Why Female Friendships Are So Important At All Stages In Life

by Courtney Anixter
Originally Published: 
Four female friends at a get-together, sitting on a couch, smiling while having a drink

My girlfriends are my lifelines. They are the people I turn to when I need a major venting session, my heart’s broken, or when I need someone to help me rationalize eating a plate of nachos while I’m trying to wean myself off carbs.

They’re my soul sisters and they come in all shapes and forms.

1. Sandbox Sisters

Childhood friends are the cream of the crop. They saved you a swing at recess and picked you for kickball. Grade school not only taught you how to hatch baby chicks, but also provided a chance to find your first real group of friends. I still have mine. And, yes, we nicknamed ourselves after our alma mater, because when you’ve been friends for thirty years, you can do whatever the eff you want.

These are the friends who will be there for you no matter what. They show up to your grandma’s funeral when you tell them its graveside and not to worry. These are the people who you can be authentically yourself with because they literally have seen you in every phase of your life. They’ve witnessed all of your awkward haircuts and watched you sleep in a headgear. These are the priceless gems because you simply cannot make new old friends.

2. Bunkmate Besties

Camp friends are your first roommates. Camp friends require the least amount of effort but yield the biggest return. They are the people you spent two months with during themost blissful time of the year. Duh, you weren’t in school. They were your friends who loaned you their red t-shirt for color wars because all of yours were dirty and the rest smelled atrocious from camp laundry. They taught you how to shave your legs behind your cabin. These are the people you played stationary blackjack with and robbed them blind because you actually knew how to gamble.

Camp friends are the absolute best to reminisce with about being a kid when you ran around wild and free without a single worry in the world. You snuggled together at campfires and made wish boats at the end of every summer. My wishes always came true–I returned to my happy place with some of my favorite people.

3. Sorority Betches

These are the college friends you made when you left home, and everything and nothing was familiar at the same time. Girls you met in the dorm or when you pledged a sorority, or complained to about gaining the freshman fifteen while also justifying ordering late-night cheesy bread. You walked them home after a party to make sure they were safe even if it meant skipping another beer with your crush. You held their hair while they yakked everywhere because they’d had one too many.

These pals insisted you join Facebook because it was for “college kids.” (If only we knew then…) They were destined to be your friends because as a child you grew up with a fun “Aunt Linda” who was your mom’s roommate in college. These ladies truly helped you forge your independence. They went with you to the Union to buy your books for the semester and loved that your parents let you keep your car for second semester so you could joyride all over campus listening to weepy montage music.

These people may live in different places now, but for four years you made memories that will last forever. College friends are your original wolf pack.

4. Carrie Bradshaw and Crew

These are the people you met through other people. You either went to college with their friend or they were moving here for grad school and you knew their roommate. Before long, you were texting everyday and pre-gaming at each other’s apartments. You finally got to live out the Sex and the City fantasy in real-life. Cue the stylish outfits and painting the town red with the best accessory — your girlfriends.

These are the friends who helped you pack up your first apartment. They also shared their dreams and desires in the future. Maybe they planned on getting married and raising a family in the suburbs or aspired to be a kickass career woman or maybe THEY WANTED IT ALL.

5. Connected Contemporaries

Your coworkers sat beside you while you were trying to cover up the fact that you were g-chatting while also trying to get your work done. These are the friends who you can talk about your other friends with because your worlds will rarely collide.

I lump in “mom friends” because I imagine it’s nice to have someone to bounce feeding times, weird diaper rashes, and other questions you don’t feel like bombarding your pediatrician with. Your single friends probably don’t understand because they are too busy swiping while listening to you gripe about your lack of sleep and how hard being a new mom actually is. (We’re proud of you. Always remember that.)

Having served on a number of boards, I’ve met some of the greatest people. Later in life, you naturally tend to gravitate toward people who are like-minded. People who want to give back and make a contribution are my kind of people. These individuals are the lighting bolts in the storms of life. They are the risk-takers who push us forward. They inspire us to do more because together we can make a difference.

Whether your friends are from childhood, camp, the city, work, or if you’re lucky, and check all of the boxes, they are proof that female friendships are important and necessary. They will help you at any stage. They are your lifejacket when the current gets rocky. Make sure they are always on board, because I guarantee you’ll need them.

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