Best friendship: there is nothing better. Whether you met in the first grade or freshman year of high school, there is something irreplaceable about a best friend – someone who knows your quirks and “isms,” could recite your coffee order backwards, and perhaps knows the scent of your deodorant. There is nothing that’s off limits with a best friend. And that is why best friendship is so special and important.
But as college kids, the young and hopeful youth chasing after our dreams, the reality stands that you and your best friend probably won’t/doesn’t attend the same university. And that is… well – terrifying.
So for everyone who’s freaking about filling that essential ~ bestie ~ position, here are six myths about best friendship that you can toss in the trash. Because we all know that a girl’s got 99 problems, but a bestie ain’t one (cue hair flip):
1. Your best friend has to be exactly like you.
The notion that your best friend has to be something akin to your clone is downright absurd – isn’t the entire premise of having a best friend that you learn from one another? I’ve found with my own best friend (shout out to you, Jess!) that we are actually total opposites in many respects. I am brunette, from suburban Michigan, the oldest and always the mom of my friends; conversely my best friend Jess is blonde, the youngest, a free spirit and from upstate New York. One of my favorite aspects of our friendship is that we both bring something unique and special to the table. Jess can go for hours telling me about the fabulous concert venues scattered throughout New York and the east coast, while I often talk her ear off about my family annual family vacation to Traverse City and other Michigan beach-towns. My friendship with Jess is so incredible in large part because we have varying backgrounds, interests and hobbies.
2. You can only meet your best friend during first semester freshman year.
Someone decided along the way that you can only meet a true best friend during first semester freshman year, and frankly I want to smack that person in the face because that is so false. While I made plenty of fantastic friends throughout freshman and sophomore year, I didn’t meet anyone who I felt understood me on a deep, personal level. Through my sorority, classes, clubs and mutual friends I met dozens of amazing people and became very close to many of them, but it wasn’t until the beginning of my junior year that I truly met “my person.” I lamented for so long that I was unlovable, misunderstood and so alone, in spite of all the friends I had made at school. It wasn’t until I met Jess that I truly felt understood and loved unconditionally. If you’re still waiting on that person: don’t lose hope! You will continue to make new friends throughout your entire life, and it’s crucial to remain optimistic about your connections with others. You never know who will become an irreplaceable part of your life!
3. Your best friend will always agree with you.
This is probably the hardest aspect of friendship in general. The blunt truth is that you probably won’t agree on everything – and that’s fine! By no means do your differing opinions disqualify you from being best friends with someone. Quiet the opposite actually – being friends with someone who sees an issue or topic differently that you is actually a huge win, in that you can learn from one another on a political, economic, or religious level! Jess and I disagree often on a vast array of topics, but the key is that we do so respectfully and with love!
4. Your best friend has to be your roommate.
Anyone who has spent even 24 hours confined to the same space as a peer can attest to the fact that living with someone is hard. If you choose not to live with your best friend, that’s okay! In fact, it might even be a great decision for your friendship. Having your own space separate from even your very favorite person is crucial for maintaining a healthy, vibrant friendship. It will make you appreciate the time you have together! Plus, living with another friend can help deepen and expand that friendship beyond what you ever thought it could be! (Shout out to you, Siobhan!).
5. Your best friend will do everything with you.
Life at the University of Michigan is fast-paced, rigorous and unrelenting. In any given day you’ll have more things to do than your mind can even comprehend; if you don’t get to see your bff for a day or two, that’s to be expected. My best friend and I are lucky enough to live in the same house, so we sneak in hugs and words of encouragement at meal times and before bed. And when we really need some quality time together, we grab coffee or get away for the weekend together. The balance we strike between our responsibilities at school and our friendship is an essential element to our well being as young women.
6. You can only have one best friend.
While I’ve focused primarily on my best friend Jess, the truth of the matter is that I have a handful of other best friends – and you should, too! I have a best friend from middle school, a best friend from high school, a best friend from camp, and a posse of besties from a club on campus, among many other great friends! It’s okay to regard several people as your best friends because frankly life is always better with more love, more friendship, more laughs and more shoulders to cry on; because at the end of the day we’re really just here to connect and engage with one another in a lasting and meaningful way!
Images courtesy of: Britt Boyle.