Schnipke: The journey of friendship

October 27, 2016

Just a few days ago, I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed and saw a cute notification: “Congrats Emily, you’ve been friends with Jessica Harker for one year! Time to celebrate!”


First of all, Facebook is getting really creepy with reminding me about events. Secondly, I can’t believe it’s only been a year since I started writing for the Independent Collegian. A lot has changed in that time period, including the creation of the best friend-squad ever.


From kindergarten to high school, I never had a constant best friend. It seemed like I would get really close to someone and then they would suddenly move away or we would drift apart for a particular reason.


That changed my sophomore year of high school. I decided one day, quite randomly, that I wasn’t going to sit around and wait for friends. I walked over to a table of girls that I was somewhat friends with, and ate lunch with them. For the next three years, the eleven of us were great friends.


I won’t pretend and say that I thought we would be friends forever. I knew that they had all been hanging out with each other since kindergarten. Although I was invited to hang out with them during our elementary years, it was never more than class birthday parties. However, in high school, that didn’t matter. It was a chance for me to get to know them all anew.


Once graduation hit, we were suddenly faced with the daunting prospect of not seeing each other every day. We were all headed off to different schools, in different programs. I honestly thought the next time we would all be together would be at our five-year class reunion.


I was right. The summer after graduation came and went, as well as the last two and a half years of my college career, and I still have not once hung out with any of my high school friends.


I guess I carry some blame. I never go further than a ‘Happy Birthday!’ on their Facebook wall or a short ‘How are you doing?’ conversation when we run into each other at Walmart during summer break. I know that many of them still hang out together (how could I not when it’s plastered all over Instagram?). I just smile and nod and like their social media post and go on my merry way. They never invited me, and I never asked why or invited myself. It really doesn’t matter; it’s not the first time I had friends ‘breakup’ with me.


Friendship breakups are very similar to intimate relationship breakups. Usually, there is a lot of crying and soul-searching involved, and one party is generally happier than the other in the end. It’s hard to move on. You have to rethink what you want in a friendship and how to achieve that same thing in yourself. Having good friends means that you must be a good friend.


But if there is one thing I learned from my high school friends, it is that it is very easy to make friends, even when I don’t really want to. Now that I’m in my third year of college, I have many different friend groups, and they all serve a different purpose. I have my marching band friends, my new Zeta fraternity brothers and, of course, my fellow IC editors.


A year ago, I would have never thought that I could find such good friends in one place. I love writing for the IC, but I love my friends even more. It wasn’t even until the beginning of this school year that I somehow fell into a friendship with these awesome ladies.


Jessica is so strong and she has become one of my greatest friends. I can tell her anything (and I often do). Rachel is the funniest and kindest person I know. She reminds me of how fun life can be. Savannah is our Wonder Woman, but she’s also a gentle flower who needs our protection. Then there is Morgan, who is a genuinely wonderful human being; she always has the best ideas and the brightest smile.


My co-workers and my friends are my life. They are the ones who make my life so colorful and bright. I know that we’ve really only been close friends for less than two months, but to me, it seems like years. Jessica and I are already planning on how we’re going to ruin Rachel and Savannah’s weddings by being drunk, obnoxious people. Morgan goes on awful dates and tells me the stories so I can laugh along with her. Rachel and Savannah have enough photo blackmail to last for years.


Fast forward ten, twenty years and I can see us, all living in different parts of the country, and still getting together to gossip in our ‘fan club’ and talk about being HBICs. Friendship doesn’t always happen when you want it. True friendship happens when you really need it.


Emily Schnipke is a third-year communication student with a minor in English. She is also the IC’s managing editor.

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