How Our Friends Can Inspire Us

by Eleanor Peyton Colquitt
How Our Friends Can Inspire Us

What would we do without our friends? From reuniting for the start of another academic season, to celebrating each and every holiday together (Galentine’s Day, Christmas, Halloween, Bonfire Night… any excuse for cake), the new year is a great time to appreciate the people you love best. I’ve been thinking about how our most motivational friends inspire us in everyday life. Here’s what I realised…

PMA

Ah, the power of teachers! One of my favourite sayings, Positive Mental Attitude – PMA for short – was first introduced to me and my peers by a teacher many of us are still friendly with. It’s a mindfulness technique, really – one of those things where you hear it around so much it becomes one of your unconscious habits.

Turned down after a job interview? Ask for feedback and work on it for next time. Blanked in the street? Sure, it looked like they were looking at you, but maybe they were lost in thought and didn’t actually see you (why not give them a call?).

And so on. I do feel like it’s given me peace of mind. A small reminder, every day, to try and see the glass half-full… it makes a lot of difference.

(NB: Of course, mindfulness isn’t the be-all and end-all of mental wellbeing. If anyone out there is struggling, remember to seek professional medical help.)

It’s Lit

With World Book Day coming up next month, it’s a special time for book lovers everywhere. Studying literature in particular led me to some of the closest friendships I’ve ever had. I currently have what’s known as a “squad”, formed at university during endless hours in the library.

It’s a new experience for me. I am extremely shy, so it’s usually enough to hang out with two or three people at a time. Anything more than that… well. It’s not that I haven’t got on well with large groups of girls, but something always made me nervous. And then it didn’t feel as right as I knew, from being with individual friends, it could feel.

I made other friends at uni, and I love them just as much. But the point is, whether responding to a new home or an identity crisis, these friends are all easygoing, encouraging and enthusiastic about each other’s latest news. Hopefully, they think the same of me. The vibes are good, anyway…

So, find your squad. Simply knowing that there are people out there, other than your family, who have your back… it’s empowering. Sometimes unbelievably so.

Travel to Inspire = Aspire to Travel

A recent study of friendship says that you have to spend 200 hours with someone before you consider them a close friend. That’s just over eight days worth of hanging out, non-stop. I’ve known my three closest friends for about a decade, seeing them for nearly every day. On the science side at least, I think we’ve managed it.

Except… they’ve all been doing a lot of gallivanting recently, off exploring places as diverse as Scotland and Spain. One even flew to Nepal and is only coming back via South Africa.

I’ve given in. I’m going to see what all the fuss is about. Just a small European holiday sometime, when another of said three closest friends goes off to work in the Alps.

I’m apprehensive. I’ve never travelled alone before; it’s always been with my parents or on a school trip. But I have confidence in my planning. And it’ll do me some good: I’m pushing my boundaries, growing as a person.

All because of my friends.

There’s only one more thing to think about: you. What can your friends inspire you to do?

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