I never had a lot of friends. In my years attending public high school, you could catch me hiding in the library during lunch to avoid awkward encounters with people I didn’t want to sit with in the lunch room, or  a few (couple hundred) bathroom trips during classes and in between the classes.

High school made me feel like something was wrong with me. The girls with the tops two sizes too small and sweatpants on had innocent and insecure girls dying to be their friends. Getting guys for those girls was as easy as picking the burger over the salad- it was never a question.

School has a way of making you feel like something is wrong with you. If you’re the one with all the friends or the one with no friends, you’re still going to spend hours wondering who you’re becoming. The only tip I have is that it does get better. As a matter of fact, it gets a hell of a lot better.

Over the past few months, I’ve connected with a group of people I never anticipated becoming this close with. Much of the past few years has been times of feeling alone, insecure, and contemplating whether I would ever find friends I could relate with. Kids in high school aren’t always genuine, which is why I’ve always connected to people much older than me.

When you finally find a group of friends that you can call at 10 AM or 1 AM, life becomes a journey of growing with people closer to you than your own family. For someone not used to having a core group of friends, there are moments when I look back and feel so blessed to finally have these people in my life. It may have taken 16 years, but those 16 years were worth waiting.

Why is it that when you’re a teenager popularity status is based on the amount of friends you have, or how crazy your parties get? When I was about 7 years old I had tons of friends. Those were the good days. We bonded over mutual taste in the color of crayons, and our favorite flavors of cupcakes.

As we got older, many of us split apart, some went on to be the “It girls” and many went on to find groups of friends who shared a more intimate bonds than crayon colors. Having handfuls of friends doesn’t determine the type of person you are.

My mother always said (even through the many Friday nights spent alone at home) “you only need a couple  of close friends.” I never agreed, again because of the belief the more friends you have, the cooler you are- but I completely disagree with my former self.

Once you find the group of friends that you know will stick with you through thick and thin, the search for decent people in your life ends. A part of me that has been missing for a while has been filled with beautiful, inspiring, fun and strong friends.

The cool part? None of them were ever the “popular” kids in school.