Not everyone is your friend

By Marquis Cooley | Sports Editor

The true meaning of a friend is starting to lose its significance. Nowadays, people seem to be using the term too loosely. As the iconic theme song of “Friends” says, a friend is someone who’s always there for you and vice versa — not just somebody you know from work or sit next to in class.

I always say ‘friend’ is a strong word, and the reason for that comes from my personal background. Growing up in a military family, I moved around quite a bit and was thrust into various environments and schools. Over time, I definitely developed different tactics and strategies for getting to know people, but being an introvert, it took me a while to really open up to people. So, those people I really felt like I could be myself around became my friends.

With those people I considered my friends, we hung out constantly and did anything and everything together. The most random moments turned into memories that I’ll always remember, and I think that’s exactly what a true friend brings. While life events such as going to college have caused those friendships to grow and change, there’s still love for those people I call my friends. I’m able to call or text them at any time no matter when the last time we talked was and carry a conversation as if no time had passed between us. That should be the kind of relationship you have with the people you consider your friends.

It shouldn’t apply to the person you make small talk with at work or the person you sit next to in class and joke with. The relationship should be something deeper than that. Instead of using the term friend, we should normalize the use of words such as co-worker, classmate and acquaintance to describe relationships without it coming across as degrading or insulting. You can still be sociable and care about the people who fit into those categories, but if you can’t imagine hanging out with them alone and having a good time, they’re not a friend.

When calling someone a friend, it should be used as a term of endearment and hold some value. If you can’t count on your hands the number of ‘friends’ you have, you should reevaluate what the term ‘friend’ means to you.