Friends Stick (or are stuck) Together

Sometimes you just have to make do with what you have.  Commonly, this motto is true when it comes to friendship. Many kids befriend the people who are like them and kids tend to form groups by melting together until everybody seems like the same person. Though they might not really have that much is common in truth, they form a band to help them camouflage and blend in. This quote is from Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass and it kind of describes this tendency.  ‘“People don’t choose their friends?’  He shrugs.  ‘Not really.’ It’s usually the people you live near, or the kids in your classes.  You’re stuck with them, so you become friends.  You know, like we did.’”

 In this story, a girl named Ally lives on a campground where she doesn’t have the opportunity to socialize very often.  So, Ally really looks forward to when her friend since childhood, Ryan, visits the campground.  They usually get along very well but this year things have changed. Ryan has changed.  When Ally asks Ryan about his friends, she finds out that they know little about Ryan’s past interests.  She asks him why they are his friends and he tells her that friends are almost chosen for you. I think what Ryan said has a deeper meaning to it.

  I think the quote above has a few different meanings.  Ally asks, “People don’t choose their friends?” when she begins wonder if Ryan’s friends at home know a different Ryan then she does.  Ryan tries to describe how whoever you are grouped with just becomes your friend. I think what Ryan really means is that kids adapt what they to make themselves blend in and fit in even if who they act like is not who they really are. It seems like Ryan’s life at his home changed and that he changed his interests from stars to football to match those of kids around him.  The way he tells Allie what making friends is like for him sounds like he has just given in to making friends with whoever comes along in his life.  He has changed himself to be the same as other kids his age. Then when he came back to visit Ally, it was like he had advanced in time and she was stuck in the past where the two of them were one and the same.  When Ryan says that you don’t choose friends, he is saying your friends are the people who help you blend in. They are the people you copy, and the kids that you behave differently in front of. They are the kids who are like you and are similar to you. Ryan’s friends probably don’t know everything about him, but having a lot of friends probably makes Ryan more comfortable at school.  Then when Ryan tells Ally that they are friends because they are “stuck” with each other, he is trying to make it seem like all friendships are for this reason.  He is saying that they might only be friends because they were put together when they were young.  To me it seems like they were true friends as kids because they know a lot about each other, not just kids who decided to hang out together because it was convenient. Though they may have been friends years ago due to their choice it really does seem like nowadays they only spend time with each other because they are at the same campground.

 While it might not be the greatest thing, Ryan is right in saying sometimes you just have to accept whoever crosses your path in life as a friend. In middle school, you are automatically stereo-typed by other kids so usually your friends are all in the group as you are. Some of the people kids call their friends are really just acquaintances.  It is easier to get through school when you have a group of people at your side, but often that group doesn’t know who you really are. Some kids pretend to be a different person in school and their teachers and classmates can’t see through their disguise.  I know that I have friends who I really only see at school, and better friends who I see outside of school. I know the kids that I see outside of school better because they usually act different in an environment without the pressure to fit in.

So, Ryan’s comment rings true to a level.  Kids are often friends with whoever is in somehow grouped with them, but true and trusted friends aren’t often found this way.

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