Prompt: What or Why is it important to go out with friends, interact with people, and have fun. ( Idea provided by clcouch123 . Please check out his blog and his wonderful Psalms.)
When I was a little girl I didn’t have the easiest time making friends with other girls. I would be friends with a girl for awhile then a fight would happen and the friendship would cease. Both parties would go play with someone else. In consequence, I spent a lot of time hanging out with the boys and playing sports or rough-housing. Maybe, this could have been because I had two younger brothers and was use to playing with them. I was also a tubby little girl so the guys didn’t see me as a ‘girl’ per say, because I didn’t quite have the skinny physique that the popular girls had.
But time changes social status. I was skinny and pretty in Jr. High but Sr. High had its moments of misery. But when university began, since I had had such a small graduating class at my high school, the kids who went to the university across the football field from the high school, were close to each other for the first two years of university. I hung out with my friends and new friends from high school. Some of my university pals became busy around third year as some of them opted for a three year BA, especially if they were going into a teaching degree afterwards. As a result, I made new friends, many from the University Bookstore I worked at throughout my BA. A girl named T worked with me and I made friends with a bunch of her friends from high school on a Pubcrawl, one extremely fun Halloween. I made friends with her cousins too and it was the year the Oilers were in the Stanley Cup final so we had fun watching hockey then heading to Whyte Ave for crazy fandamonium. We meant another girl named L in my fourth year of my degree and became friends with a girl K I knew who worked at the university in development; also my friend from highschool S, and her friend from Russia A were part of my circle. There were other girls we hung out with when we went out and an even larger group of people we socialized with. Now my social circle is made up of a small group of girls, who I have been friends with since university and even before that.
Most of my good friends are married or have a serious boyfriend. I can only think of one or two who are single like me. I was single for along time. I had no boyfriend in university. Then I was too sick for two or three years to handle a relationship and finally at twenty-six-years old I started dating A and we dated for four years.
But all these times I have spent with friends from whatever age I was, why was that so important? Well, friends help us validate who we are. We know in our families that we are accepted for being us and because often our own short fallings are the same short fallings are parents deal with too. But when we make friends when we’re children we learn to get along with people who are different from us. The lessons we learn from our parents can be different from lessons other kids are learning from their parents. We may gravitate to other kids who are different from us because that is appealing to us, to not follow what our parents say. Or, we may end up being friends with people who are a lot like us, who have to follow similar rules, and are in similar activities.
Children are often talented at making friends. But some kids have something about them that makes them different from other kids. Maybe they are poor, look geeky, are chubby, or another kid decides they are jealous of them or don’t like them. Bullying is a terrible action that occurs to some kids, an action that scars kids and their parents alike. If you asked certain bully’s why they hurt other kids when they did, they probably wouldn’t know. They would say they didn’t like a particular kid. Maybe, they were having trouble at home or they were bullied too. It seems whatever our generation there are mean kids around to make other kids miserable.
How we act with other kids, determines a lot of our happiness when we are in our pre-teenage and teenage years. We crave acceptance, to be part of the crowd. We want to fit in. The validation we receive from our peers makes us feel good; it makes us cool. It makes us feel as if we belong somewhere. Once we come to University or College we find there are many types of groups and friends for everyone to hang out with in classes, sports, campus events, campus clubs, going out at night, and many other events.
Having a large group of friends was a lot of fun for me. I could be my quiet self but I could also get my fix of crazy. This was especially important in University as an outlet for the stress caused by taking five courses at a time, working part-time, and being involved in campus life. It was a miracle to party on the weekends, to drink and forget stress. It was a relief to have fun with friends and meet new people. It made me feel that I could handle stuff in the week because on the weekend I was a wild girl who didn’t have to be responsible. There were bad points about my style of life such as friends who became angry or cried a lot when they were drunk. Also, there were boys we hurt or hurt us when feelings weren’t returned after the weekend party was over. The binge drinking wasn’t the smartest either.
Since, I went on disability from work seven or eight years ago, being with my friends has taken on new meaning beyond school. I enjoy conversations one on one more; I concentrate better. But I love anytime my friends and I can give each other over a coffee or tea. I like that we can go to events that have drinking but I also like that we go to events that are not drinking events. I enjoy going over to a friend’s place and having a glass of wine, or having friends over to my house for wine; but I like Wine Tastings too. My friends and I have gone on vacations together and learned a lot about dealing with each others differences. We have house parties and we play card games and board games. There is still conversation about comparison of classes but they we are for self-improvement and for job education. We have seen ourselves going from young twenty somethings to adults who are around thirty and becoming married, having kids, and moving into houses and condos. We share advice with each other and support each other. Sometimes we help babysit. Sometimes we just listen to a friend who is dealing with a ‘real life issue.’ We are vital to each other because people need a support network in life, and family and friends are a part of that network. We need our friends to help us get through ill health, and love us even when we are ill or being a bad friend. We need advice when it comes to choosing someone we want to spend our lives with, or a portion of our lives. We need to listen to each other and give that gift of understanding, despite our own opinions. We share about our lives and look forward to times we will see each other again. For these reasons, fun time with friends is vital.