The family I never knew I needed


Photo by Photo used with permission of Ashley Tran

With the combination of middle schools, new friends are made. With similar interests, a “family” of the closest friends can be created, where they can cheer you up through difficult times.

Annette Suk, Events Coordinator

For as long as I could remember, my family members were the only important people in my life. When I had to move from Des Plaines to Lake Zurich, my elementary friends expressed concerns for me and promised to keep in touch. Slowly, one-by-one, those old friends began to lose contact with me and we became nothing but Internet friends on social media. High school changed that. Recognizing the importance of family within one’s self is extremely important, but the importance of friendship should be emphasized. I came to the realization that my new high school friends and the strong bonds I formed with them led to a group of peers that became as close as family.

As teenagers, expressing deep, personal thoughts can be difficult. Throughout my freshman and sophomore years, I had a lot of difficulty approaching my parents about the stress of school. But high school peers can change everything because these peers go through the same stress as everyone else does. There is no perfect human that is a constant ball of energy. Everyone goes through ups and downs and there is no one better to understand the emotional and mental stress of high school life than the students themselves.

Similar to family members, the closest friends would never push you out of their life and think of you as a burden because if you are of importance to them, they want to ensure that you are content with your life. Rather than a parent’s mature words of advice, a friend’s encouraging words and their humor may make you feel a lot better. As I’ve endured some of the happiest and the worst moments of my life, I can vividly remember how my friends have cheered me up with words, hugs, and presents. For me, the friends who take time out of their day to ensure you are mentally and physically healthy are family. 

Friends can also take the role of family members. The “mother hen” of the group can constantly remind you to lock your doors, take your math test after school, go to your NHS tutor lesson during 5th period, or tell you to properly eat and drink every day. They can harass you every day for that one difficult physics homework and hang onto every word of your gossip. They spend money on you when you do not have enough and brush you off coolly when you slyly offer them money. They provide you with the warmest hugs and their one hug allows your worries to be melted away. Their excitement can easily be spread to everyone else and they always want to protect you from any harm.

But friends are not perfect. They go through their fair share of rough days and there are occasions where you become the punching bag to their anger, leading to fights. But whoever said a perfect relationship is without fighting? Fights only bring people closer because you and your friend both come to the realization that you need each other to be happy in life. It is the strong bond of friendship that brings countless friendships together. 

They change you for the better. I slowly came to the realization that my friends changed me to be a funnier and happier person and I could never truly be the best version of myself without them. Whenever you are going through a difficult period in your life, such as a family issue or a breakup, they encourage you to take the necessary measures to be happy with yourself. They transform you into a new human being, confident and strong to approach the real world again. They are the true supporters and cheerleaders on the sidelines. 

Through my experiences with high school, I have developed a tight group of friends that I can proudly call my family. I have cried with them in their cars, laughed so loudly that I cried, fought with them over trivial problems, and offered advice on every situation possible. No matter how old I get or if my memory becomes fuzzy, I will never be able to forget the warm memories I have made with my family.