Let’s Go From Cubbies to College: Best Friends Since Grade One

“Friends come and go.”

This cliche is so strong that it not only permeates individuals, but generations as well. This past Monday being National Best Friends Day, it got me thinking about friendship. The friends from junior high probably never made stuck around to high school, and those from high school never bothered with you once you went to different colleges. The Facebook birthday notifications fill up your screen and it becomes a game of heads or tails deciding whether you should leave a halfhearted message on their wall wishing them a happy birthday and that you should “catch up when you’re in town.” At what point in that decision were you serious and do you actually hope they’ll say yes? Chances are you say that knowing that they wouldn’t take you up on the offer. You were just being polite. While these kinds of friends are plentiful, they are hopefully not the only ones that fill up your Facebook wall. Having just graduated from college, I can definitely tell you that the hardest thing to do is keep good and old friends around. In time, you just become so obsessed with your own lives that you don’t realize you’re drifting. Your finals schedules don’t sync up and because you go to different colleges on different sides of the country, there’s always a need to add three hours to your current time to make sure that they’re not asleep or too drunk to take your call. But, your best friend defies all of these rules. Your best friend doesn’t have any rules.

The beautiful nature about a best friend is that they choose to stick around despite the roadblocks and finals and drunken tirades. They help you through it and will be there at the end of the day to tell you that you’re brilliant and deserve better. And after about a week, they’ll tell you how what you did was stupid in the name of “tough love.” Keeping your best friend from cubbies to college is not an easy feat, nor is it an impossible one.

My best friend’s name is Nicole.

c. 2010

c. 2010

Ever since grade one there had been a polarizing force between us. Call it fate or a happenstance seating assignment, but since that day is Mrs. Enrique’s classroom, we haven’t really separated. We went to a peculiar grade school, in that it encompassed every grade from kindergarten to twelfth grade without the need to leave and find an adjoining campus. That being said, keeping us together was easier than most for the first eight years. From Harry Potter duels to my failed attempts at playing basketball our bond grew as tight as Justin Bieber’s pants are low. Nothing could stop us.

High school proved a challenge in that we were physically separated for four years. Unable to drive, hormones at a high, and “drama” a bourgeoning force in our respective lives. We had to result to phone calls and AIM (AOL Instant Messenger for those unaware) to keep above the fray of insanity. Between the first boyfriends and awkward Prom dates, we made it to graduation. Timing being the monster it is, she didn’t show up at mine, but I managed to see hers. Surrounded by people I didn’t know, I stood up and cheered the loudest as she walked across the field to get her diploma (holder).

c. 2011

c. 2011

These four years, however, prepped us for the college years. The calls became less, FaceTime and Skype were minimal, and the texts became every so often. I was highly aware that this could be it. Is my best friend going to become the person my Facebook wall that I flip a coin to decide on a birthday greeting? Is my best friend going to evaporate from my life because we’re too busy or consumed in our own sh*t? If your friendship has spanned fifteen years, three months, and seventeen days then it won’t give up. At that point, your friendship is an angsty teenager, unwilling to fulfill society’s wishes of fitting in and getting a life. It’s a rebel. And our rebellious friendship is perhaps the strongest it’s ever been. Karma being an acting factor in recent history, she was able to be at my college graduation. This time she stood up and cheered the loudest as I walked across the stage to accept my diploma (holder).

c. 2015

c. 2015

It’s not that best friends don’t have rules. They do. In a sense they’re supposed to abide by the same rules that any other friends should, but they choose not to. It’s this choice, to do whatever it takes, at all costs that sets them above the rest. It’s the choice to keep a friendship going for nearly sixteen years that actually makes it work. In making the choice you eliminate the stress and effort, because it’s natural.

So, yes, friends do come and go. But the ones that choose to stay? They stay for life.

(originally passed by Elite Daily, but it’s all good…you all get to read it anyhow!)

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