Opinion: The ABCs of bad and good friends

Erica Pilotin, Staff Writer

With homework, extracurriculars, and pressures from teachers and families, teenagers tend to look to their friends for help. But the friends that they turn to might not always be the best, and this could add even more stress to the never-ending obstacle we call high school.

As a senior in high school, I have lived in this world with these types of “friends” for four years. And trust me when I say these are not the people to cherish. Here are the people you want to avoid, and some tips and tricks on how to do it.

The Academic Acquaintance
This is the person who you seem to only interact with moments before, during, and after a quiz or test. They come in with a smile on their face as they plop their bags down next to you, then they ask if you’ve studied or know how to do a problem. Soon, their eyes are on your test just as much as your own, their pages flip when yours do, and they copy your every move. A few friendly words are exchanged on certain problems, and it’s farewell until the next test.

Some advice would be to change your seat, be the last to class, or ask other people to sit by you. I have done all of these things, and they all work, which also gave me the ability to focus on my own work instead of knowing that someone else’s grade is dependent on mine.

The Bogus Buddy
They talk your ear off with their problems. They follow you around, and all you hear is their voice in the back of your head complaining. You know their problems and all the drama, but as soon as one bad thing happens to you, the friendship you thought was there is gone. They are unavailable to talk or give terrible advice that is not sincere.

Just speak your mind! In the moment before telling them off, I was scared, but after I realized that this was the only way they would stop talking to me. Only when I spoke back to them did they listen and understand. Nothing will be changed if nothing is said.

The Cafeteria Companion
Crunching on the Caesar salad and mopping the hamburger steak is what comes to mind when you think of this person. You walk to lunch with them, talk about meaningless things, sit down and eat your food, then they leave once their napkin hits their plate without waiting for you. Then you see them at the green tables with their group of friends, and it just feels awkward if you go and sit with them.

Eating lunch alone is one of the most peaceful things I have ever done in high school. To not talk to anyone, eat at your own pace, and get up when you want is extremely nice and a little therapeutic. No one cares if you’re eating alone, because we are all just hungry teenagers worrying about our next block.

It will be hard to weed these people out of your life, but as the ending of my high school career comes closer, I wish I knew who was a real friend and who was just sitting next to me to look off of a test.

I feel very fortunate to say that these characters I am about to describe are the friends in my life now. All it takes is a little courage and thought to really see who will better your high school experience.

The Amazing Ally
There is no doubt in your mind that they will never not be on your side. Whether it’s jumping in and playing along with a lie, or having your back in an argument, this person defends you against other people, and always tells you if someone is trying to start up drama. One of the truest and most loyal friends anyone could have.

The Blessed Bestie
You can eat a tub of ice cream with them at midnight with messy buns and sweatpants without fearing judgement. Snapchats are sent not with filters but with double chins and rolled eyes. Songs in the car become live concerts, as you both sing and dance like your lives depend on it. This is the person who you can be yourself around; the weight of the world falls off your shoulders when you are with them.

The Caring Compadre
Your head always finds a way to their shoulder, and their soothing words always can calm you down. You both let everything out, and you help each other through the drama. They always know how to cheer you up, either with food or a dumb joke that you will always laugh at. When something good happens, they are the first to know. They are the first to know everything actually. Your go-to person will always respond to that “911” or “omg guess what” text in 0.1 seconds.

You want friends who will be there for you when you come home from college. You want friends who you can see in 10 years and still laugh at inside jokes. You want friends who will buy you food out of the kindness of their hearts. You want friends who want you to be friends back.

High school is a tough time. If you are acting and pretending to not be yourself all the time, those people don’t deserve you, but you deserve an Oscar. What we all really need at the end of the day are friends who we can be ourselves and feel comfortable around.