Do You Belong To A Friend Group?
I came across this question on one of my social media accounts and it made me stop for a second. For me, I had never not belong to a group of friends. Since I was a child, I always had a friend and we would hangout all the time and as I grew up into my pre-teens, I started forming a friend group. The only time I remember not having any friends was when I first came to Canada...I was a sad little one who didn't know how to speak english, lol poor little Bev.
The thing is, being a part of a friend group is amazing, annoying, funny, full of drama...most of the time unnecessary drama, and a source of strength.
The first group of friends I formed was when I was in grade 7. I met two girls named Allyson and Joelle. At the time, Allyson and I created a stronger bond, but Joelle was still friends with us. Mainly, the girls in class were all friends but we all had our own bffs. Everything changed when the three of us where put in the same class in grade 8. While there, we formed a very strong bond and built the foundation to a friendship that would last over 13 years. At the same time, I became a friends with another girl in the class, Nadine, and she became apart of the group; but again we all had people we were close to within the group. Fast forward to today and Nadine is not apart of the group because she was closer to me than to Joelle and Allyson. Today, Joelle, Allyson, and I are still very close and have formed this strong female friendship. But this friendship is not without its issues. In high school, Joelle went to a different school and we grew apart, although we were all friends and hangout monthly; Allyson and I become extremely close during our high school years. In college, Joelle and I went to school in the same city, so become very close friends during our collage days. While Allyson was in another city. But for a good couple years, Joelle and I lost touch with Allyson, we were all friends but Allyson was off doing her own thing and although it was hard on Joelle and I in very different ways, she needed that time away. Fast forward to now and a whole lot of life issues, changes, and the three of us have rebuilt our friendship. I think for the first time, we are all close to each other on the same or close to the same level and understand each other in ways only growing up can teach you.
During my college days, I entered two different groups that have helped shaped who I am today. One was with Joanna, Shannon, and Paolo. This was one of the most naturally forming friendships I have ever been apart of. Jo and Shan were already friends and Paolo and I were too; and one day we just came together and formed a very interesting meeting of souls. This friendship has been the corner stone of my adulthood, just as the pervious one was the corner stone of my childhood. Again, this friendship went through its ups and downs, as adults, life gets busy and you see each other less. We all went through a time where we saw each other all the time to barely talking or texting. As people enter and leave their romantic relationships and start their careers, the dynamics of the group changes. This group of friends taught me how to be an adult and how to understand people. There are moments we have shared with each other that I think changed the course of our lives. But this is one of the group of friends where I felt like there was a cosmic connection but this connection doesn't last but it ebbs and flows. There are high moments and low moments, moments where we are intensely close and time where we are so far apart. I think we recently went through a time last year where we barely saw or talked to each other and now we are in a moment where there is a sense of renewed connection.
The second group of friends consisted of Paolo (same guy from the group above, yup, he can't get enough of me), Sarina, Naomi, Katie, Krystal, and Lyndel. Yes, there is seven of us in total and we all lived in the same house in our last year of school. We call ourselves the "423 Crew", the name is the number of the house we lived at in our last year of college. I was already close friends with Paolo and Lyndel when I moved in and barely knew the others. But yet we all formed a very unique and out of this world bond. Living with six other people was incredibly fun, dramatic, annoying, uplifting, and funny. There was always so much drama, fights between people, sometime it was over the stealing of a boy, shoes, clothes, and or food. But through those issues, we all found something that was missing in ourselves and found it within each other. There has been lots of ups and downs in this group of friends, some of us are closer to one or two people, we tell secrets to one that we don't tell to the other. And there will be that phone call or text that always starts with "don't tell anyone I told you this but.." and often times, that is the third call or text you have gotten about that same secret. Let's just say, there is never a dull moment and that is a great thing. But there has been moments were there is bad blood or resentment that stain a get together. But through all that, it is always fun and amazing when we can all be together. This group of friends have given me the opportunity to learn so much about others and myself. I know I will always have them in my life no matter where I am living or what I am doing in my life and there is a lot to be said about a friendship like that.
Maintaining a friend group is very difficult. As you we grow up, we become so into our own lives and it becomes a challenge to keep up with one another. It is sometimes a real struggle to maintain a sense of closeness when there is more than two people. It is hard to resolve an issue within a friend group because there is so much going on and so many people to consider. There will be moments were resentment and anger levels are so high that it is hard to be in the same room with them. There will be times where there are so many of you, that you don't even know what is going one in someone else's life or they don't know what's happening in your life. There is a lot of comprising in a friend group, and sadly one person does more comprising than they should. The worst part about having such a big group of friends is that there will be months and sadly years where you may not talk or see each other as much.
Do You Need A Group?
I am happy for these three groups of friends because they have taught me so much about myself. I truly think I wouldn't be who I am without these people. They came into my life during very formative years and therefore, they have shaped the kind of women and person I am today. I don't think people need a group of friends. I think shows like "Sex and the City" , "Friends", and movies like "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" make having a group of friends easy and idealistic, which it isn't. If you don't have a group, that is okay because if you have friendships that fulfill you and make you happy in life, than you are doing something right. I honestly don't think you are missing out on some life experience or lesson because, if you have one close friend then you understand what friendship is. Also, it is never too late to create or join a group of friends. These kind of friendships grow naturally, it could be two couples meeting up or going to a class and meeting people who you bond with, to reconnecting with old friends. Making a friend group is a natural part of life but not having one is also a natural part of life too. So the answer is nope you don't need one.
Do you have a friend group? How do you all make it work? Put it in the comments below!
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*This post was originally posted in March 2017*