It’s no secret that life can get complicated and difficult at times. I think the year 2020 validated that statement with everything that has happened so far. Never in my life have I seen so many people divided on so many things. Who knows what we’ll be arguing about next? All of that is beyond the point. When we endure those challenging times or have those inevitable bad days, it’s important that we rely on our support system of friends and family to help us get through them. The power of friendship is what has gotten me through my worst days.
One thing about me is that I value each of my friendships highly. All of my friends mean the world to me, and I would do almost anything for them, even if it’s out of my comfort zone. I know what it’s like to feel like I don’t have friends, that nobody is there for me, and that I am all alone taking on this big and scary world. It’s not a feeling that I want anyone to experience. Part of the reason why I want to be a teacher is so that my future students feel like they always have someone to count on, and that someone is me. In general, friendships can amplify your high days by adding to their greatness or cover up the low days by adding some greatness. It’s rather magical.
Friendships are so powerful that sometimes it’s the smallest things that mean the most and go the longest way. There have been days when I didn’t want or care for advice, I just needed someone to listen to me and care about my endless rambles. On the days when my friends just listened to me and said that the feelings I was feeling were valid, that made me feel so much better. This is reciprocated on my end as well, I am the friend that is willing to stay up until 2 am talking to my friends even if I have to be up at 5 am the next day because my friends need me. Typically, I am not a hugger, I am usually someone who likes her personal bubble. However, there have been moments where I have felt so scared, so lost, so emotional and vulnerable to the point where I felt “emotionally exposed”. During those moments, the only thing that would make me feel secure and know that everything will be okay, even if everything in life is falling apart right now, was a hug. Honestly, there have been hugs where I’ve cried into my friends’ arms because that’s how broken I was at the time. Any and all hugs that my friends have given me are moments that I will hold onto for a lifetime. Each of those hugs gave me the strength to face whatever I was dealing with head-on. Right as the pandemic hit, before a lot of us left campus, the last thing my best friend gave me was a hug. This pandemic was unpredictable then and is still unpredictable today, but that was a reminder that everything will be okay. If any of my friends need a hug, even though I hate hugs I will do that for them if it will make them feel better. When my campers needed hugs, I always gave it to them for that same reason.
Laughter is another small thing that adds so much value to a friendship. There are people in my life who are iconic because of how funny they are. These people are the types of people who you can rely on for a good laugh. There have been times where I was stressed out because life was so chaotic, and one of these people would say or do something so precious and funny that I would burst out laughing. As I was laughing, I would feel a sense of happiness. During the complicated periods of my life or after the hard days, those laughs went a long way, even if what they said or did unintentionally made me laugh. I would make my friends laugh as well.
Friends can make you feel included and like you belong somewhere. Growing up, I was left out a lot and I remember feeling that there were a lot of times that I didn’t belong anywhere. Yes, this is sad and whatever, but I’ve had amazing friends that made sure I’ve felt included and I belong. Whether it was by inviting me to watch The Bachelor with their friends, inviting me over to play games, inviting me to sit at their table at the dining hall, introducing me to their other friends, or something else. Each time one of my friends has done any of those things, they made me feel special and wanted. Those feelings are always good to have, and it’s why I want to be a teacher so I can make sure that every student knows what it’s like to feel included and that they belong somewhere. In general, I try to include as many people as possible because it sucks to be excluded from something that a lot of your friends are doing.
Even with all of this amazing stuff, to me the best part about friendships is that they can give you a lot of clarity on things. This happens when friends give each other advice, or they remind each other of something. The amount of times I’ve gone to my friends for advice because I needed clarity on something is astronomical. That’s not an exaggeration. I’ve had friends suggest and be supportive of me going to therapy. I’ve had friends give me advice that is award worthy and ended up being something that I still apply to my life today. All of us have weaknesses, one of my weaknesses is that I like to run away when things get hard in my non-professional life. My friends know this and give me advice on how to make a decision whether or not to stay. They hold my hand throughout the entire process giving me an abundance of clarity. Without their valuable advice, I would be so lost right now. Sometimes it’s not the advice that gives me clarity. Sometimes it’s the things that my friends do or say that gives me clarity because what they said or did reminded me of something. I had a friend remind me of why I wanted to be a teacher because they thanked me for doing something for them. It was so simple, but it gave me so much clarity. I would do this for my friends as well. One time, a friend of mine was struggling with something that I’ve had a lot of experience with. I told her how I went through it and how my other friends helped me at the time. She was still scared and sad, and for a while after that I would check in with her over text to make sure she’s doing okay. I reminded her that things will get better. It was so simple, but it meant a lot to her.
All of the things that I’ve mentioned in this blog post blend into that friends help build each other up. Right now, I feel that our society is in a time where it’s easy to tear someone down for anything, and I don’t like that. Why can’t we help people even if it means that we have to do something that is a minor inconvenience for us? My friends don’t have to listen to me, make me laugh, support me, include me in things, give me advice and whatever. They don’t have to care about what’s going on in my life because they have their own lives to worry about. In general, friends don’t have to do that for each other, but friends do and it’s special. I try to be all of my friends’ number one hype person, cheering them on for everything big or small. Even if it’s not procrastinating on doing their massive assignment, when they typically would, I’ll scream from the rooftops that I am proud of them. If it’s getting a good grade on a homework assignment or a test in a hard class, then I am going to be sending them a text and possibly buy them a coffee. If it’s something big like getting a job, internship, or another opportunity, then obviously I am going to celebrate their accomplishment. On the other hand, if my friends are having a bad day I am going to be the first person to embarrass myself to make them laugh, to listen to them if they need to vent, to try to give them advice, or whatever they need that can help build them up and smile again. My friends have shown me that they are willing to do that for me, and I am going to reciprocate that. The amount of times my friends and I have gone to McDonald's or ordered food because I was sad about something is high. My friends have helped build me up in my worst moments when I felt that I was unfixable and a lost cause. They didn’t give up on me, and I didn’t give up on myself. My friends were the stars in my darkest nights. As a result, I’ve grown and matured to being someone who I am proud of. Friendship enables stuff like that to happen on a consistent basis, and that is why it is one of the most powerful forces on this planet.
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