Monday, March 14, 2011

How do we meet real friends? The Early Years

Where did you meet your closest friends?  Did you meet them in High School, College, Church, a bar, a social club like the Y?  How did they become your closest friends?  What made you say, "I want to hang out with this person?" 
I can remember in Elementary school having a best friend.  We met when I was four, and we lived in the same neighborhood.  The only year we were in the same class together was third grade.  Our relationship hit some rough patches that year, but we still continued on being friends.  Then, in the fifth grade, my family moved across town, or to the next town I guess.  It became harder to see each other.  Our parents did drive us back and forth some, but a lot of our contact was over the phone.  We would spend hours over the phone talking to each other... or watching tv together in silence.  In that year, I started having a really hard time with friendships in school.  I started developing and was made fun of constantly for it.  But I survived. I had also made a friend in the apartment complex that was a couple years younger than me. She liked to dance, so, I would get my little boom box out and set it on the step, and we would make up dances. After a year in those apartments, we moved again, but we were in the same city.  Nine weeks after the school year started, when I was in sixth grade, we moved again.  That time, I changed schools.  That year, I was probably the most depressed I had ever been.  On top of that, I was probably getting sicker with my health issues and nobody realized it.    
In those apartments, there were a bunch of kids. Now, my father had lost his job at the time, so, these apartments were based upon income.  A lot of these kids had broken homes with parents that had minimal to no education.  It also seemed that they had no discipline in the home.  Therefore, they thought that it was ok to treat other people with disrespect.  The worse part about living in these apartments and dealing with these kids was getting on the bus every morning.  That was enough to make me not want to go to school.  The bus driver had no control over the sitation what so ever.  I was constantly teased and made fun of.  After a while, a few self preservation things kicked in.  At first, I would try to use a Walkman and wear headphones on the bus to ignore every one around me.  But that stopped working when a kid decided the next thing to do was to start pulling on my head phones and break them.  I remember his name was Elmer.  He constantly picked on me and tortured me.  After the head phone situation, I got off the buss and came home bawling.  After that, my dad started walking me to the bus stop, which didn't really help the situation, because all of the bad stuff happened on the bus. So, my next act of self preservation was, not going to school.  I started missing at least one day a week of school.  This was getting to the point where teachers would say, "She's not here, must be Tuesday!"  I finally decided I would start going to school more consistantly when I got an ear infection.  Well, my parents decided I shouldn't go to school with an ear infection and didn't wake me up in the morning.  They called my in sick.  That day, the principal called and talked to my father.  I have no idea what the conversation was, but I'm pretty sure it was about my absences. 
This is the first school I experienced what being "Popular" and "Unpopular" really meant.  I did finally meet a real friend at this school.  She would invite me over to hang out at her house after school and for sleepovers on the weekends. We would talk about things like, how does the "Popular" girl never where the same outfit twice?!  She seriously never did!  We also both enjoyed music and were in choir together.  I sadly had lost touch with her soon after sixth grade when I moved back to the school I started middle school in. 
I had tried to keep a few friends that I had met while I was going to school at the first middle school.  One girl, whom I had known since fifth grade, still invited me to do things all the way through sixth grade.  So, when I moved back to the school, I thought I would be able to hang out with her.  I sat with her at her lunch table the first week, and learned some interesting things.  She had a table hierarchy.  It sounds crazy, but only certain people could sit right next to her.  We had classes together where, we would sit next to each other.  Then, she started some minor teasing.  I would just blow it off.  She's my friend.  She doesn't mean any harm.  I started making friends with other people in her circle, the ones I had things in common. I stayed friends with her until close to the end of eighth grade and middle school.  By the end of the eighth grade, I realized that friendship had run it's course, and we were becoming two completely different individuals.
My freshman year of high school was like starting over completely with all of my relationships.  You get to high school and you have all sorts of decisions that have to be made.  What kinds of classes will you take?  What kinds of clubs do you join?   Will you participate in any sports?  When I was a freshman, I wanted to do it all!  I was in freshman choir.  I was on dance team.  I was in Orchestra.  I was in drama club.   I went to early morning seminary.  I was active in the church youth group.  I went with my elementary school best friend to her church group.  I was in gymnastics.  I'm sure there was more that I participated in, but this gives you the idea of how busy I made my life. Within this time, I had kept a couple friends from middle school and still hung out with my best friend from elementary school.
As a freshman, my friend that I had kept from middle school was in marching band.  Now, marching band season is insanely busy, which is the first two or three months of the school year.  I felt like I didn't get to see her very often.  They actually went to state contest that year and did pretty well!  So, I started over with making new friends. I met some people in the drama deparment.  I started hanging out with them on a regular basis.
During my sophomore year, I got a job at a local pizza restaruant where my best friend from elementary school worked. I worked there all the way through high school.  Her mother and boyfriend worked there also.  During my sophomore year, I hung out with the elementary school best friend and the drama friends I had met the year before.  I still hung out with the marching band friend also.  We had a pretty good circle of friends that year.  Towards the end of the year, I met a guy that I ended up dating until I graduated from high school and through the summer right before college.  
I still talk to a lot of the closer high school friends to this day. 
Making friends in college is a whole different story. 


  1. I was a church friend all along.... Well, til I up and moved after Freshman year! :) I still think of you!

  2. I went to the same school, a small school, from K-12, but all the good friends I made were people that moved in to our school. I still talk to some of them. I've made good friends with my husbands' friends wives as well. I don't talk much to many of my college friends, like my sorority sisters, which you are one of! I thought SAI would give me those bffs I would never forget, but it turned out differently :(