It’s so hard to subtly state that I miss my friends. I miss spending nights, chasing the darkness and ubering home in a blur, or walking the streets back from the bar stopping at roadside food establishments or $1 pizza places. I miss being able to travel and visit them, taking in new city sights and seeing where my friends landed after college. 

Our friends are staples in our lives. A lot of them we’ve had since middle school. It is a miracle that a lot of my friends have stuck around since even elementary school, where I had transition lenses and liked to dress in a monochromatic scheme. This was way before that was a fun and flirty trend. When I was in college I tried to talk to my best friend from home every day in some respect, I usually call her before she dips into her subway or while I was walking home from class. Now, spending more time at home, I find myself trying to reach out to my friends more, create and harbor virtual relationships, through zoom wine nights and consistent group chats. 

Friendships come and go, and like any relationship they take work. Sometimes we take our friends for granted because we think they’ll just put up with it. Sometimes we think that if we disappear for a few weeks, they’ll still be there like nothing’s changed. This isn’t always the case. We can’t just expect our friends to be there for us if we don’t communicate with them. This has been heightened by the fact that we can’t run into them on the street or just pop over to their apartment. 

Personally, I think friendships are some of the most important relationships that you can have. Friends, especially ones that you’ve had for a really long time, have seen you through your worst. They’ve watched you go from an obsession with the Jonas Brothers to an obsession with Twilight and everything related to vampires. They’ve been with you through your choice to get bangs and they’ve been with you through every single day you regret getting those bangs. They’ve seen you at your worst and they’ve been there with you for your best. But as much as they’ve been there for you, you have to be there for them, especially now as the days get colder and the nights get longer. 

Relationships, like friendships, end if you don’t take care to keep up with them. People fall out of touch, they get busy, and they find other friends to hang out with. Friendships can end for 1,000 reasons. It’s your job to determine whether or not they should. In most cases, and if you’re willing to do the work, then the friendship could continue. If there are blatant reasons that it should end, then the friendship should end. If a friendship is toxic, then it’s best to end that friendship. There is no point staying in a toxic friendship, despite things like how long you’ve been friends and past experiences together. If one of your longest friendships becomes toxic, it may be hard to let that go, but it is also imperative.

I had a friend that I met in elementary school that was one of my closest friends through middle school and into high school. The friendship because toxic, however, and I had to distance myself from her because of the impact the friendship had on me. As much as I wanted to remain friends because we had been friends for so long, I had to end it because of the toll it was taking on me. I then got to focus that energy on more productive friendships that I have today, that don’t have a toxic impact on me. I try not to take those relationships for granted, but I know that I do to an extent. Being away from them for school also creates some difficulty but I know that we talk when we can, and when we get back together it’s like nothings changed, whether virtually or in person.

Friendships are one of the most important relationships that we harbor in our lives. Familial relationships can be fluid — I still fight with my brother sometimes, and romantic ones can change, and come and go as they do. But friendships, ones that have been nurtured and harbored and well taken care of, can last your whole life. It is important that we don’t take those relationships for granted, lest we see so quickly see those relationships dissipate.