Friends: the Making and Losing


Photo Credit: Caitlin Kronberg

SCHS students walking in the main hall.

Caitlin Kronberg, Staff Reporter

“Relationships are easy” said no one in the history of the universe. High school friendships are hard. By the time elementary school passes, simply offering up an animal eraser from the book fair won’t automatically earn you a best friend. Everything was easier when I was a little kid, including making friends. I’ve had a lot of close friends come and go. Hopefully, my experience can either comfort or amuse you readers. 

First comes the making of friends. Most of my past friendships have come from circumstance. If one is stuck near me for a fair amount of time on a regular basis, they should expect to endure my rambling fountain of meaningless conversation. Talking is a pretty important part of most relationships, afterall. Most of my desk partners at school know exactly what I’m talking about here. Through this observational approach, I can assess whether my victim- I mean possible friend- will be able to put up with me or not. Awkward conversations are the bane of my existence. I usually try to start with a compliment or a topic that affects many people. Yes, talking about the weather falls into this category.  It’s easier to slip into other topics once you and your possible friend get a feel for each other’s mannerisms. Movies, video games, and other such topics will follow. 

Phase two, if your acquaintance has not run away yet, is to hang out with said individual outside of your normal meeting place. Meet up with the fellow student outside of classes. Ask your coworker if they want to grab a bite to eat. In my experience, free food is an extremely effective bait. Making new friends is also easier if you do it in groups. Invite a mutual friend and a few others to all hang out at the football game or catch a movie. Friends can come from surprising places. I’d like to think that most everybody deals with the same basic social problems. A simple “Do you like Marvel or D.C. better?” can open up a world of possibilities. 

Then comes the losing of friends. It’s sad, but friendships don’t last forever, I should know. I’ve had some pretty bad luck with choosing friends. Most have moved away, and one graduated. Losing friends is hard. After putting in all the effort and happy memories, it’s difficult to lose a friend when there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Some friends fight and never make up, and others slowly drift apart until all they can do is make awkward eye contact from across the room. Trying to stay in touch online sometimes makes it worse. I don’t want to lose contact with my friends, but I personally lack the ability to come up with conversation. What do they want to hear about? The book I just read? The winnings of a high school football team they’ll never represent again? I feel terrible for all the people who’ve had to deal with me through a screen. 

Making a new friend after losing someone close is worse than any math final. I don’t want to replace people. These days, I’m often hesitant to make meaningful bonds with new people. I’m too scared to lose them that I unconsciously hide behind a mental wall. Is the making worth the losing? Deep down, I know the answer. It’s funny how intangible items are always the most precious. I can’t see the love my parents have for me, but snuggling with my mom on the couch makes me feel warmer than any blanket. The memories I have with my old friends mean more to me then any new smartphone. The relationships we build with each other are worth more than anything, even the pain of a shattered bond. 

Humans are social by nature. Ask any sociology book, and it’ll tell you that human society and culture, the one we built together, is what separates us from all other lifeforms on earth. Take Dolphins, for example, they’re extremely sociable and highly intelligent. They gained that intelligence from learning from each other. I doubt humans would be remotely close to what we are today if our drive to stick together wasn’t as strong. We build cities and nations to be together and thrive. If all my mushy emotional reasons didn’t make you think, then these cold hard facts should convince you. 

Friendships, and relationships in general, help give life meaning. There will always be someone around you who will reciprocate a friendly greeting. Trying to stay impartial, like I have, will only hurt you. Making a new friend isn’t really as hard as it may seem. Take a good look around you. Do you really know all the strangers around you well enough to say they wouldn’t make good friends? Of course not, they’re strangers! Even if you go your separate ways in the end, the memories will have been worth it.