That’s what friends are for

Josh Echt

A few days ago my best friend Ashley and I headed out to Bellacino’s to pick up a pizza. Along the way, we managed to sing to several 1980s-era Chicago songs like “You’re the Inspiration.”

You might say, “So what? It’s just some college kids belting out cheesy Peter Cetera in a Monday traffic jam in Stow. Little memories. No big deal.”

It’s not a big deal, but it’s one of many little deals that add up.

Friendship is something that is forged in the test of time. Friendships last years or decades because the members choose to do the “little things.” Silly, little moments with our friends shouldn’t be taken for granted; they should be cherished and held onto forever. The cliché statement sounds Hallmark-ish, but it’s true.

Let me phrase it this way. If you watch NFL football, you will see little things take place during the game that don’t mean much at the time, such as a missed block, a defensive stand or a blocked punt. At the end of the game, the team who has done “the little things,” like the Patriots, usually winds up winning a lot.

By appreciating your memories, you will manage to avoid taking friendship for granted. I’m not saying I’m right with a capital R, but I feel the correlation is important. Those who do the “little things” to keep a friendship going, like communication, trust and love of others, usually have success years after the last keg is tapped and the last party is thrown.

One thing I’ve learned at Kent is to be happy with your friends and not take them for granted. Here’s a way to look at it: I’ve never had a girlfriend in my 22 years on Earth, but I’ve come close, like my Browns’ quest for a Super Bowl.

Sure, I may never have a girlfriend, but I know I have three friends I will rely on for the rest of my life. The Browns may never win the big one, but they will always be loved by their legions of fans.

I’ve realized college is an important test-bed for seeing how you deal with people and friends before the real world. I’m not saying I’ve been an angel; I’ve done some injustices to my friends. I’ve sometimes failed in doing “little things” in our relationships. But we’ve forgiven each other because we’ve moved on.

The most important “little things” I can tell you are letting go of grudges. In high school I wasn’t popular. Only recently have I learned to let things go and learn to accept things for what they are. Not everyone can be superstars; however, the unpopular ones have success in the real world also.

Once I let go of past grudges, college and people became easier to deal with. Breaking past failures to me was akin to a team like Cleveland finally deciding how to stop the run after years of ignoring that deficiency.

I’d like to talk more, but I’m going to grab a pizza and listen to a favorite ballad from Dionne Warwick, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight. The song’s title?

“That’s What Friends Are For.”

Josh Echt is a senior newspaper journalism major and a guest columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].