I’ve got friends in low places

Photo credit: Kristine Delicana

Willam Penn once said that A true friend freely, advises justly, assists readily, adventures boldly, takes all patiently, defends courageously, and continues a friend unchangeably But what is a true friend?

Throughout our lives we grow up around different groups of people, within those groups we make some friends. Our best friends grow from those friends and for some, those stay your friends for life.

Now personally I grew up moving around, a lot. I think the total is somewhere in the teens now, but I never complained about it. For the most part I actually loved it, new places new people to meet new best friends to make.

The only problem with that being, my best friends never stayed my best friends. I am an incredibly outgoing person. That’s not to pat myself on the back, it’s just a fact that when it comes to talking to random strangers I have zero problem doing it. So, when I moved to a new area I would just walk up to whatever young girl looked like she was my age at my new school and make her my new best friend.

As a short term friendship it was a great way to not be bored on the weekends, but when it came to the long term, I never learned that making a best friend has to do a lot more with common interests and values than age and proximity.

That was until I moved to Newbury Park, CA. For the first time in my life we were there for more than two years. That was when I started to realize that the method to finding quality friends is a lot harder than I thought.

I tell you this story because when you come to college there are thousands of new people around you and during my time here I have noticed that I have had friendships that blossomed and those that crumbled for various reasons. So I figured with my life experience I would tell you how I feel so you know if you have a true best friend.

For starters, do you feel comfortable to share everything without judgement?

A friendship should be a place where you’re okay sharing everything and anything, without being worried about being scolded. Getting yelled at about life decisions is what parents are for. I mean if you’re harming your body with hard drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol then obviously be ready for an intervention but outside of that your friends should have a judgement free zone. You should be allowed to be as weird and out there as you want because you’re comfortable enough to do it.

Is there an equal amount of effort?

Now that may sound like a relationship when I say it like that but it’s the truth. If you are always the person to text them or try to hangout with them and they blow you off 90 percent of the time to go hangout with someone else, you might want to try to find someone else to hangout with. Your best friends will hangout with you whenever, even if it’s just to eat chips and watch the latest episode of the Real Housewives in your sweats.

Are they just there for the party?

This is a tricky one, because yes I have friends that I love to go party with, they’re always down for whatever which is great, but 99.9 percent of the time they’re never there when things get serious. Or they find another party to go to when you’re just hanging out at home. You’ll notice with these friends that you’ll always invite them out but tables turned you never get a call to go out with them. You just see the pictures on Instagram later.

Now I am not saying that you need to cut out everyone from your life that falls into some of these categories. I believe that there can be a place in your life for everyone. What I am saying is that it is important in life to know the people that have your back.

I think that an important part of that as well is seeing if you fit any of those categories. Part of having great friends is being a great one.

I am lucky in my life now that I have a group of people I can call my best friends. All for different reasons, but trust me when I say that you’ll know who they are when every thing has gone to hell, you have no car, or money, and they’re there to drive you around, buy you dinner, and listen to you complain about your life.

I have full faith that you will all figure out who those people are for you and when you do I hope you cherish them as much as you can. They are harder to come by than you think.

Dedicated to my best friends, I love you all and thank you for your friendship.