source: Alisa's photos

Journey to the Crown: Best Friend to the Rescue


Being someone’s best friend is a major responsibility, but society has watered down the true definition of what a best friend is. Do you remember when you were in elementary or even middle school when you called everyone your best friend? One time, my mother became so frustrated with me using the title of “best friend” so loosely that she sat me down and explained to me the difference between a best friend, a friend, and an acquaintance. I was a little confused at 10 years old, but it completely changed the way I view friendships.

As time passed and I began to mature more and more, I realized that I had more acquaintances than friends. These so-called “friends” were always around to have fun but quickly disappeared when I actually needed someone to talk to. I began to analyze my circle of "friends," and realized how shallow and fake these relationships were.

Then I met my best friend, Shana Denise Patrick, and my life was changed forever! While that might seem way too dramatic, she has blessed me in more ways than I can count. She has played such a crucial role in helping shape the young woman that I am today, and I am so thankful to have such a dynamic and loving person by my side. Shana possesses four key characteristics that every best friend should have:

1. Honesty

One of the greatest parts about Shana is that she doesn’t tell me what I want to hear, she tells me what I need to hear. It is so easy to get wrapped up in your own thoughts that you start to lose sight of what’s important. We can become so overwhelmed by our feelings and emotions that we lie to ourselves about the situation at hand. No matter what, I can always count on Shana, to be honest and help put things in perspective. Make sure that you are surrounding yourselves with people that keep it real with you all the time. Friends that lie to you because they want to protect your feelings or emotions are more detrimental than beneficial.

2. Judgement Free Zone

Shana never judges me for my actions. In fact, when I talk to her about making a stupid decision she always gives me advice from a place of love. I can be really hard on myself sometimes and she always reminds me of the fact that I am a human being who makes mistakes, and the important thing is to learn from those mistakes and move on. Shana’s advice is also rooted in scripture and not emotion because God is such a staple in both of our lives. Surround yourself with friends who you can open up to without feeling as if they are going to look down on you. True friends will listen and give you advice without condemning you for your actions.

3. Making Time for What’s Important

“I’m too busy to talk” is no longer a valid reason to not make time for someone you truly care about and love. We are all busy, but we choose to make time for what’s important and Shana ALWAYS makes time for me, even if it’s inconvenient for her. We Facetime while we are eating, walking to class, or even at the gym! You shouldn’t have to beg someone to make time for you. If you are a priority to them they will make the time to speak with you regardless of how busy their day is.

4. Hype Man!

Shana is constantly encouraging and uplifting me. She is such an integral part of my support system because when I start to doubt myself or my abilities, she is right there to build me up and remind me of who I am in Christ. She is my biggest cheerleader and whether I'm teaching a Zumba class or performing in a pageant, Shana is always there to support me throughout all of my endeavors.

Having Shana as my best friend has been nothing short of incredible. Yes we argue, and sometimes I can’t stand her, but she is a part of my family. She keeps me grounded and I know that I can call her about anything, at any time, and she will be there. 

Make sure you take the time to tell your best friend how much you love and care for them. Being a best friend is a full-time position, and it is a relationship that should never be taken for granted. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without Shana, and I am so excited to see our friendship continue to grow and blossom as we enter into this new season in our lives.

Share what characteristics you love about your best friend in the comments below!

Alisa Vasquez is a sophomore at The Pennsylvania State University. Her passion for journalism began as a senior in high school when she was one of the anchors for Blue and Gold Television. In addition to being on air, she also enjoys using her love for writing as a platform to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves. Her dream is to land a spot on Good Morning America, in addition to inspiring young women through her love for fitness. She understands the significance and power of living a healthy lifestyle, and wants to share that desire with young women across the country.