Are School Friends The Best?

Today the kids went back to school. And as I watched them head in the gates and renew school friendships again after the summer I thought about the importance of school friends.

I have many friends, gathered from various stages in my life. But my two oldest friends are my school pals. The oldest of these I met when I was 7 years old – younger than any of my kids are now. (Hi Rita) My other school friend and I developed our bond in Secondary School, (Hi Mo). The three of us are still very close and rely on our mutual friendship. We have been witnesses to each others lives almost forever.

A couple of years ago we became involved in the committee organising our 25th school reunion. On the night, we had a meet and greet role for the early part of the evening. But once food was served, we were very relieved to see that our old gang – about 8 of us in all, were sitting together and a place had been kept for us. And as I looked around the room I realised that this held true for all the various groups. We all gravitated back to where we felt we belonged. It was amazing. Within my own group, most of us hadn’t seen each other for the intervening 25 years. But it was if we had just been out of touch for the summer holidays. We nattered away, filling in the gaps, swapping photos of our kids and pets and husbands. We laughed, looking back at some of the things we got up to all those years ago. The hostelling weekends, the nuns we annoyed, the teachers we loved and those we loathed. It was great fun. So much so, that we still try to get together a couple or more times a year. And I look forward to our nights together greatly.

Our renewed friendships confirm the old adage, that people don’t really change all that much. Life has thrown each of us our challenges and emotional upheavals. We are still revealing our stories to each other. But whatever it was that brought us together all those years ago is as tangible today as it was then. And the great thing about old school friends is that they know you as you! They knew you before you had any label other than the one that your parents chose for you. They knew the ‘you’ that existed before you were someone’s mother or wife. And they like you for you – just you!

And that’s more than comforting – it is life affirming and totally great!

What about you? Have you stayed friends with those you met at school. How old are your oldest friendships? Are they important? Leave a comment and let me know!
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7 Comments

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  1. Hi Barbara,

    Of course school friends are the best!!
    As time passes we can decide often very quickly whether someone is 'our type' of person be they neighbour, work colleague or other mom. In school you are with classmates for about six years and there is time and space for people to reveal themselves slowly and grow on you.
    Are we really the same people as we were all those years ago?

  2. Nice post Barbara.
    Maybe we were just lucky or maybe we made an extra effort to keep in touch in the beginning when our lives were going in different directions. I'm sure there are plenty of people who are no longer in touch with any school friends and probably don't want to be!
    But Yes school friends are the best!

  3. Hi Barbara, I am still in touch with some old school friends. I have one that has stayed with me for holidays on and off over the years and now with the new found freedom of grown families we holiday together much more often. You chose a lovely topic and one that is dear to my heart.. my friend and I have been friends since we were 3 years old. Love from Australia…Marilyn xoxo

  4. Thanks for the comments, friends!
    Maureen – you raise an interesting point. Are we the same people we were all those years ago? I feel another blog post coming on!! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Rita – oldest pal – thanks for agreeing with me and not making a liar out of me! Also funny that we met aged 7 and as you say never lost touch through all sorts of stuff and now end up living across the road from each other! We are lucky! Need never be short of an egg or sugar or a chat!!!

    Marilyn – welcome back and good to hear from you! And new found freedom with grown families sounds wonderful and something we can look forward to! Bring it on!
    I am thinking of you down under,facing into spring as we are reluctantly greeting autumn!

  5. It's true what you say about taking the time to get to know someone over 6 years; it's rare that this happens anymore. I'm still close to a few women from school-days which is, well, it's calming. You know whatever you say, they've heard it all before so you don't need to construct anything. It's lovely.

  6. I wonder does it depend on our experience of school? If it was a good, life affirming experience we will want to keep some friends as a reminder of that time … and if it was an unpleasant experience, we leave the school and the friends in the past! Graduation into the University of Life has brought some very interesting friends into my life! You are one of those interesting friends Barbara! 🙂

  7. Thanks Niamh – yes it is very relaxed with friends who have known you forever. And the fact that school friends knew you as you and nothing more, seems to give those friendships a depth!

    And Jan, you also make a great point. The friends who are 'thrown' together by the University of Life also have bonds that can be strong and deep. thanks for sharing that!

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