My friends form one of the biggest aspects of my life undoubtedly. Something I have always been interested in is how friendships form between individuals, and how friendships can positively impact your life. I’d like to explore this now. Each friend I have now, I have met at a different stage of my life, never the same time, so my personal experiences have been a matter of life events and proximity of growing up with friends close to my home town, and later meeting friends at uni in the same flat, etc. Psychological research suggests we chose friends who tend to be similar to ourselves, with similar personalities, but this isn’t always the case, as other factors do play into this. I’d like to mention just a few of my friends, and the roles they play within my life:
My first friends, who I met at Reception/primary school, Hannah and Rhian, are my longest friends (16 years and counting!). Despite attending different Secondary schools, I then went to the same Sixth Form as them both so continued to see them both every day for a year. I can go months and months without seeing both of these girls even though they live around the corner from me, but when we finally see each other and have a good catch up, it is almost like we have never been away from each other! I message both of these girls every day and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life. As I’ve grew older, I have realised that you do not have to see your friends every day for them to be good friends. Good friends are honest, reliable and trustworthy and that is exactly what these two are. I have also accepted that I am always busy, and so are these two, so I value my time spent with them when I do see them! (Hence why we have the least amount of selfies)
Next, I met Chloe when I was in Year 5 of Primary school and we have been Best friends ever since. We saw each other roughly once a month despite attending different Primary and Secondary schools, and then started working together in 2017 in the jobs we are in now, and that meant we saw each other most days. I see Chloe the most often now as I’m home from uni, but when I go back to uni she will still visit and I will still return home to see her. I do most things with her (shopping, holidays, spontaneous trips, important life events) and she will be someone who will forever be part of my family. She plays one of the most important roles in my life – she knows every single one of my problems, she knows every time I am happy or sad, she gives me the most advice when I am struggling and most importantly she knows how to reassure me even when I feel the lowest of the low.
Further along my timeline, I started secondary school and met the likes of Tom, a lad who has been my friend since Day 1 of year 7 and will forever be like family to me! Even now, he always checks up on me and makes sure I’m okay, which is so important !
Moving on to Sixth Form, I met a great group of people who I quickly became friends with… Kim, Laura, Lottie, Martha, who I’d see every single day, and without fail, every single day I’d talk to them about anything and everything, and we’d always be laughing (Another really important thing!). I haven’t seen these girls since I started Uni in September 2019, but I miss them loads! They played such an important role as friends – they acted like a daily support group and safe place. Even though I hated Sixth Form, they made it 10 times happier for me!
Next, my job at Burger King when I’m home from uni does get intense, but I’m also grateful that I have made friends from this job that I started several years ago now. Ben and Harry (knew they’d love this mention) give me the life advice that I never know I need to hear until I have heard it. I’ve never met two young lads that have their head screwed on as much as these two, and I’ve also never met two lads that wind me up until I lock myself away as much as these two, but the laughter is always there. When I eventually leave this job, this will be one of the few things I miss.
Fast forward to now, since starting uni in September I have met some of the most fab people I could meet! Rhiannon has been my closest uni friend since I moved in, and she will continue to be for the next several years as we literally did everything together, and you don’t realise how much you depend on someone’s presence until they are the other end of the country!!! I shared every single problem with her and continue to do so, and she gives me the best advice and provides me with a life filled with laughter which is the only thing I can ask for. Lily has been the only person to ever encourage and motivate me enough to start frequent exercise – she made the impossible possible! These two girls have been my saviours at uni without a doubt. The rest of the girls in my group, Laura, Louisa, Sara, Jazz, have all helped at uni with any of my issues, and I can’t wait to be back with this great bunch of people in September, along with the crazy other half of our group, the boys.
Personally, I cannot stress enough how important it is for me to have such a good support network of friends. When life gets too chaotic, too intense, and too much, I know I will always have someone there for me, whether that’s in person or the other end of my phone, to contact.
Part of growing up means you grow apart from old friends and make other friendships, but that is what life is about. Each friendship I have had has been a life lesson to me, and I have taken things away from that which shape the person I am today. I am grateful for every single one of my friends that are both in my life now and have been in my life before this point.
“Anything is possible when you have the right people there to support you”Misty Copeland