What would you do for a friend?



When I worked as an RA, more than once I was asked about making and keeping friends. More often than not, my advice was, “Be friends with people who share similar interests and make you happy.”

But recently, I’ve decided to change that advice to, “Be friends with people who will drive you to your parents’ house or the E.R. when you’re too busy crying.”

This week I had a family emergency and needed to go home.

I only live an hour away, and in the midst of my tiny panic attack, I had an amazing amount of people give their support, advice and offers to take me home.

Having a support system of friends, family and coworkers who care about your well-being is important in day-to-day life, and is especially important during high-stress situations.

Being that friend is important as well.

Having someone to go on coffee dates and study with is important, but when push comes to shove, knowing you have people to rely on can bring a small sense of security to a crazy situation.

And being there for your friends is important as well. Giving them a shoulder to cry on or someone to vent through can make an incredible difference to someone in a stressful situation.

I’ve had a lot of luck with having great supervisors, professors and coworkers who understand that friends and family are a major priority.

If you take time to explain a situation or at least tell your professor why you aren’t going to be in class, typically they understand. Don’t forget, they’re people too.

Last year, when one of my good friend’s father passed away, I took off work to go to the funeral service and spent the weekend with her to make sure she was okay. I called a professor and told him I was taking an unexcused absence for the service, but he excused my absence because he understood that being there for my friend was more important than one class period.

This week when my emergency arose, my coworkers took care of my responsibilities and frequently checked in on me later that day to make sure I was alright. My professor told me to call her if I needed anything after I came into her office 30 minutes before class and told her I had to go home.

Knowing that my coworkers had the situation handled took a major load off my shoulders that night. My friends offered immediate and constant support and made sure I was safe before, during and after everything went down. And everyone’s check-up texts and phone calls made me realize that regardless of how crazy things can get, people were there to make sure it would be alright in the end.

So my advice is this: Look at your group of friends. If you wouldn’t do everything in your power to make sure they’re okay in a stressful situation or if they wouldn’t do the same for you, then maybe you should re-evaluate your friend group.