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What is a true friend?

By Conner Ehmann, Grade 12
I believe that a true friend is someone who stands by your side through the good, the bad and the ugly, someone who you can be your true self around, someone who brings out the best and most genuine you.

When we grow up and even during adulthood, we are exposed to various social situations, from playing on the elementary playground to working alongside colleagues at your new job. Based on my experience, the first thing we want to do in situations surrounded by strangers is to make a friend. I don’t know about you, but friends make me feel a part of something and bring happiness to my day.
I grew up making friends on the playground, in the halls of school and on the ice. However, the friends I made when I was two years old, over time, had a much bigger and meaningful impact on my life and me as a person.

These friends were special because whatever it was – a stressful situation, unexpected commotion at home or just a terrible-horrible- no-good-very-bad day – they were there for me. And I was there for them.

Yes, I had friends at school and at the hockey rink. And these friends were great and there were the occasional outings, but there wasn’t much beyond the surface of the classroom and locker room walls. The only exception to this has been in my Grade 11 and 12 years here at Stanstead College. And for that I say thank you to everyone who has made that possible, from the depths of my heart.

The times when I am in the presence of my true friends, I find meaning. All of them, rain or shine, have been the shining faces in the sea of diverse faces we call society. When we are together, we honestly couldn’t care less what people think or say about us. We let the good times roll, we can’t control our laughter and our lifelong bond of friendship grows stronger each and every second. This special bond we share has become a celebration of our unique personalities coming together as one.

To give you insight as to what a true friend is, I asked my true friends what they thought a true friend is. Here are their responses:

Zephan said a true friend is someone you trust.

Isa said that true friends are the ones you’re happy to see messages from even when its 5 in the morning and you can’t get back to sleep. It’s a wonderful thing to wake up to.

Sam said that a true friend is someone who you can count on to be there, even when no one else will.

Tekla said that a true friend is willing to put up with you through thick and thin and doesn’t think less of you when you mess up or act out. They understand your moods and know how to read you well enough to know what you’re feeling. They are someone who wants to spend time with you and actively seeks out time with you.

Sophia said that a true friend is always there for you and is honest with you no matter the circumstances.

Sara said that a true friend is someone you can poop in front of and be brutally honest with you for your well-being. Someone who will have a burping contest with you and rate them on a scale of one to ten.

Anna said that a true friend is someone who will shave their head at 1 am with you. Someone you can tell anything without judgement. And most of all, someone who loves you unconditionally.

The younger Emma said that a true friend is someone you can have deep conversations with but also joke around with. Someone who you don’t always have to hang out with, but things stay the same.

The older Emma said that true friends are people who you can be your complete and totally weird self around. When I’ve been around true friends, I don’t go home and worry about if I made a good impression or said the right jokes or laughed at the right jokes. I go home happy and looking forward to the next time I get to chuck mud in their face.

Tobyn said that a true friend is someone that you are yourself around and brings the best out of you.

Linnea said that a true friend is someone you are always happy to see, someone who loves you enough to always be honest and tell you when you’re in the wrong. Someone who cares for you through all circumstances. Also a dog.

If you think you don’t have any true friends, have hope. Because I know there is someone out there in the 7.7 billion people on this earth who will be your true friend. You are never too old nor too young to make a new friend. Who knows, they might become so much more.

When you all walk out into the crazy busy world of life, just think: What is a true friend? Who are my true friends? Why are true friends so special?