Friends are worth waiting for
Friends are an essential part of life.
They may be more important to some people than others, but there’s no doubt that everyone needs them. Just like everyone needs family, everyone needs a friend to goof around with, to talk with, to be completely yourself with.
Friendship is complicated, but when you find true friendship, there’s nothing like it.
The friendships that I formed in elementary school were like bubbles: plentiful, carefree and sometimes short lived. It seemed that every year I had a new best friend, but it never seemed to be because of a fight.
To me, it always felt like we simply grew apart and became interested in different things. While I always wanted the type of friendship that was forged in kindergarten and held through high school, I never seemed to hold onto a best friend for more than a couple years. Still, these friendships taught me how to get along with a lot of different people and helped me to know a lot of people when I started high school.
High school friendships are different from middle school and elementary friendships.
When you’re in elementary school and middle school, friendships depend a lot on the activities that you’re involved in. Usually, you become friends with the people that are on your soccer team or in the school play. Once you hit high school, this isn’t necessarily true anymore.
Of course, it’s easy to be friends with people that are involved in the same things that you are, but I’m not involved in the same sport as my three best friends, and we don’t have that much in common in other extracurriculars, either. And yet, this friendship that I’ve formed with them is the strongest, closest bond I’ve had with anyone outside my family that I can remember.
It’s funny that sometimes friendships form when you aren’t even looking. I met one of these friends through marching band, and then, before I knew it, I was sitting with this person, and her two friends, at lunch. I started talking to them in class, walking with them in the hallways, going with them to football games. And before I’d even realized what happened, I’d found my best friends.
Before this, the hardest part about high school was seeing everyone around me that had really close friends. Seeing how easily people talked to one another and joked around, and in return, feeling how hard it seemed to be for me. The most challenging part of high school for any introvert is the feeling that you’re the only one who feels alone and there’s no one in the school that you could have that kind of a relationship with.
If you’re that person right now, the only thing I can say is that I’ve been there. That it isn’t a fun place to be, and I feel for you.
But also know that it can get better, and it will get better. As hard as it can be, put yourself out there. Involve yourself in extracurriculars that seem interesting to you, keep trying to talk to people in class. Because no matter how it feels, there are people that will become your best friends and your family.
You just have to be patient until you find each other.
High school, and life for that matter, isn’t a solitary journey. It’s a path meant to be walked with the support of family and friends. Remember that even if you haven’t found your people yet, you will.
It’s just a matter of time.
So be patient, stay involved and keep your eyes peeled, because your best friends could be walking just around the corner.
Hannah Sloan is an 11th grader near Peoria, Ill. Her father, Doug, grew up in Jefferson where her grandparents, Lee and Sheri Sloan, still reside. She has always loved writing and has written a column in her hometown newspaper since seventh grade.
Reprinted from Hagel Publications Inc./Courier Newspapers