Monday, 18 May 2015


There is no where near enough time in the world for me to preach about how my friends have saved my life. And no, that is not an exaggeration.

I will try to keep it to the basics.

In elementary school, I had three friends. That’s right. Three.
However, the reason for this is because I am extremely precise when it comes to my definition of “friends”. Sure, I spoke to pretty much everyone in my class, but I am not the kind of person to classify someone I merely talk to a few times a week as a friend.

I think it is safer this way. Well, for me anyway.

I only keep in touch with one of these friends to this date. Not only does this way of living prevent me from having several annoying individuals knowing the ins-and-outs of my life, but it also means that I can ensure that my life is being dedicated and wasted (good type of wasting) on people I truly love and adore.

Moving onto high school – even though all 3 of my friends attended the same school as me, and I gradually lost contact with 2 of them – I gained 5 more friends. And this wasn’t until I had been there for 2 years. Everyone else was just “someone I pass in the corridor”.

One person out of these 5 friends I gained in high school, turned out to be my best friend of today. And boy, do I adore him. (As seen in the “Photography” post.)

When it came to finishing our sophomore year and everyone was deliberating whether to stay in high school for Post 16 (Sixth Form) or to go to college, three of these friends left. One joined another high school, and the other two (including my best friend) went to college. I am now only close with one of these friends, quite obviously… it is my best friend.

Now, in my time in Post 16 – which was the best 2 years of my life to date – I met some super cool people. Weird, but that’s the way I like it and I wouldn’t change it for the world. I was close with a group of friends, which meant there were more friends in my life. I was closer to some than others but they were all still my friends. All in all, I had 12 friends in my 2 years of Post 16. I still regularly talk to 10 of them - usually in a group chat. (Thank God for the person who invented group chats!)
I was terrified when it came to leaving Post 16 and moving onto university because I genuinely thought that I was going to lose contact with majority, if not all, of them. Quite happily, this didn’t happen and I am so grateful it didn’t.

When I moved to university, I was very open-minded to the larger scale of diversity around me but was still cautious to who I classified as my friend. I have just completed my first year and I can quite happily say that I have made some of the most amazing friends ever. In total, four. I cannot thank them enough for making me feel welcome and for making university such a worthwhile experience so far.

By joining a church since being at university too, I have gained one friend and a whole family which I am eternally grateful for. Being a humanist/existentialist, I found it hard to understand why these people were so accepting of me being there when I haven’t even converted to Christianity yet – and it is uncertain whether I will be able to make a 100% conversion. I live my life day-by-day. But regardless, I love my Sundays in church and I value everyone there.

Lastly, I have two other friends whom I have never met. I started talking to Kelly over our love for a band and we talk almost everyday. And my love of photography is what helped me bond with the other, Grace. Despite mine and Grace’s everlasting messages to each other – roughly an essay length per message sent and received if you were wondering – I love her to pieces. Not only is she pretty much my older sister now, but she is also Australian and this just makes her the perfect package considering I plan to move out there a few years after I graduate!

It has been proven that by having friends, your happiness levels are higher than if you didn’t have them and that it is a good health benefit. I won’t go into the scientific side or the statistics now but you can do your own research. I should hope you know how to use the internet.

Quite frankly, when I reflect on how my friends’ have impacted my life, had I not ever known them, my life would be extremely boring. They sometimes teach you, help you to learn new things, point out your mistakes and help you resolve them, cheer you up as and when needed, offer you a fresh perspective and always love, care and support you. A lot of people say that friends “don’t judge you”. But I promise you, they do. You just don’t take offense to any of it. Friends are humans too and all humans have an opinion on pretty much everything. However, this is a bonus because at least you will get an honest answer when you decide to ask them “does my bum look big in this?”

Some people also say that “you can step outside of your comfort zone around friends”. Personally, I reject that statement. I believe that when you are around your friends – true friends – the “comfort zone” does not even exist. They are your comfort and whatever you do with them or in front of them is merely all part of the fun. You do not need to worry about whether they will think you are crazy. Chances are they already do. And you will spend majority of your time together trying to out-weird each other. And I promise you, this is what makes life so great - being able to spend days and days with them, not having to censor your language, opinions or behaviour because they love you regardless.

Now, being a complicated person because of my past, I can almost guarantee that it is tough to be friends with me. I have days where I snap at people, merely because I cannot stand the presence of human beings. Sometimes, even my friends. I just need to be alone. I need to be brought back to nature and realize what is around me rather than being in this constant “happy” state around my friends. It sounds stupid, but Oscar Wilde once said “I think it’s very healthy to spend time alone. You need to know how to be alone and not defined by another person.” Even though I wouldn’t be who I am today without my friends, I still need time to just let go and be alone. However, by doing so, I appreciate my friends’ presence a lot more when I come back to it. I am also eternally indebted to my friends because they understand that I have these phases. They just let it be and welcome me with open arms when I do make my return.

By having such a small number of friends, whom I emotionally invest 100% of myself into, it minimizes the amount of friends lost when someone decides to trail off and grow in their life. When this happens, I will always remember them and I hope they remember me, but by only having a handful of friends – to this date I have 18 - it means that I am less likely to lose friends like I lose bobby pins.

You don't necessarily need friends, but it is nice to have them sometimes. In my opinion, they make life so much happier and easier to live. It is always nice to have someone to share your stories with.

If any of them are reading this – you know who you are. And I am eternally indebted to you for how you have saved me and shaped me as a person. I love you.

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