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Friendships in the year of a pandemic

Friendships change throughout your life, it’s part of the deal of growing up. From primary school friends to University flatmates, the friends you make as much as they reflect you as a person, they more reflect the time you were friends with them, they define you, but maybe not forever. As with every other social disaster of the last year, friendships have taken a huge toll. Friendships take different forms, and those that suffered were those that perhaps relied on in-person interactions. You know the friends where you would occasionally drop a line for a coffee or those who you worked with or saw at uni? You don’t interact online that much but that didn’t matter as you would always enjoy time together and share your lives. These friends have meant that either they have begun to take a form of messaging and sending memes, which has its challenges, because likely if you’re solid friends they might not be that worried about messaging back right away, if at all because you’re such good friends, right? 

Waiting for a friend, no matter how close you are to them, can bring about major anxieties about your self-worth and time spent talking to you. Luckily friendships that may be long-distance, or those who used to have less free time, and relied on online interactions anyway, are safe, if anything these friendships have prospered. 

In my experience, during my year abroad in Spain, I made friends from all over the world, this was amazing- but of course, makes it harder to keep in-contact. We have busy lives, and can’t keep in contact all the time, plus time differences can be a bitch. But in the era of Corona, these relationships I made began to become the most important friendships in my life, even those I had only known for 2 months quickly became close friends. We sent photos and videos and shared most of our lives. One of my best friends is someone I met only a maximum of three times in real life before we started messaging and now I couldn’t imagine my day without them. Friendships become based on shared interests, but also they take a bit of effort, relying on messages is hard but it is integral now to how to build meaningful, long-lasting friendships. In moments of loneliness and self-doubt turning to a friend can be the most important thing. At times, I have felt like a burden, but this is not true. Opening up to a friend or allowing a friend to open up to you, can be one of the most rewarding things, and as now it’s online, that does not mean that friendships should be less important. If anything this is a time to talk to each other and see the value in communication. 

 

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