I love my friends. I mean I really, really love my friends. I’ve had my fair share of hardships in life: divorce, heartbreak, death, cancer, abuse and everything in between. No matter how tough life has gotten over the last 22 years, I have always had my friends. Right by my side. Of course, like all friends, we have had our ups and our downs. But at the end of the day, I know who I can count on, and I want that for you, friend. I know that high school is tough. I mean it’s really tough. High school is socially and mentally and emotionally chaotic… on every level. I know. One of the worst parts about high school is the stigma wrapped around who has the most friends and who is the most popular. Can I let you in on a secret? It doesn’t matter! Yes, having lots of friends is amazing, and I will always encourage you to be nice to everyone you encounter (you never know who needs to see your smile). However, I would rather have four quarters than 100 pennies.
Let me explain. Say you are buying a pack of gum at the grocery store and this gum costs exactly $1. Now, you don’t have any cash, but you do have some quarters and well over 100 pennies. How are you going to pay the clerk? Are you going to count out 100 something pennies, or are you going to hand the clerk four quarters, take the gum and go on with your day? You’re going to use the four quarters (I hope).
Not only are these four quarters so much easier to count, but they carry so much more value than the pennies. Well, you see, the same is true in friendships. Sure, you can have 100 friends. However, if you expect all of those 100 friends to carry the same value to your friendship and be as good of a friend as you’d like them to be to you, I’d be willing to bet you’ve ended up disappointed a time or two. I am all for having friends. As I said, I love my friends. I have more friends than I could ever count because I am the kind of person that can talk anyone’s ear off, and I love meeting new people! However, there are very different levels of friendship, and I have had to learn the hard way that it is important that both sides of the friendship are on the same page about what said friendship means.
It is no secret that there are no secrets in high school. Drama fills those hallways like the plague… or in our case… Covid-19. Anywho – there are no secrets! You may think your secret is safe, but you also know and have learned throughout your high school years that your secret is coming back to you with a million new versions and twists. I know. I’ve been there, we all have! I also know that everyone in high school will say “I’m here for you”. But how many of them mean it? How many of them keep your secrets? How many of them have your back in a room full of people that you’re not in? Those. Those need to be your four quarters. Friend, those will be your bridesmaids one day. You don’t need the prettiest or most popular friends. You need and deserve the friends who love you for you and would never intentionally hurt you or bring drama to your life.
I will be graduating from the University of Alabama in a little over a month (insert crying emoji), and to this day some of my four quarters are my best friends from high school. Now, that is not always the case, but I consider myself lucky. However, I had plenty of girlfriends in high school who I knew, or so I thought, I’d be friends with forever. And I was wrong. And that’s okay! It is important for you to understand, friend, that it is okay to have one hundred friends. However, it is equally as important for you to know which of those 100 friends are the friends who will carry your secrets to their graves with them. The right friendships last a lifetime.
I pray you find those four quarters and that those four quarters find you. Having true friends is one of the greatest blessings in the world. No drama, no pettiness. All love, laughter and a lifetime of memories.
For more takes on friendship, read True Friendship