High school is a like jungle. Or, in our case, it was more like a reality show.
I went to BTHS in Fruit Cove, FL at the same time “The O.C.” and “Laguna Beach” were on the air.
My besties and I always knew our high school drama could serve as an East Coast version, mirroring the lives of Marissa Cooper and Summer Roberts, or Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari.
Part of what makes high school suck is the fact you're forced to be around the same people in the same building for four years straight.
What makes high school tolerable is finding the special people who can distract us from the dull, long days.
If you lived in the same place for a long stretch of time, it’s likely you also knew your besties before high school.
But, it’s during those four years you get your first taste of the freedom adulthood brings: driving a car, holding down a part-time job and proving to the world you can be somewhat responsible.
Having close friends to share those experiences with helps to affirm you’re heading in the right direction.
I’m sort of a bestie hoarder. I use the term “best friend” so often my boyfriend has grown skeptical of what it means to me.
The funny part is almost everyone whom I refer to as a “bestie” is someone I went to high school with (the lone wolf is a former next-door neighbor in California).
I even lived with a couple of them in college and then again when I moved to New York.
While I had mild flirtations and a few rondezvous, I never had a boyfriend in high school. My only relationships were with my friends, and we formed incredible bonds.
Although we've disagreed, fallen out of touch and grown apart over the years, I know they’ll always be there for me.
They will forever serve as a reminder of what fun we had, how close we were and the girl I once was.
Here are the 10 reasons why your high school besties will stay in your heart forever:
They’ve seen you at your best and worst.
For a lot of girls, high school was a time when our skin was firmest, our hair was fullest and our tummies were trimmest.
On the contrary, your high school best friends were the ones who saw exactly what happened to that clear-skinned teen with a beautiful mane when she first discovered alcohol and/or drugs: a complete and utter disaster.
They understand you to your core.
The beauty of being close to people is you can be yourself at any given time.
One moment of weakness, one freak out or one ridiculous fight isn’t going to make or break these friendships, and it won’t change the way your friends see you.
They know where you come from, your issues with your family, your issues with your looks and exactly what to say to make you forget about everything.
They know what you’ll do before you do it.
Did you break up with your boyfriend for the fifth time? They don’t bash him because they know you’ll get back together.
Riding in her car? You put on your seatbelt because you know there’s a very likely chance she’ll rear-end the SUV in front of you. Running five minutes late? She knows to tack on and extra 10 to 15 minutes to your ETA.
It’s all in the name of bestie love, and it still holds true to this day.
You were friends at a time when you were the same.
In high school, you’re at the same place in your lives. You’re taking the SATs, applying for colleges and going to graduation parties all in conjunction with each other.
Part of the reason people grow apart after college is because a gap forms and slowly widens forever.
You and your besties get married, move away, buy houses, have babies, focus on careers, blow all your money traveling and the like.
Suddenly, you're at completely a different stage in your life from the people you once saw every day.
These days, we’re lucky. Social media and smartphones help us keep track of each other’s lives, even if it’s at a distance. (I have ongoing group chats with several of my high school friends.)
But, I remember a time when those same friends and I always knew exactly where we all were and what we were doing.
If we looked around, and one of us was missing, there was an immediate explanation for her absence.
That kind of camaraderie after age 25 is rare and often a work of fiction.
A picture never lies.
I went to high school at a time when digital cameras had a modest capacity limit and disposable cameras were still in abundance.
But, with the wide use of Myspace and growing use of Facebook, we still took pictures like our lives depended on it.
They were often blurry and our selfies off-centered (Remember a time when we couldn’t see the picture we were taking of ourselves?), but we loved them all the same.
Nothing was more satisfying than waking up the morning after a “parents are out of town” party and finding those fun, smiley pictures online for our viewing enjoyment.
And, you’d never find elicit or embarrassing photos of yourself in the bunch. Your besties wouldn’t do that sort of thing to you.
What happens when all the funds from your part-time job are disposable? When your parents pay for your car, gas, food and even the paper towels you used to clean up your last party?
You get to use all of your hard-earned money on fun events like trips to Disney World, skip days spent lunching at the beach and bowling, and best of all, each other’s birthdays!
For me and my besties, planning each other’s big days was a big deal.
From a black-and-white party with a limo ride to a fiesta filled with Taco Bell, sombreros and Patron, we were always upstaging each other’s parties.
I'll never rule out a bestie birthday party in the future, either.
You remember a time when you always had a partner-in-crime.
These days, work, babies, families, home improvements and other responsibilities get in the way of true bestie time.
If there’s a cool exhibit I want to see, a guilty pleasure concert I want to attend (Taylor Swift at Metlife stadium, anyone?), or a quaint new French restaurant downtown I want to try, I can rarely depend on my boyfriend to get excited about them.
Sometimes, you just need a girlfriend to do girly things with, and the ability to align our schedules comes as often as the Olympic games after college is over.
I remember when there was always a friend available to go to the mall, see a movie or eat crappy food with. Now, we spend two weeks planing a dinner that'll most likely be canceled and rescheduled at least twice.
What has happened to our lives?
The reunions will remind you why you were such great friends in the first place.
Whether it’s a wedding, holiday weekend or a special visit “just because,” when you get together, it’s like no time has passed. And, the more of you there, the more fun you’ll have.
You won’t even necessarily talk about the past, but you'll focus on the memories you’re making in the present.
The best part? Your iPhones can handle way more pictures than the dinky digital camera your parents gave you for your 15th birthday!
It's hard not to be photogenic with so much love in one room.
Don’t fret. You’ll still talk (to some).
One of my besties lives all the way in Los Angeles, and a lot of the time, she knows more about what’s going on in my life than some of my New York friends.
I have high school besties scattered all over the country, and it’s great because you always have a place to stay if you need a weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Another salute to smartphones: Your besties will always be just a text away from continuing the 10-year-old inside joke, or laughing about the time you dated that obsessive douchebag.
That's what friends are for.
You know they’ll always love you.
No matter how much time passes by, no matter when the last time you spoke was and no matter if you can’t even make seeing them a priority anymore, you will always have love for your besties.
You will never forget a time when you were all each other had and when they were your support system and part of your family. That loyalty to each other doesn’t just fade, it lingers.
Though it may no longer be apart of your day-to-day life, you knew what it once was. Sometimes, that’s all you need to make you smile.