My friend Mike and I had been best friends since I was eleven years old. Mike, who is one year older than me, graduated a year earlier than me. He got into his dream school, and after a happy but painful graduation, I wished him good luck in his new life. We kept in touch, though, and all seemed to be well with him. He was pursuing a degree in English, and seemed to be loving college life and his new friends. During my senior year, I invited him to my graduation, but he couldn’t attend due to finals. I realized we had grown distant, and slowly but surely, I began losing contact with him. I talked to some of his old high school buddies, and no one had seen him or heard from him for awhile. I then thought to myself that he had simply put his high school memories behind for new friends. Soon after, I was beginning my time here at UCLA, an excited first year studying business economics, and he was a seasoned second year. I tried to contact him in every way saying that I was now at UCLA, but he never got back to me. I slowly grew frustrated and angry. After all, weren’t we best friends? I thought to myself, “wow he really has moved on”. Perhaps it was time for me to move on too. I stopped trying to contact him, and eventually I had all but forgotten about him.
Imagine my surprise when I got an unexpected call from him. It turns out that for the last half a year, he had been on hiatus from not only college, but society in general. He had some personal issues to resolve, and was put into a drug detox program. During that time, he was not able to contact anyone. Upon learning this, I realized that all my anger towards him was so foolish. I felt like scum. Instead of being there for him during a critical time, I was cursing him and feeling sorry for myself, even though his problems were much more severe than mine. I eventually met up with him back in New York, and we reminisced on old times. As I spent time with him, it wasn’t he that abandoned me, but it was I that abandoned him. In the end of all of this, I swore to myself to always be there for a friend and to not let myself be so emotionally weak, especially when people are going through much more difficult ordeals than a simple, “oh you never say hi anymore” problem. So why do I do what I do? So that I can be not only a better person, but a better friend.