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Keep Your Friends Close…

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Emily-Rose Rolfe, Lifestyle Editor, asks whether wounds from a friend are better than kisses from an enemy…

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman, in possession of a personality, must be in want of a friend. For, to flip Darwin around, a friend gives value to survival. We can successfully eat, hunt, and drink wine without a friend, but where would the pleasure be in doing so alone? If you have something to say for yourself, it’s selfish to not share it. I may find facts, abstract truths, and gossip out alone, but to hoard this treasure would feel foreign. Sharing new blogs and interesting articles, amusing stories from the night before, and hidden truths that ‘I have never said before’ with my friends gives unparalleled delight. I would almost call it ‘enlightenment’. When a friend empathises with my pain, wittily retorts to an obscure mannerism, or investigates a previously untravelled train of thought (I have had at least three conversations with a friend about whether humans used to be trees… there’s some convincing evidence), our personalities merge to create a whole new universe. The power of friendships should never be doubted.

Image Credit: Scarleth White
Image Credit: Scarleth White

We can make a lot of headway in gender equality purely by being a friend to one another. Women should chat over cocktails and canapés through light teasing and exuberant encouragement, not through playing with words so expertly we run rings around each other’s petty insecurities. When we are in a wolf pack, we must not growl at each other.  It may be a bold statement, but for each woman to feel they are taken seriously their friends should display their unconditional support. A part of our confidence structure is created around building each other up. Whilst Eleanor Roosevelt is completely and utterly right: “Friendship with ones self is all important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world”. How our friends treat us is intrinsically linked with how we view ourselves. I once (fine, countless times) have delivered a bad joke, much to the despair and disapproval of my friends. Their reaction to my poorly timed, amateur, tongue-tied joke was soul-crushing. It was only when I’d eaten my feelings in a lot of curly fries that I found some perspective and realised that I wasn’t defined by my sense of humour nor my friends opinions. Rather than belittle one’s friends with a condescending and competitive look, (which from my experience a lot of women can be guilty of when they’re at a certain point in their cycle), one should take the opportunity to educate and better one’s friend.

Friendships are not lived through on Facebook. Recent studies by Elite in Tokyo, Japan have shown that people who live their social lives on social media are lonelier and unhappier than people who enjoy face-to-face interaction. Just because one posts on another person’s wall, likes statuses or is tagged in photos , does not mean that one is popular, or that one has a personality. Sitting in a room full of your housemates on Facebook does not help one to win any friends nor to deepen the friendships you are currently enjoying. Quality time is defined by time spent in conversation and silence, watching films or playing fiery games such as Articulate, partying or pampering. The best times I’ve had have been spent with friends in private, not in the public eye of social media and others watchful gaze.

Friends are the most valuable gifts that university has given me, and, dear reader, do not underestimate how much they have shaped my Exeperience. A friendship does not mean you merge into the same person or that you’ve overcome a lot of obstacles to get to where you are, it means that no matter your past or future you are happy to shape your companions present for the good of the other. For a lady’s imagination is very rapid: it jumps from admiration to love, from love to friendship in a moment. I am very proud of my friends, and completely prejudiced in their favour.

Emily-Rose Rolfe, Lifestyle Editor

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