Flashback to the first day of high school –your clothes have been freshly cleaned and ironed, you have no idea what hallway you’re standing in and your heart is pounding so hard you’re sure everyone can see it under your shirt. Where is homeroom? What is “homeroom”? The chaos and confusion has given your face a permanent wide-eyed gaze that you lug around for the first month or so. Then it happens: you make a friend.
The bond you are suddenly apart of is easily the strongest you have ever known – you have found someone to brave the terrifying world of high school with. A true ally: someone who hates the same classes as you, watches The Hills as religiously as you and who gives you stomach-aches from laughing so hard. A friend who recognizes that sometimes the best Fridays are the ones you spend ordering pizza and cuddling for hours.
Slowly you find your footing, you meet more people like you and one day you realize that you have a group of girls who have become your family. It’s said that the high school years are some of the most impactful on your future: you find yourself and you figure out what you want to be. The girls that you spend all of your time with are actually shaping the person you will become, and they watch you grow.
For starters, this crew is your crew regardless of whatever awful hair or fashion statement you decide to make. Bangs, crop tops, UGGs, or even wearing the boy version of your school uniform for reasons of comfort, come whatever, they love you. The fact that they accept you regardless of what your outfit is says a lot about what they value you for: your true personality that they know like the back of their hand. The best part about this is that later, when you come home from university with a new weird sweater that you refuse to take off, they’ll just laugh and talk about something else.
Not only do they know your personality inside out, they know when you aren’t acting like yourself, even if they are in a different time zone. They can spot discomfort or sadness on your face from the other side of the cafeteria, and on FaceTime from 500 miles away. No one else will ever hone this skill the way they have because no one else will always be right by your side like they are, both physically and emotionally. They saw this face when you broke up with your ninth grade boyfriend, and they have a soft spot for that face to this day.
These girls are also the only other people in the world who have seen you do some pretty questionable things – random make-outs, drunken heart-to-hearts, eating an entire pizza for yourself… they’ve seen it all. They’ve probably even joined in on the madness. There was never a time when you felt entirely embarrassed because you all made a silent pact to support each other no matter what. You can’t un-see these things, and the bond that grows between you all as you share all of these experiences is truly irreplaceable.
These friendships are a part of you now, regardless of how far away you might all be at this second. You always have this second family, one that you got to choose, that will always accept you. They’re silly, hilarious, quirky, and sometimes disgusting, but you are at home with them, even if you’re hundreds of miles away from your actual home. There is nothing in the entire world that can break or replace this bond, and it is one of the most coveted bonds in the world.
Featured image courtesy of the author.