The Beatles nailed it when they wrote a song admitting “I get by with a little help from my friends”, and Taylor Swift got it right again with her #SquadGoals dominating social media. The truth is we see the necessity of friendship all the time in our society, and while we don’t necessarily need a #GirlSquad to validate our social lives, we all need people we can count on. But despite popular belief, it’s perfectly okay if all of your friends aren’t best friends with each other. Honestly, life is much more enjoyable if your friends are different from one another because each one reflects a different aspect of your own personality. If you don’t have the Sunday brunch insta with you and your eight closest friends all candidly laughing at the same hilarious story, you will, in fact, survive (and you probably had a kickass weekend anyway). Truth be told, we need different types of friends to live a happier life.
We need the Everything Friend.
This is the friend you can talk to literally anything or nothing about. You can talk about the latest article on wsj.com or you can sit in the silence of each other’s company. This is the person you can talk to about how stressful your internship is, how you need to figure out a way to not fail Physics this semester, or how your mom is driving you absolutely crazy about getting a job for the summer. You guys can talk about politics and your faith, but you can also talk about how annoying that girl at the bar was last night, where to get the best pizza in town, and about that one time you ran into your ex with another girl. No topic is too awkward or weird to bring up and often times you find the longest conversations are on the weirdest things like if aliens actually exist and how did people ever figure out that you could actually scramble an egg? This is the friend that is open for any conversation, big or small and makes you a better person for talking about it.
We need the Lunch Date.
This is the friend you don’t see all the time, and when you do, it’s not for too long. This is the friend that doesn’t have to like doing the same things you like to do or hang out with the same people you like to hang out with. But when you make the effort to meet for lunch or coffee or walk through campus on a nice day, you always find something to talk about and you bond over the same things that you have always bonded over. You don’t need to keep in touch 24/7 and even though you have different friends, this friendship is special because it doesn’t depend on time and circumstance. Rather, it’s built on shared experiences and similar values and refreshing conversations.
We need the Oldie But Goodie.
This is the person that you have known for years – the one that probably talked you into all the bad decisions, picked you up when your parents took away your car and hugged you when you felt your heart break in half for the first time. This is the friend that no matter how much things change, how often or not you talk, or how far away you are, you can always pick up right where you left off. You can also ask them if it’s a bad thing that you still think that guy from your high school is really cute.
We need the Teacher.
This is the friend that teaches you how to become a better you while being a better them. The major significance here, though, is that they don’t tell you to be a better anything – a better student, a better sister, a better daughter, a better athlete, or a better friend. Rather, they inspire you to become a better you. They encourage you to work towards becoming the best person you can be, but they leave out all aspects of judgment in the process. They inspire you to never sell yourself short and not put up with people or situations that make you feel less than you are. They point out how awesome it is that you found a class you actually enjoy and they brainstorm ways that you can use what you learned in your future goals. They acknowledge the fact that you can become a better version of yourself without certain people in your life, and they help you find a sense of individuality from it. The key here, however, is that this encouragement comes from a point of rare sincerity. They want the best for you simply because they think you deserve it.
We need the Other Perspective.
This friend is super interesting because they can give you completely different outlooks on life. This friend may be older than you and can talk to you about their own experiences that relate to your current situation. You can ask them questions and spend time with them knowing that even though you are at different points in life, you can still form just as strong of a friendship as you would if you were both experiencing it for the first time. Or this person may be younger than you looking for honest opinions and advice, but often times this friendship is capable of more than that. While we frequently find ourselves wanting to correct past mistakes, this friendship gives us the opportunity to use our mistakes as an example, but we also gain a different perspective – one that allows us to let go of the things that don’t matter.
To put it simply, we don’t need a #GirlSquad to follow us everywhere we go doing everything we do. Rather, what we need is a variety of different friends that force us to focus on different aspects of our life, and in doing so, we gain an open mind with a wider perspective. We don’t find ourselves boring each other to death on the same topics like who is dating who and which internship will provide the best connections. Rather, we live a much more stimulating life filled with conversations we actually care about because we all need people we can depend on. We all need people to talk to and experience things with. The relationships we form will take us farther than any internship recommendation ever could. Like honestly do you think Harry could have killed Voldemort without the support and help of Ron and Hermione throughout seven entire books? No, absolutely not.
Image via Lindsey Marie Whalen