I was the new, “Florida” girl when I started 9th grade (2006). Moving cross-country, starting high school in an all-new place with all-new people. I remember getting ready for school that week – I didn’t have to wear a uniform (this was a big deal – I had been in private school all my life). It was an anxious-excitement that drove me to just dive in. As days past, I started to see familiar faces in my classes and began to make friends, who are still some of my very closest friends to this day.
There was Renee, who sat near me in Freshman Biology. Then there was Sam, who let me borrow her sweatshirt to tie around my waist when my shorts split (yes – that actually happened). Then, through Sam, I met her twin Jaclyn, Cassy and Aydee. I remember the day that I was invited to join them at lunch – I was thrilled. It was a glorious ~105 degrees and we found a shady place by our favorite teacher’s class, which became our spot for the rest of that year.
As highschoolers do, you kinda bounce around – I had my Cross-Country running friends, my “IB” class friends, and some others you meet along the way. Not everyone stuck around, but the ones that mattered have.
I consider myself really fortunate to have such amazing friendships that found me when I was in very formative, transitional time, that I know will always be there. Fast forward over a decade, here Sam and I are closer than ever. Along the way, we have:
- Graduated college (Sam – Cal Poly SLO in Applied Nutrition; Breah – USC in Business and Public Health) and both became Alpha Chi Omega alumni
- Traveled the world (I spent 6 months traveling with Up With People before college and another month in Europe after college; Sam spent 8 weeks as an Au Pair in Italy and has been back with her husband, Matt)
- Both had distance relationships for ~year with each of our now husbands; also both been bridesmaids in each other’s weddings
- I’ve seen Sam become super healthy (after finally being diagnosed with Celiac Disease mid-way through high school)
- Moved up and down California, multiple times (I think at least 6-7 moves between the two of us, in 5 years)
- I visited Sam’s precious baby Olivia at a week old & I will become her godmother this spring
- Started (and re-started) a blog together, for the third time (you just have to roll with what life throws at you sometimes). Read more about our SU&G story here
A few things i’ve learned about real, true friendships–
- They will be there, always, but not at every event – It’s impossible to make every celebration, from the day-to-day catch-ups, girls weekends, weddings, babies, and everything in between. Schedules are crazy these days, so understand that! You can count on them at the events that matter the most, because they will try their best to be there. And if they aren’t there in-person, they will be in spirit ALWAYS.
- Even if there is time and distance between, you pickup right where you left off. It’s unlikely you will get to call/text them everyday, every week, or even every month. But every time you do, you just jump right back in. You may not know what nail polish color they chose at their last mani/pedi or where they went for brunch last weekend, and that’s okay.
- There’s more to friendship than Facebook. They don’t just like your pictures when you post on occasion, they are the ones that send you a private message when there’s something they see that reminds them of you. They make the effort to call, text, or send you a card snail-mail on your birthday.
- Little fights never last – you talk it out and get over it. Grudges don’t exist in real-friendships. Do what you need to do – chat, cry, and laugh it off.
- There’s something magical about having a friend that you can meet up with and lose track of time when you’re with them. You just chat and laugh and by the time you know it, your plan’s totally didn’t happen the way you thought they would, and that’s okay!
- The coolest thing for me over the years is having the opportunity for all of my friends (from different parts of my life – Florida and California, high school and college) connect and become friends over time too. When you surround yourself with like people, your friendship circle naturally grows and support one another in ways you don’t expect.
With all this talk about friendship, I bet you are now thinking about someone that is important to you – so go tell them! Especially in our current world-situation, it’s important more than ever. They will appreciate it more than you know. If they don’t pick up the phone, leave them a message. Or text them your favorite picture together. Or, go old-fashioned and go by a funny card next time your at the grocery store. There’s no time like the present to appreciate those who help make life matter the most.