I’ve recently had some time to reflect on the types of friendships that I’ve had, and ones I’ve lost and the ones I’ve let go. And what strikes me is that Harvard life is a pretty decent lens for all of the friends one might have (or my set of friends).
Study Guide Friend/Lab Partner/Pset Buddy: You can’t stand this person or you feel indifferent (or you like them, but c’mon), but you know that if you want a good grade you’ll need to work with this person. It’s like, I can’t stand to see your face but the content that you produce will never let me leave you. You save me from doing the painful readings I hate, and I always try to pull one over on you by giving you more work…but you’re too smart for that and we play this fun game of "delegation."
I would say almost everyone that I work with falls into this bucket. You have shit to get done, and you probably can’t stand him/her, but you know they’re really good at the job. And to make your life easier, you have to sit there and just listen to them ramble about their boring ass weekends or dumb opinions. And they generally feel the same way about you; yet they do it with a better poker face.
Dining Hall Friend: You see each other a lot, you live in the same house. You’re not escaping each other for 3 years at most, and you sorta have to make peace with that. You’ve encountered each other enough at brain break, in your entryway, shuttle or in the dining hall. And one day…it happens. There’s either no one else in the dining hall that you know or there are no other seats available. You and your DHF have a conversation. And you’re surprised that it’s actually gone well. You now have a friend, right? No, you eventually realize that your ‘friendship’ is really only sustained over a meals that are spaced out over time and that you can’t discuss anything too significant or personal.
I recently realized that one of my friends that I thought was somewhat compatible with me is really just a DHF. We can go out, socialize, get food or a drink but at the end of the day…you’re really not that into it. You eventually have other options — your blockmates or ‘real friends’ show up and you have to juggle the two. It doesn’t work. You eventually put the DHF on the b-list for the times no one else is around. But it’s OK, because the feeling is usually mutual.
Bestie/Podmate: You met each other freshman year, they are your soul mate (emotionally). They so get you. It’s going to last forever. This is the friend that you can share any meal with, you can go to the movies, shoot the shit, complain about life to for hours on end and they listen. Yes, they listen to all of your bullshit. Fuck your high school friends of convenience, you finally picked some winners to have and to hold forever.
And then something happens. You get tired of hearing each other’s complaints, the love affair is over, the marriage is done. Your world comes crashing down, and you try to find someone to replace them. Would a different blockmate take their place? You try to make that happen, but it just isn’t that same. Womp womp, you lost your best friend…until you realize how petty you both were and make up at some point in the future. It’s definitely not the same, but you feel good knowing that a tiny part of your soul is put back in place and that your life is not spinning out of control as much (Karma is less of a bitch that you had hoped).
Blockmate: You blocked because you were equally attractive, outgoing, awkward or bitchy. It was a match made in convenience heaven. OMG, I can’t wait to live with you for 3 years!!! And then you live together, and you start fighting. You have tons of falling outs and reunions. Your gchat log is filled with "Mean Girls" style bitchery and fall of your chair moments that no one gets besides the two of you. Overall, it’s a solid friendship.
I would consider Kingston and my Ex blockmates. It’s a roller coaster of goods and bads, but net positive overall.
I’m very much generalizing here, but for some reason I felt like these buckets kinda made sense.