Chosen family

Families are viewed as the most important relationships we have, but friendships have the potential to be even stronger

Kayla Reyes, Social Media Editor

It’s not that I think all families are terrible. Dysfunctional maybe, but families care for each other and ultimately want what’s best for one another.

More or less.

Oftentimes, family members, parents in particular, get caught up in the pressure they put on their children and forget to think about what children want for their lives, what makes them happy.

Friendships are often a way to escape the pressures faced in daily life and hold a special place in every person’s heart. My friends are one of the most important parts of my life, and they’ve given me some of the best experiences I’ll ever have.

I don’t love my friends more than I do my family, but my friendships are stronger than the relationships I hold with the vast majority of my family. My family has been through many ups and downs, often leaving me feeling unsupported and alone. I haven’t always had friends who supported me as my current ones do, so I value them more than I ever thought possible.

Just thinking of how amazing my friends are makes me so grateful to have them, and I can’t imagine where I’d be in life without them. My friends have helped me immensely in the last few years and encouraged me to push myself to my full potential. They’re truly the best people I’ve ever known, and I hope to keep them in my life for as long as I can.

My relationships with my friends are vastly different from the ones I have with my family members. I’m closer with my friends, and they make me feel so much more supported, so much happier. I love my family, don’t get me wrong, but I can be with my friends without receiving the criticism and scrutiny I face from my relatives.

There’s a concept of unconditional love which we must hold for family members, regardless of how deeply we truly connect. We’re supposed to love our families without question, no matter what.

This pressure itself can suffocate us.

Especially as teenagers, it’s difficult to connect with parents and siblings. Though parents ultimately want what’s best for their children, adolescents and their guardians often find themselves on opposing sides of long, drawn-out conflicts. The unrealistic expectations and pressure to succeed held by parents is often too much for children to handle.

Because our friendships are not forced onto us, they have the potential to mean so much more to us. With friends, there’s no pressure, no expectations. We are able to choose who we want to forge connections with, and that makes the relationships we make for ourselves so much more meaningful.