Wednesday, 20 January 2010

That's What Friends Are For...

I don't know how good a friend I am; obviously my level of friendship varies from person to person, and I don't profess to be equally wonderful/obnoxious to everyone I meet. Nonetheless, it's still reasonable to say that everyone approaches the art of making friends in different ways. Mine is a more passive, blend-in-with-the-crowd method, others adopt a firm and coloured personality that endears them to some, and shuns others. My method has, as its main bonus, the ability to make friends with almost anyone I meet. My circles of friends have varied vastly, and I imagine I'll meet ever more diverse people as the years roll on.

The flaw in my method comes with the second, far more important part; keeping friends. Between the beginning of my education and now, I've been to eight different schools (KCL included), which I feel has altered my perception of what a friend is. A childhood friend for most is someone you've known for a while, grown up together, experienced all the changes of life together, and you can share that; it's natural, it's what you do. When outsider Nash comes in, you bring him into your circle and go about your lives; but the void in background means that, ultimately, you'll always be better friends with those you've known for years. You're apt to share your secrets, your worries, all the minutiae of strong casual relationships, and save Nash for the immediate and the now, the parties and the homework worries.

Coming to King's, on the other hand, has put a different spin on things. I can't rely on my previous framework, since no-one knows each other here (save for some occasional pairs or threes from the same high school). A chance to start afresh, with the shared experience of university at your doorstep. Still, slowly but surely, it's happening again. You hear conversations about events you've missed, in-jokes you don't understand, plans you weren't privy to. You hear whispered secrets and hushed voices, things you aren't supposed to hear; are people talking about themselves? About you? How did this happen? Are you predisposed to make fast friends, but shallow friends? A flaw that can only be attributed to yourself, as everyone else seems to be getting along just fine.

After all, what's a friend? For the average guy or gal in uni, what does a friend mean to you? Is it a sounding board to bounce back the thoughts churning in your mildly insecure head? Is it a willing sidekick to your nights of debauchery and drunken mayhem, as you paint the town red in an effort to have a story to tell in the morning, complete with photos for the Book and lipstick on the sheets? Is it a repository for your deepest feelings, darkest secrets?

Somehow, I've presented my image of a friend as a guy who comes along, jokes a bit, drinks a bit, and fades into the background like a comforting mass in the ether. It'd be easy to say it takes two to make a friendship work (indeed, this is probably the most comforting thing I could imagine for my situation), but I'm just afraid that I'm the one who isn't putting the effort in.

Now playing: The Rolling Stones - Beast Of Burden
via FoxyTunes


  1. OK, im gonna do my best to respond to this in an intellectual and meaningful way, but itll probably go all wrong and ill end up blathering on about this, for example. Anyway, i think that for someone who has gone through so many schools you have done extremely well to keep in touch with anybody and you have certainly left your mark in a lot of places.

    The thing about london is that it can be an extremely lonely city, depite the millions of people there, because there are so many tight circles of friends and it is very difficult to break into them and be accepted. Everyone is suspicious of everyone else, so gaining the trust of just one person, let alone a whole group of people, is not an easy task. I say keep doing what you're doing and dont worry too much about where you will be years down the line, live for the here and now and everything else will follow.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.