What is stress?
Stress is breaking down into heaving sobs of panic the moment you hide inside the car; out of sight from the friends and club advisors that you have to stay collected in front of. It’s when the most proper meal you’ve eaten in two days is a bowl of yogurt. It’s waking up at 430 in the morning to study for an exam because you spent two and a half hours running a meeting the night prior and it devoured your time like a savage lion tearing apart an atelope. Stress is when you struggle to orient your breathing in steady intervals because fear takes over and engulfs your brain. And it’s when you ignore the four missed calls, texts, and a stupidly hilarious voicemail of worry from your anxious friends because you threw your phone at a wall, collapsed on the floor, and had to stop your shoulders from shaking.
And what are friends?
Friends are the ones who send you memes with silly captions and spam you with inside jokes when stress eats your mind. Friends are the ones who ask each other to check on you and make sure that you’re ok. Friends are the people that make you struggle suppressing more tears sitting on the worn-out benches of the cold locker room; because they’re the people to surprise you with a beautiful “cheer up!” present at school and you’ve never felt such raw thankfulness for anyone in your life. They’re the ones who fill said cheer up present with handmade sock llamas, 85% chocolate (that everyone hates except you), and a card so funny it makes you struggle suppressing giggles because you’re in English class. Friends offer you a shoulder to cry on -even though they may be a bit tall – when the whole world is crumbling apart like a Nature Valley granola bar. They’re the people who enlist their sister to do breathing exercises with you when they can’t to make sure you’re mentally sane before the exam. It’s such an overused phrase, but in all honesty, I don’t think it’s used enough.
Friends are there for you when you need it most – be it an existential crisis or giving you phone support when there’s a spider in the room – and they make you think that the world, even the world we live in now, might still have some hope.