meet all of their new classmates and sorority sisters. Getting to know the people that spend every day with the friends that I used to spend every day with is something I love to do.

If you ever have a break from studying, get a little bored, or even just miss your friends, give them a call and ask to stay with them for the weekend! I promise you will learn so much more about them and how they are taking on their new phase of life.

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