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    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

True friends stick around during bad times, not just good

Friends: Everyone has them, right? Or, maybe everyone just thinks they do.

Maybe those people you party with, you eat with and you hang out with shouldn’t actually be called your friends.

It seems like today, the definition of having friends just means having a group of people around you. It doesn’t really matter if you actually like them or care about them.

What is more important is that they are there. No one wants to be alone, so friendship is a great option.

However, I think the word friendship gets thrown around inappropriately these days.

We’re too quick to throw the “friend” label on people without really knowing what the word entails. It is more than just having momentary fun with someone.

Friendship is not about how a person makes you feel. It is not based on circumstances, but rather it’s based on love.

It means giving your friend the truth when it will spare them from acting foolishly, even if it jeopardizes the relationship. Actual friends will be willing to tell you what needs to be said, even if it’s not wrapped with a bow and pretty.

Actual friends won’t just want to be around you when you are making them feel good, or when you are simply chasing moments of fun.

They will stand by you when you’re sad or angry. In those moments when your circumstances are such that you don’t even want to be around yourself, they will come along side you.

A real friend will not become scarce when you need help studying or you need someone to care for you when you are sick. This all may seem flowery and dramatic, but choosing to be a real friend makes a powerful impact on the lives of those we befriend.

Conversely, the people we choose to be our friends should also be of vital concern, especially in college when you live, eat and study with them. We will eventually become like those with whom we spend time, whether we realize it or not. I look around and think about my own personal experiences and others that I have observed, and most everyone has had an experience where they thought their particular friendship was legitimate, only to discover that betrayal or insincerity was present. It is all too common that people’s selfishness gets in the way of their ability to be a good friend.

Few things are more heartbreaking than discovering that the people closest to you never really cared for you or loved you.

So choose your friends wisely. Surround yourself with those who genuinely love others and who care more about morality than what people think about them.

In the same way, be that good friend. Be willing to put the needs of others ahead of yourself; that’s the true meaning of the word “friend.”

Respond to Kayla at

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