There are few things in life more important than friendship. A friend is someone you can confide in, someone with which to share life’s troubles. Friends are there to share in your happy moments, they help to wipe away your tears and they are the first people to applaud your successes.
We start forming friendships very early on. If you come from a large family, your first friends were probably your siblings or cousins. If you don’t come from a large family, you made friends in elementary school, sports and summer camp. Eventually you started to figure out who your “best friends” were. These friends were special; they understood you, shared your interests and were the friends you always seemed to have the most fun with. They topped all the rest and they were the friends you pinky promised to stay friends with “4ever.” Back then, it seemed like nothing could ever stop you from keeping that promise.
I remember the first time someone ever told me that friendships change. My eighth grade teacher was talking to my class about high school. She looked over at me and my best friends and said to us, “You girls know that you might not always be friends, right?” Those words cut me deeply; I couldn’t believe she would say something like that! Was it possible that these girls I grew up with, who knew everything about me, could one day not be my friends? I couldn’t fathom the thought.
When my best friends and I went to high school, things did change, but for the most part we were still close. We made new friends and found new interests, of course, but we were determined to stay best friends. It pains me to say that my eighth grade teacher ended up being right; friendships do change.
My friends and I became busy with school, jobs, extra-curricular activities, dating, and sports. Somewhere along the line, we lost touch. We became different. We made little effort to grow together and, instead, we grew apart. We occasionally said hello but rarely kept in contact. And when we all went away to college, our friendship became a long-ago memory.
Make an Effort
Although I was fortunate enough to make new friends, these lost friendships taught me a few things. Please keep these ideas in mind for those special people that you feel are important to hold on to:
- Support them.
- Listen to their ideas.
- Go to their events.
- Make time for them.
- Share their posts.
- Call to check up on them.
- Make it point to go out together. Schedule it weeks in advance if you have to.
- Celebrate their victories.
- Remind them of their importance after their failures.
From what I have learned through friendships I have both lost and kept, these tips can help you to keep your treasured friends for a lifetime.
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