The Evolution of Friendship

During this decade we often get caught up in our love lives and relationship status. Your love life is, of course, something to be conscious of (especially when grandma keeps asking if you have a boyfriend yet,) but there are other relationships just as important in our lives: our friendships.

When thinking about those people who I cherish and call my good friends at this point in my life, I can’t help but think about all of the friendships in my life that have either been tested, broken or (best of all) have lasted to this day.

Growing up, I’m sure most of us were told, “if you find one best friend in this life, consider yourself lucky.” When I was younger, this piece of advice was kind of a bummer to me. Out of all the people I encounter and befriend in my life, ONE best friend is lucky? This sounded a little crazy to me. However, my twelve-year-old self didn’t realize how people change. Friendships don’t always last and it’s truly difficult to find someone who you consider your friend-mate, what I call a soul mate version of a best friend.

I’ve never been one to have a huge group of friends. Okay, correction: I’ve never been one to have a huge group of friends who are all friends with each other. This meaning, I always had groups of friends from the different aspects of my life. I had my dance studio friends, my work friends, my school friends and my childhood friends. As normal as this sounds, having these different social groups in high school was kind of taboo. I went to a small Catholic private high school and man was it clique-y, as most high schools are.

Halfway through freshman year people find their set of friends and latch on. A lot of my eighth grade class went to the same high school so I didn’t feel alone entering high school, as I knew about 40 other people right from the start. Looking back, this was a good and a bad thing. I had a few friends who I considered my “BFFL;” remember those days when everyone was your besty and you would be friends for life? HA. I felt security knowing I would go through high school with my bffl. Think again young Fabiana.

A few months into freshman year, we found our niche and our interests. Some of us played field hockey, others joined the cheerleading team and I joined the dance team. We all made friends within these circles but once some of my friends got hooked, they never came up for air. I started losing my friends one by one and for pretty sad (pathetic) reasons.

My (former) friends started become interested in things that I never thought twice about. They wanted to be part of the ‘in/cool’ crowd. They wanted to party, drink, smoke, and hook up with guys every weekend and post the proof in pictures all over Facebook. I took this hard, because I personally wasn’t so wrapped up in all of these things. I was trying to find my way, adjust to high school, remember my dances for my dance team’s competitions, and do well in my honors classes. Despite having different interests, I tried so hard to maintain a relationship with these girls because it baffled me how we were just having sleepovers every weekend to now barely saying hi in the halls.

Although I resented the new group of people my former friends were hanging out with and replacing me with, this brought me to my current best friend. Bonding over the Jonas Brothers, we met freshman year and haven’t left each other’s side since. We were innocent for a pair of 14-year-olds. We stalked Nick Jonas fan pages in our free time, baked cookies, and laughed endlessly with each other. This best friend didn’t like cliques either, which made me feel so much better.

Throughout high school, we were known as a dynamic duo because we would float around, to different groups, go to sweet 16s with them, but were never a designated member of any of these cliques. We tried being friends with everyone and that really helped me get through (survive) these tough years in a teen’s life.

Fast forward four years later and now we’re both in college. My best friend goes to Connecticut and I’m commuting to Monmouth. I guess she was trying to make up for lost times, because my friend went on a rampage of partying, drinking and hooking up with guys. 

Gabriella Leuizzi, a junior biology student, relates as she has experienced a similar situation with a friend of hers. “I also commute to school, so I don’t have the same lifestyle and priorities as my friends do who are away at school,” said Leuizzi.

I remember having dinner during our first year’s winter break and her sharing all these crazy, college party stories with me. I was having flashbacks to my freshman year of high school, losing those friends to different interests and priorities What happened to the best friend who didn’t care about partying and would rather bake and watch Disney channel with me? Here we go again, another friend I might lose to petty things as boys and booze. 

Brittany Lamb, a junior business student has lost friends to different interests as well. “It’s really tough, because I have had friendships break up over dumb reasons and it’s tough because I feel we could’ve worked through it,” said Lamb. After break we went back to our completely different college lives and still kept in touch. The thing is, as time went on and my friend got the typical college things out of her system, we went right back to how we were pre-college. Yes, she still is into partying and hooking up with the newest guy, but we still have that bond we’ve always had and connect over things that I don’t have with other friends.

On the opposing side, Jessica Caffey, a junior criminal justice student, remains friends with someone who has different interests than her. “My best friend and I are two totally different people but we respect each other and don’t judge what one another do because we have a strong bond,” said Caffey.

Now I laugh at her typical college student ways when she’s sharing the latest gossip with me while we bake and have dance parties in my kitchen. We both, obviously, have different priorities but we respect each other enough to not stand in judgment of one another. As I have a solid three best friends, she’s the one I know I can be crazy with, tell her my latest guy traumas and share the most embarrassing things with her because we have that kind of friendship.

So to my fellow twenty-somethings, friendships will be tested but if you have that connection and mutual respect with this friend, nothing will get in the way of you and your bestie.