Josh Rittberg
Arts and Cultures Editor

What makes a good friend? This is a question we are all trying to answer as we go through life. We try to find that companion; that one who supports us, lifts us up when we are down, and gives us connection. The idea of what makes a good friend is relative to each of us and our own lives and experiences. According to Millersville University junior, Gracie Strawser, “It’s not necessarily common interests or belief, it’s being able to get along despite different beliefs or interests.” A friend may not relate to everything you share, but they are able to talk and empathize with you. Most importantly, friends listen.

Millersville student Pamela Lozano describes a good friend as, “Someone who’s there for the good and the bad, no matter what.” Everyone these days are so immersed in their devices and lives, sometimes it is hard to just shut those off and give someone your full ears and heart. In times where there may be family drama or just a hard day at work and class, it is healing to have someone just hear what we are going through and to share our problems and concerns with. 

A friend, in this case, could just be someone you feel you can tell anything to without any judgment or ridicule. On sites like Twitter, people are always blasting or blaming another for their feelings and point of views. When around friends it is healing to find someone who will wholeheartedly listen and accept you purely for who you are and nothing else.

From a different perspective, Millersville student Molly McCarthy describes how a good friend to her calls you out for your mistakes and, “doesn’t enable bad behavior.” Sometimes it is helpful to have a voice of reason from someone who loves and knows you dearly. As humans, we are imperfect and are bound to make mistakes and decisions that we are not proud of. Having someone tell us when we are acting ignorant or misguided can sometimes give us the push we need to get back into our lives. These types of friends make us more aware of how we are acting, and hopefully guide us to become better and more thoughtful humans.

A good friend is someone who respects you for all that you are. A large part of that for some may include respecting a nickname or gender pronoun. Using the wrong pronouns or dead names, birth names that a person no longer goes by, can make someone feel invalid in their identity and uncomfortable. Even just taking the initiative and asking what pronouns that person prefers can really brighten someone’s day.

Whether it is someone new or a friend that has been in your life for years and years, it is important for each of us to value those we love in our lives and respect and cherish the times we get with those who mean something to us. Millersville Junior Mei Ke describes a good friend as “… people that always support you and are non-judgmental. They support you through hardships and mistakes, but they’re also the people you feel most comfortable and yourself around.” No matter who we make friends with, we should treat them and everyone in our lives with the respect and love they deserve, as sometimes a little bit of kindness and warmth can go a long way.