The days are growing longer, Moo-Lix has opened again downtown, and I am increasingly having difficulty paying attention in class instead of daydreaming about the beach.
This can only mean one thing: summer is approaching. And its call is also producing in me mixed feelings as I look towards my first summer after high school. Kelowna is a great place to be during this time of year; going to the beach, hiking up Knox Mountain, and checking out Parks Alive downtown are just a few of the great activities unique to our city.
But this summer there is going to be one thing missing from Kelowna for me, and that is, to put it simply and sadly, friends. While I do have some friends staying here for the summer, many of my closest friends are taking off in all directions as is often done after graduating. As they prepare for internships, summer programs, and universities outside of Kelowna, I’m gearing up for a lonely summer.
But I know this isn’t unique to me; friendships change as people go their separate ways in life, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I have heard many people tell stories about people who say they’ll be best friends forever and don’t see each other until their grad class’ 10-year reunion. Even with graduation still in the future, I can already feel my relationships starting to change, and it’s got me thinking about friendships in general.
Through the numerous happiness studies that have been conducted around the world, psychologists have discovered that happiness and significant relationships seem to have something to do with each other.
To what extent these two are linked is debated, and there are certainly many other things that influence happiness (I would like to know where cats and chocolate rank on that scale). But it seems to make sense that the people we have in our lives can affect us positively or negatively, and if it is something that can give us great joy or great sadness, it’s good to think about exactly what a significant relationship is.
There are some people with whom I am friends because we both laugh at cat photos on the Internet and enjoy listening to Kings of Leon, while I have other friendships where we both share a similar outlook on life and understand each other well.
There are friendships that involve qualities of our character like our taste in music, and there are friendships that involve qualities that go deeper into our core. This isn’t to say that one is right and the other wrong, but rather, that they are simply different.
As my friendships change with graduation, it’s becoming easier to identify what makes a good friendship for me, and when I start university next year, I hope that I’ll be able to take this knowledge with me.
But whether or not I have the social skills to make new friends is a different question, so I’ll make sure I have some funny cat photos in my pocket just in case.
Amber Krogel is a grade 12 student at Kelowna Christian School.