Who really is a friend?

 Just like an average teenager I too entered college with a hope to make memories with an amazing set of people. Friends I can “chill” with. Little did I know that everyone you hang out with isn’t a friend. When you move out of your homes and come to college, you’re completely responsible for yourself. Its expected out of you to make the right choices and choose the right people.

It’s very easy to make friends when you’ve grown up an extrovert and especially when no-one knows anything about you. I was lucky to find people I already knew. So, forming connections was easier. I took everyone as a friend and don’t get me wrong, that’s okay. But the mistake I made was not thinking whether this friendship was adding value to me or just simply taking away from me. This is something you won’t realise till it’s too late. At this point in your life your entire persona will be defined by and depend on your circle. It is said and I quote “if you are with 3 millionaires you’ll be the fourth but, if you’re with 3 fools you’ll be the fourth” So, it’s completely in your hands which way you choose to bend.

The question arises, how exactly do I choose people who’re right for me? Well the tell is simple, you need to focus on the small gestures. These gestures could be as petty as, getting you water when they get it for themselves or asking you if you’re okay once in a while or even something as little as giving you space. Ask yourself, will this person appreciate my success even when they’re not successful? Will this person be happy for me even though it’s not their win? Will this person vouch for me? and lastly Will this person correct me when I’m wrong or going off the rails? If your answer is yes, then you keep these people close.

One thing that you need to be sure of is consistency. Are these friends consistent with their efforts? Are they still lifting you up? And if the answer is no, then you need to withdraw yourself from the situation. You’ll meet a lot of people who will at first be great but later they’ll be very laid back and this will be time when you’ll have to cut them off. Cutting off doesn’t mean you need to create drama or get involved in fights. All you have to do is silently remove yourself from a situation that isn’t contributing to your growth.

Connections that you form now will either build you or completely destroy your future. If you’re around motivated people who motivate you to get work done, you’ll be able to become the best version of yourself. Moreover, you’ll even develop and grow as an individual. A right group of friends can help you gain emotional and mental maturity. Yes, its great to have a lot of friends but trust me when the time comes its always quality over quantity. A mindset that I developed after a whole year of meeting new people is to nurture friendships that nurture you.

                                                                      CHITRAKSHI CHAUHAN

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