Everything I need to know about friendship, I learned when I was in high school. I was never part of the popular crowd, but I found out pretty quickly that this really did not matter, as long as you had a few real friends to hang out with. It took me a lot longer to figure out what exactly real friends were.
More than a few times I got disappointed, and hurt even, when finding out that my newest best friend forever did not see me in quite the same light. Likewise, I am sure I hurt a few boys and girls myself, when they discovered I did not want to spend all my free time with them.
The biggest lesson in friendship I learned when I was 17. It was during that year that I realized the friendship with one of my best friends at the time, was not really a friendship I valued as deeply as I once thought I did.
In summer we went on holiday together, during which she almost had us killed by driving our car into a tree. That was not the part that made me reconsider our friendship, but her reaction to the car accident and almost getting killed was.
I was all scared and shaken, looking for comfort and being very happy to be alive. She on the other hand, was only preoccupied with the damage that was done to the car. She just wanted to forget about the incident, not even talk about it, and continue our holiday like nothing had happened.
That is when I realized we did not share the same values, we did not view life in the same way, and we certainly did not want the same out of our friendship.
During that summer holiday I realized that for me the most important thing in a best friend was someone I could confide in, share my thoughts and feelings with, and someone who would comfort me.
She refused to do any of those things, and looking back now, I think she probably was not even able to even if she had wanted to. Shortly after our holiday, I decided I no longer wanted to be friends with her.
I made the decision to no longer be friends with a few other people in high school too, for similar reasons. I am sorry for those that I might have hurt in doing so, but I have never been sorry for ending those friendships.
I learned at 17 what I still know to be true today: real friendship to me is a mutual understanding, a deep and emotional bond between two people. Real friends are there for you through the good times and the bad, and they understand you and accept you for who you are. Anything less than that is just not worth my time.