Family Doesn't Have To Be Blood

Ever since I can remember, I dreamed about having a sister. Someone to help me do my hair, share clothes with and vent to about girly things. I was extremely jealous of one of my friends, who was blessed with two younger sisters. But soon, I was ‘adopted’ into their sisterhood, and that was the moment I realized family doesn’t have to be blood.

My friends mean the world to me, and while I know most people can say the same thing about their friendships, I feel like I won the lottery. It’s hard to trust people with all your problems and baggage, but friends know all of the bad, and still accept you for the person you are.

A few years ago, the University of Kansas basketball team thrived on the saying, “Family Over Everything.” F.O.E. became a way of life for players who came together and created a bond that couldn’t be broken. After hearing F.O.E., I realized how true it was, but most importantly, how ambiguous the word “family” can be.

Coming to college, most of us probably felt a little alone. We had left our blood families, and started a new chapter on our own. We were forced to create friendships and bonds with our roommates, classmates, co-workers and teammates. And slowly, but surely, we formed our own families.

Growing up, we don’t have much say in who we spend time with. Whether because of location, schooling or relatives, people were chosen for us. These people can stick by your side for the rest of your life, but that’s all you’ve ever known. Moving away, or experiencing a shift in your life can cause a change in the relationships you keep.

“Friends are the family we choose for ourselves.” They are the ones we weren’t forced to have, but decided to bring into our lives. They know the ups and downs, the highs and lows. We begin to trust people who not too long ago were complete strangers. They become our family... It’s just nice to know you never really leave home.