What Are (Best) Friends For?

A best friend is a rare kind of friendship that you don’t find in just anyone who comes along. The differences between you and them only serve to build your friendship up, instead of tear it down. But what exactly does it mean to have a best friend?

A best friend is reliable. They have soldiered on as your constant companion throughout the trials and tribulations life has thrown in the way, and you can count on them. Having a best friend means there is someone out there with whom you can be the truest version of yourself with. It’s why that best friendship formed in the first place; because with them it seems easiest for your real, naked personality to show itself.

Most people I know, myself included, don’t just have one best friend though. We have our childhood best friends, our college best friend, our roommate, our work wifey, and we are close and connected to all of them! So what’s up with having all of these best friends with different labels? Should we feel guilty about it?

Absolutely not! After all, our best friends are “the family we get to choose,” said Jess C. Scott, a novelist and blogger. We have childhood best friends, college best friends and work wives because who says you can only have one best friend at a time? Chances are your best friend from kindergarten to high school isn’t going to end up at the same college as you, live with you, and choose to work at the same place you do. We come across new people with compatible personalities and shared interests and sometimes we can’t help wanting to befriend them. The purpose of creating friendships as we enter each new phase of life isn’t to replace the best friend(s) we already have; the new relationships just further strengthen our support group.

As young adults, it’s inevitable that we will lose and keep some friends along the way, but it’s up to us to recognize which friendships are worth letting go of, and which are worth holding on to. Childhood best friends are often either the longest-lasting friendships, or the ones that don’t last past childhood. College best friendships might stay with you to the grave, or die out as soon as you both graduate. Our circle of friends is always evolving, which is good because we as individuals are changing, too.

I’m sure we’ve all creeped on an old friend’s Facebook page before and thought, “Wow I’m glad we didn’t stay friends.” As a teenager, I wish I had been more aware of which friends were worth keeping. I didn’t understand that minor differences between two people were not the end of the world, that even though we were growing up and forming different opinions, our bond was still there. I ended up pushing one best friend away that I still think about, six years later, and I’ll never stop regretting that.

Best friends ensure that no matter who or what you’re dealing with, you will always have one support system to rely on. Whether they’re your bff from childhood, or college, or work, or they pay the rent with you, they are all an important part of your squad. When your boss makes you cry at work, run to your work wife. When your significant other is just not on the same page as you, call up your college bff. When your parents are driving you up the damn wall, your childhood best friend will know just what to say to calm you down. 


Feature photo by Lionello DelPiccolo/ VIA Unsplash.