Wednesday 2 August 2017

The importance of friendships

When I was 13 friendships mean something completely different to what they mean to me now. Ten years later at 23, I have come to realise that friendships are so important in my life. I have been thinking a lot about friendships recently, especially after finishing university and being back home.

I have some friends who I still speak to who I have known since nursery, these friendships are the type where I might not see them in months but I always know that would be there for me. This type of friendship I think is few and fair between. I think high school is one of the toughest times when it comes to friendships. My high school friendships pretty much stayed the same throughout and it was a really lovely that we were so close. However, this is the time where you question other friendships, one of the 'cool' girls might get put next to you in science and you want to be friends and little naive me used to try and act like one of the gang to 'fit in'. In hindsight, I don't think I was as naive as I thought, as I knew that these girls would never be my best friends, but I still wanted to feel as though I fitted in. I think it is perfectly normal for everyone both girls and boys to go through this stage, as you definitely learn a lot along the way.

In college, I didn't meet too many new friends, however I did meet two girls who are special to me. I also strangely became really good friends with a group of girls who went to my school, but we never socialised together. It was really great, and these girls are now my close friendship group. When you go to university, by god is it hard to maintain friendships. However, really when it comes down to it, it really isn't that hard in terms of effort. All it takes is a "hey girls how you are doing?" in your group text. It is so easy for friendships to dwindle away easily, I always worried a lot about going home and having no friends. All of my friends have made new friends at university which is a given. I did, I met five girls and we all have a group text, it is also one of those friendships where we don't have to speak weekly, but we still talk and check up on everyone especially with our jobs as we are all nurses. We have made a little pact to try and meet up two times a year.

That's a little bit of background to my closest friendships, now to why they are so important to me. I feel like lots of us feel as though we have a few friends who we would not tell our secrets to, or would turn to in an hour of need. For me these friendships are a different level of friendship. I always think who would I text in an emergency, and I can count on one hand the girls who would get that text in an instant, and I hope it would be the same for them. I am kind of over those 'fake' friendships where you feel you have to hang out with someone just because you've known them for years. You feel obliged to go to the half yearly night out, just so you don't come across rude. I think you have to be honest with yourself, people change, you change, sometime friendships don't last forever. On to crap friendships. I have had seen people write on Twitter that they've not been invited on a night out with their friends, to me that isn't being a good friend. They knew that would make you feel rubbish, why put yourself through it. Everyone has been through a crap friendship, and I hope you know your worth and have come out the other side.

As you get older you definitely do realise who your real friends are. I'm not about those friendships where it is always you making the effort to make plans, or to do anything. Why should it always be you. If they want to see you, it should be 50/50. I have had that and it puts me on edge thinking why haven't they made the effort, it's not all my decision. Friendship is two ways. Another super important point which I want to discuss, is friends who get jealous and annoyed when friends do well, rather than being happy and proud. I can safely say that my small group of friends when every single one of them have a got a good job after graduating I have been really excited for them. We aren't there to be competing with each other as to who is top dog. We are there to encourage to go and achieve exactly what they want. Jealously can be the devil, if someone isn't championing you on to go and achieve you have to ask yourself why.

Now at 23, it is hard to make friends and meet new people including relationships (another post coming on this when I've got the balls to publish it!). This is why I have recently realised the importance of my friendships. I often debate in the shower who I would class as my best friends, and I definitely know as these are the girls I would want as my bridesmaids. These girls are a small bunch, but to me that is all I need. I honestly hope that I am friends with them forever. We complement each other, tell them they look fabulous, their makeup and hair looks great. Say something nice. I think this is few and far between these days. Social media can be so negative, we don't care about the perfect selfie, we go on a night to enjoy ourselves. We laugh that we are crap at posing. We are all feminists pushing for girls to achieve what they can, this is why I want to always be their friend.

It is also great to have different groups of friends. Like I said we all make out little group of friends at university, that is natural unless we expect each other to sit on our own for three years. I have different friendship groups, but I actually love it. Come on there is no need for us to get jealous of your friends having other friends. I will put my hands up and happily admit to this happening to me in the past. It is natural, you think your best friend is going to be taken away from you in front of your eyes. I also think in hindsight, it was jealously but also fear. As an adult, I have actually become friends with some of my friends friends, it is lovely the more the merrier. I have two small friendship groups, apart from my university friends and they are all fabulous.

From this post, I just wanted to highlight the importance of friendships. As I have said as we get older it is harder to make new friends, we don't cross path with as many new people. I think we are all guilty from time to time of neglecting our friendships when things in life get in the way. This is sometimes when you realise who your true friends really are. All I want you to get of this post is to treasure your friendships. If you have been meaning to text Tina from down the road, or Shelia you went to school with go and do it now after reading this post!

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