Branching out

Stepping out of friend circles can offer more variety


My favorite TV show is hands down “Friends.” Friends is a show about a group of six friends doing everything together. They hang out at the coffee shop or  Monica’s apartment, and they always go to each other for advice and support each other. To me growing up this was the best example of the traditional friend group.

Growing up I never really had that bond with a group of friends like I saw on “Friends,” Then about two months ago, I was scrolling through Facebook and came across an article published on the Odyssey online community by Taylor Grace Abrahams called “I’m The Girl Without A ‘Friend Group.’” The article really spoke to me because she realized it was better for her to not have a friend group, and maybe it’s better for me too. I found myself really relating to it because I was that girl growing up, and I am still that girl today. 

It was awkward growing up because it’s hard as a kid to understand why you aren’t close with everyone. At one point I thought no one liked me because, while I was never invited to birthday parties, a lot of people showed up to mine. Looking back on it now, I realize that I had a bubbly personality and a lot of friends, but I never fit into a specific “friend group.”

The present is a little different. I wouldn’t say I don’t fit in because I feel like I do. I have a lot of friends. I just don’t have the “let’s go hang out this weekend with the same group of people” mentality like it seems everyone else does, though sometimes I wish I did. I have always wished to be a part of a friend group and do things together. After football games it seems like everyone goes out to eat with a big group of people, but for me, I just go home and see it all on Snapchat.

According to Psychology Today, “The more time we spend with our friends — talking, sharing a meal, going to a movie — the closer we usually become.” But it’s important to remember that we don’t always have to be with the same people. 

Personally, I can get more out of having a variety of friends than a specific group. With a specific friend group I’d be doing the same thing with the same people, and I don’t want that. I have friends from all over, and wherever I go I end up making friends. I gain different types of friends from being involved in so many different things like Best Buddies, work, softball, Cardinal Cadre and other activities. Not all of my friends know each other and have the same likes and dislikes. 

Because I don’t have a set friend group, I can do a variety of things. I have friends I can reach out to from all sorts of interests and backgrounds, whether they are more like me or more different, I still have them. I rather have that then a friend group because I can go do all kinds of things I’m interested in with whoever I want. 

No matter what kind of friends I have, I know that I have friends who care for me. Even though I’m not in a friend group, I am happy with who I have because they are all different and make me happy in their own ways, and that’s what is important.