My sister, who so stubbornly insisted on travelling 13’000 kilometres away from her parents (note: Asian parents) to land herself in the middle of a freezing Vancouver winter, is now in a rut.
Why? Because she’s a nice person, and made too many friends (for her own good).
One is too many, in my opinion.
I know, these are qualities in a person that you’d think would never be a problem, what with social media embellishing the fantastical pros of having your friends turned ‘fam‘, or the media in general alluding to one’s personal growth hinging heavily on the help of your friends. Basically, every Chick Flick, Marvel Movie, or Judd Apatow film.
But back to my sister – She’s finding herself morally unable to defer from her school term to take an internship that she’s always wanted, because of a prior commitment to a friend to partner up for their final year project.
Their arrangement is such that they’ve already knocked their noggins together for a couple of ideas, and it’s not realistic to have to ‘split’ those ideas if one party drops out – say, to defer. Out of friendship – and I suspect guilt – my sister caved, and gave up the internship of a lifetime for this friend, of which I’m betting my bottom dollar, has her schedule planned out to a T so that she maximises the benefits of this arrangement.
And why not? It’s what most smart people uninfluenced by a friendship would do.
The way I see it: Friends are a luxury, but never a necessity.
And why should they be? They bring with them – sure, the occasional happiness and guffaw over something stupid, but – exasperating drama (be it romantic or otherwise), gossip (ain’t nobody got time for that) and a ton of inconvenience (no, you decide where to eat). Having a full-time boyfriend is one thing, but who has time for friends these days?
With that rather subjective statement aside, here are very practical reasons why its better not to have any friends:
Too often in my life have I based what I wanted on someone else’s opinion. What to eat, how to dress, how to speak, people I should befriend, songs I should listen to, colours I should like, technology I should be sporting, boys I should be interested in, even the career I should pursue.
Being on your own hones your ability to understand who you actually are – your likes and dislikes, the things you stand for, your morals, your hopes and ideals, your breaking points, your styles and tastes, and most importantly – how to wittingly carve yourself from a place of originality and honesty. Not to fabricate yourself a Xerox of someone else.
Forget following the rest to a lunch place that you don’t actually like, with food you don’t actually eat. Smoke break? Nah, I rather a coffee break, but you go ahead. Head on out to Harvey Norman on your own time, and pick out the computer mouse of your own liking – despite everybody else’s two cents worth on the other brands.
There’s always one person you know who’s always sporting fresh drama, non-stop Justin-Selena on-off relationship madness, frenemy-feud, yet somehow always finds the time to tell you about it. Talking – or rather, ‘bitching’ – about something has always struck me as a massive waste of time.
With the time and importance you place on your coffee chats over trivial bitching (We have social media for that now, no need for human reiteration) take that time and spend it with your greying parents, belly rubs with your pup, kisses with your beau, or catch up on those new Stranger Things episodes on Netflix (Season 3 we need you).
More friends = More opinions = More options = Doubt
It’s a poisonous cycle that begins with having friends. Humans are in the habit of offering up gratuitous opinions – that’s to say, uncalled-for and completely unnecessary.
Say you opt for a private university whereas all your friends are heading off to locally subsidised government options. Cue the remarks:
“Oh no, how are you ever going to get a job in Singapore?”
“No worries I’m sure your parents still love you and you’re not putting them in debt!”
“Seriously? A Psych Degree?”
The torrent of varying options you’re now presented with can make following your heart (read: the answer you already had in your head to begin with) seem redundant – or even cruel to follow. Worse still – some start second guessing themselves.
It took me a long time to truly appreciate the freedom that comes with being alone. And I can tell you, it tastes goooooooood.