For most people school can be hard. Getting up early at six, being made to eat breakfast unwillingly by your mother, enduring the long, cold and congested bus trip all the way to school and then standing for assembly. All of this may seem too much for so early in the morning.

But most of us usually light up with big, wide-toothed smiles on our previously disgruntled faces when we see our friends, more or less in the same condition as us, and our dead spirits are awakened by the warmth and comfort our closest friends bring to us on bleak school mornings.

Friends are essential, much like food or water. Humans cannot function without having a confidante, someone to share their happiness and sorrow with, someone to dance with when they receive good news or someone to hug when bad news engulfs them. Friends are necessary in all stages of life. Playmates for when we are toddlers, school friends in teenage years and partners when we are adults.

Teenage years are mostly a transitioning phase, where most life-changing stuff is happening. We have academic pressure, college applications, handling family and social life. We meet different type of people in our school life. Some become our friends, some acquaintances and some we do not like or they do not like us. Some friends are the ones who sit with you in the library and study, with some you spend your free time and crack jokes, with some you have deep, hour-long, philosophical conversations about life.

“I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together.” — Jon Katz

Some friends keep you geared to the earth and some make you do mischievous things around school, some keep you up-to-date with the latest fashion trends and celebrity gossip, with some you discuss your favourite TV shows and movies. Some friends remind you of the assignment due the next day, or the test coming up at the end of the week, while some take you to participate in debates or sports. Each kind of friend keeps you alive, keeps you happy and you should at least have one of each type to fully enjoy your school life experience.

The best friendships are made at the back benches of a classroom. Sneakily talking when the teacher is droning on about a boring lecture, exchanging chits filled with jokes, doodling on each other’s notebooks, in between doing all this we develop a special bond and connection that goes on for life. Or when someone is bullying you at the school or at the park and someone you distantly know immediately comes to your help and stands up for you. You gain a strong friendship to support you whenever you are in trouble.

Being invited by someone to their birthday party when you are the new kid at school to welcome you into their group can make you comfortable and ease the social pressure of being alone and having no one to go to.

You can make friends anywhere. When you randomly talk to people from school or your neighbourhood and find common interests and likes you get to know each other, your share things about yourself and slowly and gradually become close friends.

Friendships can make hard times easier and bearable. They make boring times cheerful and filled with fun. They make studying interesting. They give you memories you cherish for life. Without friends treading through, difficulties may seem very difficult; but when you have friends along with you, you will usually find that the path is smooth with no obstacles. Friends do make your life better and it is always recommended to get out of your shell and go up to talk to people even when you feel hesitant. It will feel a little uncomfortable at first, but the result you will get will make you much healthier and happier.

Published in Dawn, Young World, July 17th, 2021

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