Friendship is an essential part of human existence. Did you know that studies find that strength of friendships in one’s life indicates lifespan better than factors like genetics?
At twenty-five (and a half…yikes), I think I can firmly say that the twenties are sort of an insane time where your life is constantly in transition, you’re relentlessly in existential crisis, and you’re right in the middle of your second puberty (look it up, it’s a thing). You’re never quite sure you’re doing the right things in life, you sure as hell don’t have your finances together, and your love life is an absolute disaster (or is that just me?)
So how do we keep it together in this mad, mad world?
We rely on the family that we create. And while there are many types of people we need in our lives at any given time, I’m going to attempt to boil the twenties to five friends that we as women all need to sail through the sea of twenties mania.
The Partner in Crime
The early part of your twenties is all about experimenting, making mistakes, and having a damn good time while you’re doing it. Think about it: from twenty to twenty-two most of us are right in the thick of our college years, and feeling on top of the world. The friend you need is the one who pulls you into trouble, and pushes you out of your comfort zone. You need your ride along pal— the one who’ll give you the stories you’ll tell for the rest of your life.
This friend is probably one of the most essential throughout your twenties. This is the friend who unequivocally believes in you, and is always there to pick you up when you’re down. This friend pushes you to do the things you’re afraid of doing, because they are the people that know you better than you know yourself. Honestly, who among us sees ourselves clearly? We all need someone who sees us for all of our possibility.
I think this is the form of friendship I’ve come across most often in my twenties. And it comes in many versions: professor, friend, family member—what have you. If you’re like me, you’re constantly looking for someone who does things either better than you do, or in a way you admire and want to learn from. Most likely (but not always) they’ve been through the growing pains of being in their twenties, and have wisdom to share. Also, mentors are the people who see something in you that you haven’t fully developed yet, and put in the effort to develop you. These are great friends to have, because they really put a lot of time into helping you reach your potential—and sometimes we all a little polishing and shaping.
This is sort of like the cheerleader, but a little bit different. This is person in your life (I think this type shifts around the most) who when you’re together, your mind, your opinions, and your lines of thinking are totally in sync. You make commentary on the world together, and you marvel at the foolish things that other people are doing (much easier than focusing on the foolish things that we’re doing). In these friendships, your conversations usually end with the feeling that you’re just too awesome for everyone else. And while this isn’t a truly sustainable mindset to keep all of the time, sometimes we all need to feel a bit overinflated to float through the trying days.
The Childhood Friend
It’s important to have your childhood friends in your life because in our twenties we’re all trying to figure out who we really think we are—trying on different skins to see if they fit, or if we like a new sheen of personality. There’s nothing wrong with this—however, when we see our oldest friends they bring us back down to earth, and remind us of the continuity of our lives. If you’re lucky enough to have these people around, there’s something really beautiful in sharing this progression, and the growing through your lives together.