During our school days, it seemed so much easier to make – and keep – friends. Perhaps it’s our simple outlook or lack of worries and jealously. While we may have fallen out with one another during break time because we didn’t share our chocolate brownie, we would always make up by the time lunch came around. We would play in big groups, pretending to be families living out in the woods or bulldog with the boys. It was uncomplicated, fun and innocent. Friendship was based on laughter, birthday parties, having each other’s back when the boys were mean and going on school trips.

They always say that the friends you make in school are the ones you keep for life. While I’m sure many of us make many more friends along the way through college, university or work, there is definitely some truth in this. My boyfriend has 4 close friends that he met in first school – almost 30 years ago – and they are still his closest friends today. They have been through so much together: losing partners, cancer treatments, stag-dos and sharing a house, but it’s a friendship now which is unbreakable, one that is built on loyalty, trust and memories.

As we grow older, many of us tend to have a secure network of friends, either established at school or during university. And while you may live in different parts of the counties, or even countries, distance seems irrelevant. You miss them terribly, but the bond you share doesn’t break. My best friend returned home last year after living in Thailand for 5 years and although we only saw each other a handful of times during that period, we meet up now and it feels as though we are still 11 years old, watching horror films in our pyjamas.

Of course, some friendships will fade over the years. Ones you thought would last forever change that falter over time, with new ones made completely be chance – and sometimes it is these friendships which turn out to be the best, making you wonder how you never knew them before.

The ones that truly last however, are the ones you put the effort into. It won’t always be a two-way friendship, sometimes you will need to lean on each other, but it will be the memories, laughter and support that sees you through; and ensures you’re still laughing with one another well into old age.

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