How Friendship Has Evolved In Our 20s, In Honor Of National Friendship Day

Stephanie Cornwell
I am a 19-year-old student at the University of Florida. I'm studying Journalism with the hopes of one day traveling the world to call attention to serious situations and give people a voice who may otherwise don’t have one. My interests include human and animal rights, education, nutrition, the environment, art, philosophy and adventure/travel. These are often common themes throughout my writing. I grew up in South Florida but currently reside in Gainesville.


Well it’s that time of year. The weekend we celebrate National Friendship Day, which is this Sunday if you haven’t already planned a brunch date with your besties.

However you chose to celebrate this underrated holiday is up to you. Whether it was a coffee date at your favorite café, a fancy over priced dinner or just a ladies night out, it’s a day to reflect on how your friendships have changed you as a person.

So as I sit here, with my cheap dinner and very average coffee, I’m thinking about how the word friendship has evolved as I got older.

When I was a little kid, my best friend probably varied from day to day. The title was awarded to the person seated next to me during story time, or the girl with the best snacks at lunch.

When you’re a little girl, friends are just the people to have sleepovers with. They are the people you walk with in the halls and gossip with. And even though girls at any age can be catty, young girls tend to change “best” friends regularly.

As I got into my early and mid-teens, I started to form a more meaningful alliance of close knit girls that I felt comfortable telling my secrets to, inviting on family vacations, and asking for personal advice. These are the girls I have the “first time” memories to thank for. Like the first time I broke the rules because they dared me too, or when we stayed up all night talking about boys, or that time we decided to cut class.

The high school days are when I learned the value of loyalty. Friendship at this stage in life depends on entertainment, social status, and how close you live to one another. Because of this, my friends at that point were my rocks, my support group and distractions from normal teenage drama.

Your twenties bring a new kind of bond. The struggle of moving away from home, supporting yourself, or having actual real world problems. With this comes a new maturity into your relationships with these people. This part of life is busy and stressful. That means that if I want to be as close to my girlfriends as I once was, I have to work hard to fit in time. I have to make an effort to not only fill them in on what’s new with me, but truly listen to them when they talk.

Through this, I have learned to be open minded and patient. It is within the past few years, from different friendships, I’ve realized that sometimes, people are going to ask you for advice but do what they want anyways. That sometimes people can suck a little, but that it doesn’t have to be the end of the world. I learned that forgiveness is a beautiful thing and that selflessness is a must.

Because at the end of the day, friendship is about mutual respect and love. It’s about having like-minded people that make you feel like best version of yourself. A friend is someone who supports you when they don’t agree with you, that tells you when you’re wrong, and loves you through your mistakes. True friendship is timeless.