Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

Everything I’ve Learned From My Female Friendships

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UC Irvine chapter.

Some names in this article have been changed to protect the privacy of the individuals.

As I close my computer after my most recent binge-watch of Sex and the City I start to reflect on my very own female friendships. Through the male gaze, women are supposed to be put against one another, causing a significant divide in feminism. While the relationships between Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samatha are an example of a healthy, yet messy, group of privileged, empowered women, I was inspired for the first time to write about something that matters a lot to me: my female friendships.

Ever since I was a little girl, I would somewhat envy my mom and how many friends she had; from elementary school friends to work friends, she was never seemingly alone. No matter the bounds of distance they were always there for one another. My mom always invited me to baby showers, weddings, or even the classic Girl’s Night Out. She was a priority in other people’s lives just as much as they were to her. My pubescent self was dealing with hormones, first periods, and boys, and I was jealous because I was strugglingto find my very own forever people. I had been on the roller coaster of finding someone, only for them to break my heart in a platonic way, causing major destruction to my sense of self and growth. I mean, it’s not like I wasn’t trying, I was showing up trying to be the best friend I could be, but sometimes I can admit I fell through the cracks trying to just fit in. As I enteredmy 20’s, I felt myself pushing through my boundaries and path toward growth, ready to reflect on what I have learned thus far. Even though the journey still continues, here is what I’ve learned from my female friendships.

Elodie: That Girl is my Best Friend. (Surround yourself with healthy friendships)

I owe my life to Elodie. I know, it sounds a little bit dramatic, but I am one for the dramatics. The first memory I have of her was in fourth grade at our Multicultural Fair. She was the only one standing at her booth. When I walked up to her, she smiled, dawning her little gap in her cute teeth, and offered me a French snack that I recognized from my grandmother’s house. We talked about the similarities in our cultures, and I couldn’t help but think she was so cool. After that, I think we let the wave of other friends take us away from one another, and for most of middle school we would just wave at one another in the hallways. Until tenth grade, when we were put in the same group for AP World, and suddenly everything clicked right back into place. For the rest of high school, I was welcomed into her friend group with open arms, until the pandemic hit. Over the pandemic we were all tasked with having to get used to the “new normal” and being away from one another, which caused a major break in our friend group. This new way of living started to show people’s true colors, so much so that I lost a guy I thought was a best friend. He didn’t leave me without some trauma though, and that is when I really saw Elodie step for me. When I was faced with depression and anxiety caused by a bad relationship, I had never felt more alone. I mean, half my friends wouldn’t pick up the phone, or stay silent as they watched him hurt me. So, I fell into a rut. I was in a constant state of sadness and would rarely leave my room. One night, I was scrolling through my phone when a quaint knock on my door startled me to get up, and on the other side was Elodie. She pulled some sweatpants from my drawer and motioned for me to put them on. She said, “We are going to get Mcdonald’s and talk. Meet me in the car at five.” I rushed to throw on those clothes running out to her enormous Jeep parked in my driveway. The entire ride there and back, she just listened and acknowledged that she was going through the same thing making me feel less alone. We ate silently as we munched on our Oreo and M&M McFlurries, turning on our favorite show, Sex and the City. She never forced me to talk if I didn’t want to, and it was like she read my mind. When I went home that night, I finally felt happy. Elodie is the definition of what it means to be an amazing best friend: from holding me as I cried moving into my dorm, or us gorging on pasta while catching up on life; she is the most selfless person I know. She truly holds the title for being my platonic soulmate, no matter how much time it took for us to get there. Our friendship letus grow as individuals and counterparts, proving to us that we finally found a healthy person to surround ourselves with. We have an open line of communication, we never talk negatively about each other, and we can feel at home without having to say a word. We still work on it everyday, both of us putting in the effort to create this bound and I am so eternally grateful. For the rest of my life, I am grateful I talked to her in fourth grade, or else I would be no where without her. There are not enough words in the world to address my gratitude towards her. To my best friend, thank you for all that you do and I can’t wait for many more years of this friendship.

Maisy: You cannot try to change people.

When I was seven, I begged my parents to give me a little sister, and no matter how hard I tried, I was always hit with a resounding no. As much as I love my twin brother, he would kick me every time I tried to dress him up as my very own doll. So, when I met Maisy, I knew right then and there I finally got what I had been asking for: an unbiological little sister. Maisy and I bonded over the fact that the pandemic caused a lot of harm to many of our friendships, and overall mental health. In fact, I remember it like it was yesterday: it was a late-night Zoom call intending to planevents for our cultural club, but it ended up with us finding a connection. The call went on for hours, and we listened as we ranted about life, brushed their teeth, or had a midnight snack. I felt seen. These calls became more frequent, and then turned into dinners at California Pizza Kitchen and late-night drives around our mass city. Since I am a year older, I felt the constant need to protect her while also relying on her for advice and comfort, but it was so natural. My trust in Maisy ran so far deepto the point where she even helped me create my Tinder account for the first time, only to watch me delete it a day later. She consoled me when I was healing from my Not So Prince Charming and told me that I was definitely better off. For months, it felt likeI finally got the little sister I always wanted, but sometimes life throws you a curveball. The calls started to go to voicemail, texts unanswered, and eventually the hangouts ended. It was like Maisy disappeared out of thin air. Our last hangout was fun and felt totally normal. I would wait up every night replaying every single moment in my head: Did I do anything wrong? Am I a bad friend? Does everyone hate me? For a week, I kept on trying to reach out to her, but I decided to letit go. I had some healing to do on my own, and I ultimately had to learn the hard truth: you can’t control who you want people to be. If you do, the pain will eat you up inside and turn everything into negativity. As hard as it may be, people have to live their life the way they want, even if it is against what you want. After a month or two, I did get a text back from her, making me briefly think everything was back to the way it was. Ultimately, I still have a big place in my heart for Maisy, but I have to note that I have to understand my self-worth, no matter how hard I fight against change. In the years ahead, I don’t know where my friendship with Maisy will end up but it has helped me grow.

Rylie and Sophia: Allow people to help you grow and stand by you.

The duo that needs no introduction, or anonymity, have the official title in my life of being my preschool best friends. Ultimately, more like family to me; we didn’t always have this bond. I met Rylie and Sophia on a cold California day at our small tucked away preschool in the Los Angeles Valley. I will admit we did not get off to the best start, causingus to be preschool frenemies. Looking back, we all sit and laugh at the little shenanigans that we would pull because of our silly feud. Over the many years, we became the unstoppable trio, from Friday night sleepovers to Renaissance fairs; we lived the best childhood we could. They stood by and watched Disney Channel when my grandma passed away letting me stay in my room. They always listen when I rant or cry. They have never missed a birthday. They have helped me grow. I knew their friendship was worth it because they have watched me so far in every era of my life. Even though we are at different ends of California, they always make sure to check in. It is proof that good friends will stand by you, in the best and worst of times,never judging you for who you want to be. My love for them is to infinity.

Jessica: Great friends will show up when you need them the most.

When I met Jessica, I was a lonely freshman in college. It was the beginning of my Spring Quarter, and, honestly, I didn’t have much to show for it. I didn’t have that many friends, and I just wanted to find my college best friend. Until, I signed up for sorority recruitment where Jessica was also in the same boat as me. The two of us met on our Bid Day, a warm Saturday afternoon where we were officially welcomed “home.” The two of us, still nervous, met by the snack bar where she made the first move by introducing herself. We hit it off immediately, and I just knew at that moment she was going to be one of my best friends. The thing about Jessica is she commands each room with poise and charisma. From that Saturday on, we would drive to meetings together every Monday and grab late dinner in the Anteatery; each time I would leave knowing in my heart she is going to make a lasting impact on my life. We even put each other’s name down for living together without one another knowing. To me, she feels like home and makes me know that I am in a safe space. During the beginning of my Sophomore Year I still found myself struggling with anxiety causing me to stray for the first couple of weekends back. I was caught in a circle of happiness, but also fear of the unknown. I was so scared that Jessica would get tired of this or try to walk away from all of it but she didn’t. She perhaps said one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me, “I don’t think I could ever get tired of you.” Even though she said it in September of last year, I still remember it and hold it near to my heart. For her, it might be harder to share more of the emotions on the sensitive side, and this moment showed me the vulnerability it takes to open up in a healthy friendship. It taught me true friends persist in your hard times while trying to make sure you eat, sleep, and get the help that you need. While I am still on the journey within my mental health, I do owe a major part of my growth to Jessica. The thing that I enjoy about our friendship is every day is a new learning experience and there are still things that we are constantly working on. We still make the time in our busy schedules to laugh, hang, and be best friends.

Lainey: Good friends will help you push your boundaries (in a good way).

You know how they say the best friendships come from you thinking that they were intimidating at first, well that was Lainey for me. Lainey walked into our college Humanities class,e decked with a Louis Vuitton bag and sweatpants. She was undoubtedly cool. It didn’t matter what she was wearing because her confidence radiated throughout the room. I honestly think the first words she said to me were, “Hey you, come over here! We are working together.” Let’s just say the rest was history. At first we would just hangout in class, talking about life, love, and of course Humanities, but then she would walk me to my dorm or take me to lunch. We never go a day without laughing until we cry, or being a constant support system for each other. The most significant change I noticed was that confidence of her’s rubbed off on me. As I have said in the past, I am the biggest people pleaser in the world, much to my very own default. It has caused me to be walked over and put in toxic situations. The problem is I never tried to stand up for myself, until Lainey. The thing about Lainey is, she pushes me to be the best person I can be, even if she knows that might be outside of my comfort zone. She never forces me to be uncomfortable, but she assures me that I am taking some good risks in my life. I honestly took note of this very recently, when she came to my dorm at 3 a.m. with a handful of snacks, begging me to tell someone that their actions hurt me. Everytime I fell back into my old patterns, she kept bringing the phone back into my hands and ultimately clicked the send button with my consent. The thing was, she never got up or gave up on me no matter how long it took, and she never crossed the line. Lainey always makes sure that I am supported within my actions and gives me a pipeline of good advice to help me get through life. I used to think that stepping outside of my comfort zone would be a bad thing, but it has proven to be great in so many ways for me, especially with her as a friend. When she left that night, I couldn’t help but smile, feeling proud of myself for standing my ground and even prouder for being friends with her.

As I have more to tell, my quick conclusion (that I am most likely writing at 2:00 a.m.) is you are not supposed to be the perfect friend, no one will ever achieve that, but as long as you strive for your best self, those who are truly good will notice that, and hold onto you very closely. Now, this story will continue on in many parts, due to the many lessons I have learned from each of my unique friends. This is only the beginning.

Zoë Howes

UC Irvine '25

Hi, my name is Zoë! I am currently a third-year journalism student at UCI and I love to write about rom-coms, my messy love life, politics, and more! For me writing has been such an amazing outlet to express all my emotions while helping people through my voice. Hope you enjoy! :) insta: @zoepascale_