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Lessons I’ve Learned From Friends: An Analysis On Their Ups, Downs and Everything In Between

You know the song “Castle On The Hill” by Ed Sheeran? He has an entire verse dedicated to his friends and where they are now in their lives? The lyrics go like this:

One friend left to sell clothes

One works down by the coast

One had two kids but lives alone

One’s brother overdosed

One’s already on his second wife

One’s just barely getting by

But these people raised me and I can’t wait to go home

After hearing the song a second time, I thought to myself: “Wow, he’s really putting everything out there!” His friends have gone through things that have shaped them – made them who they are. I started thinking about my own friends and what they’ve gone through. What I’ve learned from them over time. Granted, we’re not at the age where Dylan is on his second wife and, thank goodness, nobody’s brother has overdosed; but, we’ve still our share of experience. So, in honor of Ed Sheeran’s truthful lyrics, when I think about my friends, I can truly say that they have taught me some valuable lessons through their ups and downs.

 

The Time Cindy Had Life Revelations After A Summer of Drama

Cindy, a good friend of mine, liked this guy over the summer. This guy expressed interest in her as well. It seemed like a good match, a sure thing that could be great for both of them. Yet, through trial, error and a lot of miscommunication, the guy couldn’t express himself enough to tell her what he really wanted. I had a front row seat to all of this. Mainly because Cindy needed someone to vent to and I had open ears and arms. I sat through all the tears and confusion and the very fact of the matter is this: this guy, who had once seemed like a good guy, jerked Cindy around and cut off contact after he decided to see someone else.

Personally, I haven’t experienced this level of dramatics— on both ends— and can say that Cindy’s tricky situation was an eye-opening experience for me. I hope she doesn’t mind me writing about this. It’s not that I think she made any mistakes, it’s just that what happened over the summer was a lesson in how not to trust somebody who ends up disappointing you.

 

Public Versus Private: The Battle of Instagramming

While I’m not entirely certain Instagramming is a real word (read: it’s not!), I’ve learned from friends that wielding your social media prowess to the best of your ability can — and will — have a verifiable impact. I generally post pictures of the sky or my dog, but I’ve learned from friends (like Cindy) that certain people can – and will – see the smashing Instaram picture you just uploaded (especially when you *coincidently* decide to make your profile public). That packs a definite punch when you look that good!

 

When Life Gives You Non-Answers, Create Your Own

Cindy has turned out to be a great friend (spoiler: we didn’t get along when we first met) and she’s taught me a lot. From bargain shopping to the miracles of using conditioner as shaving cream, Cindy has become an instrumental part of my daily life. Because of that, she’s also been able to subtly and sometimes not-so-subtly, impart some wisdom.

As she said over the phone a minute ago, when I called questioning what to write about, “I’ve had 21 years of experience for you to draw from!” Which, everything else aside, is quite true. Even though I’ve had my own ups, downs and everything in between, I’ve learned that hearing life advice from friends turns out to be very beneficial in the long run. For Cindy, she became really interested in this cool workout class that changes your idea of what a general workout is. It’s a pole dancing exercise class and I can personally tell you it’s beyond awesome. (You have to graduate from level to level and can invite friends, family, etc to said graduations. Let me tell you: These ladies are amazing!)

It’s not that we all need to share every detail about our lives, but by talking and sharing information about ourselves, it’s become obvious as to what works and what doesn’t. While we’re working on figuring out who we are — whether that’s by investing yourself in something new or making a conscious effort to step outside your comfort zone— it’s still important to take the time to talk with your friends, not just for funny tidbits, but for the advice they have to offer. I’ve learned that being a good friend is less about initial commonality and more about being there for each other over time, through all ups, all downs and for everything that happens in between.

Hi, I'm Amanda. I'm a Creative Writing major with an affinity for take-your-breath-away-sentences. I also like solid 80s rock jams and blogging about my feelings. I'm constantly hopeful I can one day escape to the moon. For now, I'm enjoying attending a wonderfully diverse school and take pride in my beautiful group of friends.
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