By: Bryanna Nieves
Throughout high school, I was what you could politely call an introvert. I thought I had some friends, but looking back now they were what I consider these days as just acquaintances. My record of zero boyfriends didn’t change until I was sixteen, irrelevant middle school relationships included. And to top it all off, I moved from Queens, New York to Carmel, New York during November of my sophomore year of high school. It, as my fifteen year old self would put it, blew.
To skip over a few pathetic details, I made some friends, got good grades, and I even managed to break that life-long romantic drought. Things were pretty okay, until junior year started and I realized what I was missing—an actual human connection.
This might be somewhat of a contradiction, and I am grateful for the exclusive group of friends that had let me,“New Chick,” (yes, that was my actual nickname) into their self-titled circle, “The Group,” but it was still hard. Breaking into that group of already formed trust was impossible, and slowly, the fragile flame of a bond was nearly completely blown out with the start of junior year. I was just going along with what everyone else wanted. I genuinely thought that a relationship is what could have made me happy at the time, and I did care for him, but I soon found out it was a friend-zoned kind of love. I was with him for him, not for me. It was nobody’s fault; it just wasn’t meant to be. I met my current boyfriend right before my first breakup. He was the first boy I had an actual romantic connection with. I was finally starting to realize being around The Group just made me feel different, and I needed something else – people I could actually connect to. My whole outlook on people, friendship, and relationships changed.
I had never considered myself to be the girly type, but one of the girls from The Group was doing a cosmetology program through our high school’s partnership with the Northern/Putnam Westchester BOCES trade school, and I was still desperate to make my way into the friendship so I joined her. We weren’t in the same class, but as fate would have it, I met my other half and best friend, Cassy in my class. Until today, we are the only ones who can understand each other’s emotional, angry, or excited fits. My limited amount of human interaction in high school also led to limited drama and fewer roller-coaster moments. However, when I did experience those moments I can easily recall her being my safety belt for every one of them, keeping me in place and saving me from a destructive fall.
I know it doesn’t mean you’re a loner if you’re independent, but knowing somebody is there to back you up is generally a nice feeling. I know having a true friend doesn’t mean always getting along or always knowing what to say. Having a true friend is knowing there is a genuine connection with another person. It’s knowing that person will be there to talk out the problem you’re facing or distract you with ice cream and Disney movies, depending on your mood. And it’s knowing they’ll put your well-being over your feelings, no matter how hard it is to tell the truth. Don’t waste your time on people who aren’t invested in you.
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