Friends are a really interesting phenomenon. Out of the billions of people in this world, we pick and choose the ones we like the most. Our lives and characters are influenced greatly by those who we choose to surround ourselves with. The tone of our thoughts, the choices we make, all are deeply intertwined with the people we care for most. In fact we even pick up habits and sayings of our close friends, and several studies report that this so called “peer effect” can have a large impact on our lives, from the way we spend our money to the food we put in our bodies.
The concept of friendship is, for this reason, truly amazing. The human connections created through friendships, and the strength and resilience proved in that relationship when obstacles come up, are magnificent forces of influence in our lives. It is in this dynamic that the two friends grow and both learn things like forgiveness and building trust, and so on. This is the type of friendship that encourages personal development and overall positivity.
After starting college, I realized that sometimes people forget how to make new friends again. When you see the word “friend,” surely you are thinking of your own friends. The people in your life who make you smile, who you enjoy spending time with. But we all have many friends, and they all have different roles in our lives. Some are our therapists, some are our shopping buddies, some are our diaries, some are literal reflections of ourselves, and some are different combinations of all these things and more.
Moving to college often changes that. It’s hard to suddenly live apart from the people you spent years creating foundations of relationships with, only to try and create new ones, while still craving for people who already know everything about you. I can tell you that it is certainly an experience to start all over again, and to pick and choose which significant (or seemingly insignificant) experiences you are going to share with the people around you. Nonetheless, it is a beautiful thing to build relationships and create connections. It is even more beautiful to see how many people are willing and welcoming to such wonders.
As I have talked about before, these relationships may not be permanent, and they are certainly not unchanging, but still, to have these strong bonds at any point in our lives is a privilege. So be thankful for those friends. Be thankful to have them around. Be thankful that they make you laugh and most of all, don’t forget to actually thank them and appreciate them for the role they play in your life.