Six Things I Learned in Six Months

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true friendship is attainable.

I think everyone has been through bad, unhealthy or fake friendships. Throughout my six months overseas I learned friendship is the most essential component of our social lives. Friendship grounds us as individuals, gives us compassion to be emotionally stable, and is a perspective of our inner selves.

I met some of the most amazing people in Australia. Sometimes I do not have words to describe the gratitude I have for the people who have walked (and stayed) in my life.

  • Because I was an exchange student, I was immersed into a cultural student body that contained any and every type of individual you could come across.

It was awesome.

I met people who not only emphasized the definition of individualism, but inspired me to be proud of who I was and where I came from.

While abroad, I lived in a shared space with five other people. Luckily enough, I roomed with two people who ended up becoming my best friends. I do not even know where to begin when discussing Maddi and Johnny. Originally my flatmates, the six of us got along really well. Our diversity exemplified the latter; we co-existed beautifully. Soon enough, however, I found myself spending more time with my flatmates, (specifically Maddi and Johnny), than my other friends.

  • I’ll never forget what John had said one day when discussing how close Maddi and I had become. “Friendships are made by finding similarities, its psychology.” He was referring to the obsession me and Maddi had formed in trying new brunch places around town. At the time, I scoffed to myself about what he had said. But now, I realize the truth in his words.

Maddi and Johnny are truly my bestfriends. My days became a ritual of going to class, meeting up for happy hour, and then home to hangout and cook dinner. It was uncommon that we were not together, and when we were not, it felt strange and cold.

Maddi is the one of the most genuine, happy, and selfless people I have ever met. She taught, (and keeps teaching), me the beauty in balancing energy into everything you do. I am continually inspired by her. Though we are very different in many ways, we connected beyond our love for health food cafes and vegan brownies (shout out Bondi Whole Foods!) We discovered a deeper friendship than I have ever encountered before. I continually am observing and learning, which allowed both of us to help each other grow in both content and unpleasant times.

John, on the other hand, is the big little brother I never had. I had never met someone so irritating that somehow did not bother me. Being around Johnny always reminds me the beauty in our youth and the innocence in being carefree, no matter the situation. No matter how I felt after a day, I was always entertained by Johnny and his ridiculous antics. At the same time, he is one of the only genuine males to be in contact with me. It is truly hard to find that in the opposite gender, even when the friendship is platonic.

I have people I stay in contact with to this day, regardless of the time difference, different schedules and lifestyles. I connected to people in Australia in a way that seems unattainable anywhere else. I look at my relationships at home and see people through a different perspective. This could be because I changed, or I now see the truth in these people. Either way, finding real friends 9000 miles away exemplifies the truth behind friendship. I never realized the insane amount of emotion and love I could project and give to others until I met the people I did in Australia. My circumstances changed, and so did my outlook on life. I attracted positive energy that became an inspiration, and now a reflection, of my own life.

Since coming back to the states three months ago, I gained and lost friendships. By strengthening weakened friendships I believed were true, I learned how to be a better friend. I am continually learning about myself, and educating myself within the world and how I perceive it.

In the end, however, I would not be who I am today without the guidance and support of my friends. I am very lucky that I can now say I know what a real friend is, as well as how to be one.