The Importance Of Friendships In Your Twenties.
When you're in your teens your friends, the amount of them and the calibre of them were seemingly the most important thing in the world. If you had few friends you were a loser, if you had loads of friends you were popular and if you were part of the 'cool' ones then all the better.
And then you leave school and go to university and graduate and start working life and those friends you had probably aren't your friends anymore and the rest of the world certainly doesn't know you were part of the popular crowd. Very quickly you're taught that actually it's the quality of friends you have that matters most over the quantity and having lots of friends isn't the be all and end all anymore.
But your friendships in your twenties are just as important as those in your formative years - they're just important in a different way.
I have a lot of smaller groups of friends all formed from different parts of my life. There's my group of girlfriends from school - the ones that I've known since year 7 and have seen all the way through the last 14 years. There's my Foundation course friends - the ones I only spent 9 months in college with yet made a million memories. There's my university friends - the ones from my course who kept me sane through three years away from home. There's the individuals who I see one on one - the one I made in 6th form and has been my therapist a thousand times or more and the one I lived with for three years and had a billion adventures with. And then there's my blogging friends - the ones who turned from social chats on Twitter to the ones I share weekends away with pouring my heart out.
There's not a thousand and one of them. My birthday mentions on Facebook get smaller and smaller every year and I frequently forget years of friends I had before them. There's not a lot of them but they're all valuable to me. They're people with shared experience, with shared memories, with an understanding of who I am offline.
Why I need them;
Sometimes, only your friends will do. Sometimes you need space from your relationship and space from your colleagues and space from your family and only your friends will suffice. You need to vent, you need a night out, you need a coffee and a catch up and it's those friends that come together that make everything right in the world.
It's those friends who come out of the woodwork, who send you a text just when you need it or say "wanna do something this weekend?" when they know you need to get out of the house. It's the ones who'll listen to you rant for two hours and say "it's fine, we can do me next time" when you realise your time together is over and you haven't even asked how work is. It's the ones that genuinely know next time it will be their turn. It's the ones who ask how your Mum is and remember your birthday without a Facebook notification and like all your Instagram posts.
It's the ones that make you proper belly laugh when you see them, who tease you and don't let you get high and mighty but are never nasty. It's the ones that are never awkward no matter how much time has passed, the ones who kick their shoes off at your door and curl up on the sofa, the ones who remember what breakfast you eat when you go to stay or how you like your tea. It's the ones who offer you an open house and you know you could just turn up any time even if they do live 4 hours away, the ones who's parents houses feel like your own and the ones who drop you a text to say good luck for your meeting or job interview.
My life is full and I know that it's all the richer for the friends I have kept in it.
Being in your twenties;
There are some things you can only do with your friends. There's that sickly old saying you find on greetings cards or wooden signs along the lines of "friends are the family you picked for yourself" and it's true.
Come your twenties you soon start realising who is toxic in your life, who you don't feel good when you see, who never makes the time to bother to see you and you generally remove yourself from the situation. Your friendship group becomes smaller and smaller, you meet people in new places, you share new experiences and the ones you have in your life are the ones who make you feel great, the ones you might not see for 10 months of the year but feels like no time has passed since you've been gone.
Being in your twenties is also sometimes a bit shit. I'm sure none of us want to relive our teenage years but being in your twenties isn't all it's cracked up to be some of the time. With the transition from student life to real life, with bills to start paying and mortgages to start worrying over and the constant fear of being alone - having good friends in your twenties is a blessing. Hashtag blessed.
Sometimes you just need a catch up over a drink in your local or an all you can eat buffet or a wander round Ikea with your best ones, putting the world to rights.
Friendships in your twenties are important because I'm sure a lot of us would fall apart without them. Life is busy and sometimes we forget to send that text or we leave with promises to "do it again soon" and find 6 months has passed again. But they're always there, they always have your back, they're always rooting for you and punching the air when you achieve and drowning your sorrows when you don't and you're exactly the same for them.
So to my friends - a thank you.
To the ones that I've known since year 7 - for all those years of house parties, gigs, first boyfriends and questionable music taste and for all the years that followed when we split up across the UK and still make it together a few times a year.
To my Foundation course friends - for being thrown together as the most motley crew of friends, for sticking the year out, for Venice and for the subsequent years of seeing each other every 6 months and always failing to get together quicker.
To my university friends - for the lectures we missed, the takeaways we had, the artwork we managed to finish and for making me make the 4 hour road trip back to uni every few months.
To the one I made in 6th form - for the coffees we've bought and the gossip we share and the impartial advice and the complete understanding of me, my family and where I'm coming from.
To the one I lived with - for teaching me to make a banging macaroni cheese, for sticking together, for always helping my shopping habit and for a thousand memories I can't even begin to go through.
And to my blogging friends - for the world's best picnic, the world's most Instagrammable weekend away, for the most supportive Whatsapp group ever, for the blogging motivation and SEO advice and for coming into my life just when I needed a group of strangers.
You're all pretty darn swell.