With all due respect to the men in our lives, we'd like to take a moment to give a shout out to our women. Female friendships are powerful things and whether you have one best pal or a whole girl crew, life is better when you have (and are) a good friend.
In the spirit of International Women's Day (8 March 2019) here are Team U's thoughts some of the most inspiring, supportive, maddening, and often hilarious, relationships in life: the female friendships.
Amy, U Editor:
"When I was 12, I was faced with the most weighty decision of my then few, short years; to go on to the secondary school for which my primary school was a feeder, with my friends, or go to a 'rival' school where I knew pretty much no one (a pinch of salt required here, I grew up in Galway – it wasn't quite the Bloods V Crips) .
I chose the 'rival' school and looking back, it's still the best decision I've ever made because, in doing so, I met the most incredible group of 15 girls – all of whom I still consider my best friends today.
I know a friendship group that large might seem excessive, but the strength and depths of personalities, interests and experiences mean I always have the right girl to go to in our 'Sweet Sixteen' WhatsApp group. (It's rarely quiet, as you might imagine.)
We've grown up together and know each other inside and out, good and slightly less-good. Meeting each of them was an integral moment in my life and so to Grainne, Niamh, Thornto, Alex, Ciks, Dee, Lu C, Madden, Dani, Saz, Rois, Ciara T, Adrienne, Jen and Ellen... thanks for being as special as you are."
Kate, U Journalist:
"The majority of my very best female friends live worlds away and even though there are weeks when we're too busy to chat, I know that I could call them at 4am when anxiety is ripping me apart and they'll be a shoulder to rant at or even be on-hand to organise our next reunion.
What I love about female friendships the most is that they're so romantic and involved. They know the best, worst and most middling things about you and would still take a bullet for you any day of the week. They also know what you're thinking with a look which is something I've never found with male counterparts.
Girls have reputations for being bitchy, mean and vitriolic but my experience with female-centric circles is quite the opposite. Caring, funny, intelligent and flaw-embracing embodiments who are just looking to make your day better in the way only they can.
Brenda, U Senior Editor:
"My female friends are a cornerstone of my life. Some are like part of my family, others are more ‘pals’ but still play an important role in my life - as I hope I do in theirs.
I think the main thing I’ve learned about friendships over the years is that they are living things. And they are not all the same. They change shape over time and grow bigger - or smaller - and that’s all okay.
You don’t have to be besties with everyone all the time and some friendships work best in a different way. Maybe you have a pal you have your major clubbing nights out with but never have deep ’n’ meaningfuls with, or there’s one that gets you off the couch and to the gym, or one you call when you need serious advice about grown up things. Life can be a patchwork quilt of pals!
One of my friends once declared that,’friends should love and support each other’ and that’s all there is to it, really. Whatever your friendships look like, however many there are, if you love and support each other, you’re doing grand."
Stacey, U Social Media Intern:
"Bonded by our ankle length kilts and love for a particular few at the local skate park, my four pack gal crew have been through 10 years of travel, heartbreak, moving in, moving out, new jobs and 'I can't believe they just fired me' sobs.
True friendships, regardless of gender, can be hard to make, and even harder to maintain. I think what has made these connections last is our unconditional support of each other and, at times, the uncomfortable honesty that we all need to hear.
So in praise of female friendships, thank you so much to the ladies who have taught me what it means to be a good friend and person."
Emma, U Editorial Assistant:
"When I think about female friendships, my head automatically pictures a Taylor Swift-esque size 'squad' that comes with its own WhatsApp group that just never stops buzzing. But in reality, or well, my reality, my female friendships comes in the shape of an extremely small 'squad' that actually don't know one another. Granted, it's strange but each one of my best friends symbolises a pivotal moment in my life. They are girls I've met and become friends with from my different walks in life and despite us not being a clique, each one of their friendships is the reason behind my happiness.