I was scrolling through TikTok one day, just passing the time, and I saw a video with a caption about “quality friendship.” It said a quality friendship is one not defined by the number of years you’ve known a person or the distance between one another, but the actions they have shown to be a quality friend.
After reading this I put some thought into the idea, thinking about how all of my good friends are people I’ve met towards the end of high school and this past school year. But I didn’t truly understand what the caption meant until one morning when I was sitting on my friend’s grandparent's balcony. My friends and I were talking about our dream weddings – one who goes to college with me and the other who goes to college in Northern Indiana.
I still remember the moment I met both of them in high school. I didn’t know we’d be entering our 20s together. I realized that distance and time doesn’t matter when it comes to true friendship. I only see my friend going to school in Northern Indiana a couple times a year and with our busy schedules, we don’t talk as often. But when we do talk, or when we reunite for Christmas or a trip up to Lake Michigan, it’s like no time has passed.
I think in life it’s common to measure the quality of something based on the amount of time. For example, it's common for employers to look at how long a person has worked at a job to see if they have enough experience to be an employee at their company, or for people to rely on a brand that has been around for many years rather than one that is new.
But the one difference with those examples and friendships is the fact that being a friend isn’t based on skill or a brand name, it’s based on actions, which doesn’t take years to master. Being a good friend means making an effort to check in with one another and hang out. No one is perfect and as humans we are filled with imperfections, but in times of need, good friends will always be there, no matter how long it’s been since you all have talked or how far away you all are.
A question you have to ask yourself: is a flaky friend you’ve had since childhood better than a friend you’ve had for only a few months who is there for you and makes plans with you?
Some people like to use distance as an excuse, but there is nothing that says you can’t be someone’s friend because you both only see each other a couple of times a year. Friendship commitments aren’t based on distance but are based on loyalty and effort.
The three of us sat on the balcony discussing our dream wedding dresses and rings and my friend and I who live in central Indiana left with a bag of borrowed books knowing that no matter the time or distance, those books will be returned at one of the next reunions.
Natalie Fitzgibbons (she/her) is a junior studying journalism with a minor in American Studies.