The word "friend" often conjours up images of friendliness,warmth and bonds.
Yet, I have a theory- the essential need from friendship comes from one's own need to fill up one's hole of loneliness and is also motivated by self-interest.
Just think about it. What do you want friends for? Somebody to talk to, to whine to, a shoulder to lean on when times are tough on you.
A typical conversation could go like this:
Me: Jen, my family are such bloody fucking assholes!
Friend: Yes, my family is like that as well. Sigh, what to do?
Me: And my school/work is going so badly.
Friend: Don't worry. Hang in there. You'll be fine.
And so on. Our pillars to hang on to in these little times of need.
But sooner or later, friends move, and school is over. Or friends find other friends, friendships broken, and then new friendships form again. And then break, and then come together, and again and again...
Think about it. School ends. Your classmates are not with you anymore. You start travelling in different circles. The bond of friendship literally screeches to a halt. Unfortunate, but true.
You try and meet up, but he's/she's busy, or you are, so the coffee is cancelled. You fix another appointment, and the same thing happens again. A clash in schedules. And after a while, you just raise up your hands and exclaimed "Whoa!" and give up.
But besides that, think about friends who actually make use of one another. Remember boy-girl relationships? Often there's a substitute once this "sweet" romance comes to an end. However, it doesn't only apply to romance, but to friendships as well. A person who has just called it quits with a best friend can often find another as a replacement. Somebody to fill up that hole in their own lives. Somebody to talk to rather than wallowing in self-pity.
And then again, this thing called networking. You hang out with a group to get something else, whether business contacts or an extra oomph to your identity and ego. At this age of early twenties, I already had adults telling me, "In this world, it's not surprising that people make use of one another. It's very common." This in response to my indignant disbelief of such a self-interested world. And all said with the air of an adult know-it-all.
Yet, at the end of the day, I remembered that I once read a short story in an Enid Blyton book. The title said, "If you want a friend, be a friend." To this day, that saying stuck in my mind, and I hope, will always be there.
To be fortunate, hopefully, there are friends who will stick through tough times with you. Friends who have seen you at your best, at your worst, and still treat you as a friend.
Remember: At your death-bed, if you have at least one good friend, this life was well worth your living. :)