Best friends are there for ups and downs of life


Courtesy Photo by Audrey Willis.

Audrey Willis and one of her best friend Janie Johnson pose together at the pool.

Sydney Woodward, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Junior Audrey Willis clearly remembers the day she went with her family and best friend Caden Fenoglio to see  the Houston Astros play  the Los Angeles Angels

Her favorite part of the day was the ride home that day when she and Caden sang Rihanna songs at the top of their lungs.

It was, she says, “”the happiest I’ve been in a long time.”

Audrey currently has three best friends:  Sarah Hagest, Janie Johnson and Fenoglio.

They’ve only been friends for a couple years or less but she considers them her best friends.

Audrey met both Sarah and Janie when she was 13. Janie was one of Audrey’s friends friend so her friend would tell Janie stories about Audrey so when Audrey moved back she and Janie became friends after a trip to Splashtown. While Sarah was dating one of Audrey’s friends in the eighth grade.

To Audrey, Sarah is “kind of like a hardshell Jolly Rancher. Where you gotta gnaw around the edges pass her tough outer shell to get to the little gooey inside.”

Audrey describes Janie as having “about as many twists and turns as her hair.”    

She only met Caden last year in geometry but he has quickly become like a brother to her. To her, Caden is like “a growing puppy.”

She jokes that he’s learning new things, potty training and learning to feed himself right. “He enjoys the simple things and get’s distracted very easily,” she says.

To her, a best friend is “someone you can go to with an extremely stupid corny joke straight through to I need someone to lean on,” Willis said. “Anything between these two great divides is what a best friend is.”

However, for some, having a best friend doesn’t last forever. Studies by Robin Dunbar, head of the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University, have shown that once a person enters a new relationship two people from their immediate circle (meaning friends or family) are pushed out.

A Florida Atlantic University study shows that as adults jobs, family, and  spouse take priority over once best friends. However, someK-Park teachers have kept up with their best friends.

English teacher Matthew Bennett, who currently has four best friends, actually believes that best friends are essential into adulthood.

“When you’re young, your guardians control a lot of your needs, so your concerns are rarely other than your wants,” Bennett said. “When you’re an adult, it’s a constant struggle to give time to your wants because your needs are so consuming.”

Shannon Wenter, who teaches Algebra 2 and AP statistics, also believes something similar. With a family to support, she finds it harder to meet up with her best friends, Charity and Kristina, to hang out like they did in high school. However, she finds that if a best friends lasts through the craziness of an adult life then they are something special.

I think a successful person is someone who has found the key to balancing it all without losing any part,” Wenter said.

Both Bennett and Wenter’s current best friends are from their teen years, but  they are still acquaintances with their childhood best friends through social media like Facebook.

That’s what Audrey hopes that life with her best friends will be like after she leaves Kingwood Park. She wants to  maintain a healthy relationship with Sarah, Jamie and Caden for years to come.

“If I make a friend I try to keep them. So like I’ll do anything to make them happy,” Willis said. “I try to the best of my abilities to make them stay.”