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I take a lot of pride in the friends I have made and chosen to keep close to me. They are the most important people in my life. My grandma always told me that having four quarters is better than 100 pennies when it comes to friends, and she could not have put such an important piece of advice in a more profound way.

Coming to university, and such a large school as Western, making friends was almost too easy and insanely difficult for someone like me. I have a unique sense of humour and a welcoming attitude but also have a hard exterior for those coming inward. Now in my third year of undergrad and after joining a sorority, I have found a home away from home in the friends I consider to now be family. I love them beyond words, but my friends are people I worry about and empathize with more than I’ve ever experienced aside from my actual family.

As of the last few years, mental wellness, physical health and social dynamics have become more complicated as we have all begun moulding our own adulthoods. I trust my friends can and will take care of themselves, but I worry almost as a mother in a sense. I see them struggle and I see them succeed and I truly feel it in my heart. I feel warmth when they succeed and a painful grievance when they hurt. I push my love unto them only to let them know I am there for whatever, whenever. I don’t necessarily need such consoling much anymore myself, but I know they would endlessly love and support me so it feels effortless to give such a vulnerability to them that once was never natural to me. I fall asleep at night going through a list of my friends and scanning the current events in their lives, considering whether a check-up call or message is warranted—which 9/10 times I do both no matter what.

Now, I’m not saying I’m the best friend in the world and they should be grateful to have me. In no way am I tooting my own horn here but I just want my friends and the people around them to know that they are loved unconditionally. If I hold you close, it is because I have been hurt, saved and loved by partners, friends, family and even acquaintances and have come to realize just how important it is to surround yourself with love and the social instincts you feel, when you feel them. I love and respect until I am given reason not to, which is something I have done in my entire social career. I closely watch my friends out of purely good intention as if I can offer them help anywhere along the way, although I am quite aware that’s probably not the case. I love almost too open heartedly for my own good which is both a blessing and a curse for ultimately only myself, but I don’t think I’ll ever change it.

I am so endlessly grateful for the experiences and memories my friends past and present have given me. I love the way they have moulded me into the woman I am today because lately I have come to love myself so much more than I ever could imagine. After the hardest six months of my life, my friends have been beyond patient and loving and unbelievably supportive and I am left breathless at the thought of all that my friends do for me. I am a lucky girl to have been blessed with such amazing friends, but I also consider myself to be quite cautious and particular in the people I choose to let into my heart, as big as it is. It’s a two-way street I love riding along every glorious new day my life brings me.

Now I encourage you, whoever you are, whether your friend-group is made of a multitude of people or an intimate circle, to think about just how blessed you are to have such people around you. Thank them in some way just as a little extra in addition to what I’m sure is your already wonderful friendship. If you don’t find the reasons to believe such a wonderful group of people surrounds you, that’s okay. That’s more than okay. It took me what felt like a lifetime to find this group of absolute rockstars. Take your time to pick them and don’t rush for relationships to form because friendship always comes full circle one way or another. Please trust me. Believe true, selfless friendship exists. It takes time but when you find it, it’s better than romantic love and so much more important.

 

I am an English major at Western University with a passion for writing and speaking my mind. Im in my 3rd year of undergraduate studies and so far have made a lot of progress in my voice as writer but am eager to expand and improve my skills throughout my academics and my experiences through public articles!
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