What Makes a Good Friend?

            Who hasn’t had problems with their best friend? No one, that’s who. I hope I’m also not the only one who occasionally thinks that maybe I shouldn’t be best friends with this person. When I first met my best friend I felt like this was a person I wanted to be friends with, I felt like we had a lot in common but also like we were different enough to be good for each other. At the present moment I’m feeling like we are similar in all the worst ways and have nothing important in common. I’m probably just saying this because I’m in a bad mood, but this is my completely anonymous blog – so I can say whatever I want.

            Why am I feeling like this right now? I’ll tell you why: there is a party on campus tonight and I want to go and she doesn’t. The party is literally a one minute walk from our apartment and it is school sponsored so it has a dance floor and games and stuff like that (so it’s not like some wild party). She claims that she doesn’t want to go because she has stuff to do and has work at 8am tomorrow. I’m not arguing with her or trying to convince her to go, I said it doesn’t matter to me (I couldn’t convince her to go if I tried). But the thing is, I keep wondering when she is going to go out of her comfort zone. I do it all the time (although it may not be so obvious to her, because my comfort zone is quite large). If she wanted to do anything – go to a dance, a party, an event – I would go with her, and I have. She has also gone to things I have suggested, but only if she already wanted to go. I just feel like we are in college!!!! We should not be getting eight hours of sleep every night (I don’t, trust me. But she gets like 8-11 hours of sleep a night!!). Having work at 8am is no excuse not to go and at least check it out! This is part of the reason why I wanted to study abroad next semester: I feel like I’m not getting the full college experience. I want to go to parties (occasionally), I want to participate in underage drinking (at least once!!), I want to be busy, stressed, sleep deprived (I’m totally succeeding at this! It’s not fun, but it feels more college-y than anything I else I do). I’m not in college to be a responsible adult; we have the rest of our lives for that. I want to live!

            The other, completely unrelated, reason why I’m mad at my best friend (who is also my roommate) is that she asked me today why I haven’t been doing any of my dishes lately. This alone doesn’t bother me, it’s fine that she called me out on it. I have been forgetful lately (but I by no means have completely stopped doing dishes. I forget to wash a plate here and there and leave forks in the sink occasionally) and have not been the best roommate lately. But I told her that I am extremely stressed out and I’ve just not been myself. I think I’ve been pretty understanding when she is stressed and freaking out. But I feel like since she takes antidepressants and goes to counseling she acts like anyone who doesn’t have an actual diagnosed reason for being upset isn’t actually capable of being legitimately stressed out. Like my problems don’t matter as much as hers because I’m supposedly more mentally stable. I know that I cannot accurately judge her on this issue, but I feel like she doesn’t realize that she is not the only one who has problems. We all have to deal with shit and we all get stressed. My feelings do matter, just as much as hers. I should be allowed to be stressed out and mess up every once in a while. Not to mention the fact that I am an English major and she is a science major, which also means that she thinks that I have way easier classes than her (I will be blogging about this soon, because it is driving me nuts).

            I guess I just want to end this horribly long rant with a question: what makes a good friend? Because I can criticize her all I want, but I know that I’m not a great friend either. I’ve been struggling with this for years, trying to figure out how to be a good friend, and I just can’t get it right. Maybe she doesn’t quite get it either. Maybe none of us do… or maybe it’s just me. I’ve seen many examples of really solid friendships. But I wonder how much of that just shows up on the surface and if there are really problems underneath the façade of smiling faces. We can’t all get along all the time. Maybe what really defines a friendship is how you make it through the periods when you can’t stand each other.

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