Once you leave school and university, the friendship bubble suddenly bursts. You’re thrown into a whole new world and you’re learning a lot about yourself. So are those around you. You’re given opportunities to get to know yourself better, discover new skills and develop your own set of beliefs and values. With all of this self-development and soul-searching going on, it’s no wonder that this is when you discover the biggest variation of friendships out there.
This is when friendships will come and go the most in your life. You quickly learn that there is more than one way to be a good friend to someone and for better or worse, it becomes crystal clear that no two friendships are the same.
Just how many have you collected so far? While playing games with friendships isn’t advised, the more of these you can tick off, the more fun to be had.
The Friends From School You Just Can’t Let Go Of
Geographically, you’ve all moved on. Emotionally, some of you have moved on more than others. Physically, well you’d like to think you no longer own the body of an awkward teenager.
No matter how much has changed for you all individually, they’ll always remind you of home, of simpler times when your biggest worry was how you were going to get your hands on a fake ID rather than how you were going to afford rent this month/pay back your student loan/deal with yet another existential crisis/wonder if you’ll ever be a real adult.
While you see each other during the usual holiday periods, the friendship doesn’t extend much further than that. And while you’ll never fully let go it becomes more apparent just how little you now have in common with each passing attempt to catch up.
The Fun Friend You Can Rely On For A Good Time
You may have one friend that falls under this category or you may have many. These friendships are most effective when scattered throughout various friendship groups (you’ll always have a back up when your drinking pal of choice is otherwise engaged).
These friends are in their prime when firmly compartmentalised into this category alone. They’re there for good old fashioned fun, no strings attached. Nothing more, nothing less. They’ll have your back like no other when that creepy guy at the bar just won’t get the hint but deep, meaningful conversations and regular catch ups in broad daylight just aren’t their thing. Let them have their fun and enjoy yours while you’re with them.
The Friend of a Friend You’re Only Friends With Because of Your Other Friend
(Is the word friend starting to sound weird to you?)
This is an interesting one. Boundaries couldn’t be more important when it comes to this particular kind of friend but inevitably, lines are blurred very easily.
The three of you always have a great time together and you really do love and cherish them as a person but despite any bonding thats gone on between you, the bottom line is that you’re only friends with each other because of your mutual friend. If anything were to happen with said mutual friend, your friendship with the friend in question would also be forfeited. Still with me?
Lines blur, boundaries get broken and feelings are hurt but it’s important to remember that your loyalty to the mutual friend is the priority.
The Social Media Friend
You have absolutely no fear of sliding into their DMs but if you actually saw them in person, you’d definitely consider hiding behind the nearest bush. Mainly because you don’t actually know each other. Not in the real world.
It’s the ultimate millennial first world problem. Inhibitions totally slide away when chatting on social media, as you revel in the knowledge that you’ll probably never have to meet…until you do.
The throwaway suggestions of meeting up have cropped up once or twice but you both make note not to actually proceed with these plans for fear of bursting the bubble of a perfect, albeit virtual, friendship.
The Work Wife
She’s one of the few reasons you turn up to work everyday, particularly when that hard-hitting hangover strikes from the night before. Speaking of hangovers, she’s the only reason you ever survive the awkwardness of work events.
She knows you’ll get hangry around 11am and again at 3pm and carries extra snacks in her drawer for such occasions. She’s the one you go to lunch with everyday, who saves you a seat at meetings and the only person you trust with office gossip.
She knows everything there is to know about your friends outside of work, their annoying habits, the latest developments in their love lives and whose turn it is to have a quarter life crisis.
She’s the reason you’ve almost lost your job on more than one occasion and simultaneously, the only reason you still have a job.
The thought of her ever leaving the company regularly wakes you in a panicked, sweaty state.
The Soul Sisters
The discovery of your true soul mates in your twenties trumps every other kind of friendship you develop during this decade.
At some point, something just clicks when a particular friend or friendship group comes into your life.
One of the hardest lessons you learn about friendships in your twenties is quality over quantity. Once you find that core group, it’s the biggest blessing. Sometimes you don’t even realise what an integral part of your life these people have become until one of you inevitably breaks or loses their phone and communication within the usually buzzing WhatsApp group is down for a few days.
These are the people who would fight to the (near) death to protect you, who safeguard your secrets and are the only people allowed to make jokes about these same secrets. These friends are the ultimate survival guide to your turbulent twenties. Keep them close.