A friend is someone you want to be around who also wants to be around you. It’s that simple. But there’s a bigger question here: what is a good friend?

Some people have a small set of friends that they hold really close to them, and they don’t find the need to reach outside of that circle. To those people, friendship seems to have a lot of criteria. Friends are expected to make you a better person. To bail you out of bad situations.  To fly across the country to visit you. I’m not one of those people.

Right now, since I’m in college, I feel like my friends are rotating through a revolving door. They each travel in and out of my life periodically depending on what classes I’m taking, what clubs I join, and what city I’m in. There are people that I only see once a year for sushi during the summer. Do I expect these people to make time for me? Not very much. But are they still good friends? Of course.

So if I don’t need my friends to be people to lean on, then what makes a good friend? A good friend is a friend you want to brag about. A friend you respect. A friend that values you as much (or little) as you value them. Of course I want friends that I can depend on. But they don’t all have to be that way. That’s setting too high of a bar. There’s a quote: “Some friends are friends for a reason, some are friends for a season, and some are friends for a lifetime.” But they’re all friends, just the same. So yes, it is nice to have people who are willing to go to the ends of the Earth for you. But it’s also nice to just sit down once a year to check up on someone you respect. Is that once-a-year sushi-bar person my closest friend? Hopefully not. But they’re a good one.