Figuring It All Out Pt. II: Making And Faking Friends
“A friend is someone who listens to your bullshit, tells you to your face that it’s bullshit, and then listens to more of your bullshit.”
It’s astounding to watch kindergarteners making friends with each other. It takes almost nothing and no time at all before they decide that they’re now best friends forever. From that moment on, those kids are inseparable. Don’t you wish it was still that easy to create and maintain friendships?
One thing I constantly hear millennials say is, “I have no friends.” or “I need more friends.” or “Why don’t I have any friends?”. But, I’m not sure that these questions are being asked with serious intent. I mean, as we age, we find out what qualities in a friend we truly value. Time goes by and some friendships fade. That’s just how it is. But, the ones that last are the strongest. Let’s think about what friendship means to a person as they grow.
Ah, junior high: the age of awkward.
This is usually the time in life when all we want is to fit in with the cool kids. We want to have the coolest clothes, the coolest things and the coolest friends. Everything was about being the coolest of the cool. We tried with all of our might to hide our quirks and the things that make us truly unique. Our main goal is to be popular and have as many friends as possible no matter what.
Yeah. Don’t you wish you could go back to this time and slap yourself in the face?
Now, I don’t know about you but, my high school was very inclusive and not too clique heavy. Of course there were the few groups that didn’t really stray from each other but, even there, they were still kind and social with others.
For me, high school was the time when I came out of my shell and allowed myself to be who I am. The friends I made in high school were either made through mutual friends or through school activities. I had a huge group of friends that I made in the choir class and in the drama club. The other group I hung out with were all made through mutual friends. I had two solid groups of friends and a full social life.
The downside about making all of these friends in high school is saying goodbye to them when it comes time for everyone to leave for college. But, this is also when these friendships are really put to the test. Who will you reach out to and who will reach out to you? How many of these friendships will be maintained once school’s out?
How many of your high school friendships made it through your college career? Any that did are among some of the strongest you’ll ever have.
The friends you make in college are definitely going to be your most eclectic group of friends. These people have so many different life experiences that it’s almost as if you’re fascinated by one another. Again, you might be bound together due to a mutual friends or because you took the same 8am lecture (seriously, who’s idea was that?). So, when you leave the sanctuary of campus for the last time, you’ll be faced with trying to maintain the relationships that mean the most to you and that most likely will only be a fraction of them.
Fast forward to today. Who’s left? I guarantee only a small few remain, am I right?
There’s nothing wrong with that!
Examine those friendships. Have you been through tough times together? What are some of your most precious memories together? What makes them so special to you? These are the things that matter in a strong friendship. Just like an artist with his paintings or a sculptor with his statues, it’s the quality that matters, not the quantity.
The next time you mumble “I need more friends”, “I have no friends”, or “Why don’t I have more friends?”, think about that.