Describe a time you spend with your friend in your childhood
You should say
Who is this friend
How did you know about each other And explain why you describe this time

I am going to tell you about my first ‘best friend’ from childhood. I’ll explain how we met, how long we were friends, what we got up to and why I liked her so much, and I’ll try and explain our friendship so you can understand why we were so close.

I first met my friend Tracey when I went to junior school. We were sat next to each other in class, I don’t think we chose to do that particularly, we probably just sat where we were told to on our first day of the school year, but we got on straight away and were firm friends from the age of about 8 until we left school to go to senior school aged about eleven. We happened to go to different schools at that point, and sadly our friendship drifted apart, when we were younger though, we were inseparable.

Tracey and I had similar interests. We liked being outside, we liked horses (although neither of us went riding or had access to ponies back then), we enjoyed doing craft type activities (although she was really talented creating amazing pictures and artwork, whilst I just got stuck at the stage of colouring in!) My main memory is of us heading off together on our bikes for hours and hours at a time. She lived quite near a large park, so I used to cycle to her house, and then we’d go to the park together with a picnic lunch and spend all day playing games together. I’m embarrassed now to think how we galloped around pretending to be horses or whatever the game of the day was, but it was fun at the time. We used to try hula hooping and skipping too, seeing who could hold up a hoop for the longest of skip without stopping using a rope. I have a feeling she was more accomplished than me at both these activities too. Sometimes we would try to find and catch grasshoppers (we always let them go) or we would just laze in the sun until it was time to go home. It was very different then. There were no mobile phones, and people were much more relaxed about letting their children go off and play all day, I’m not sure if you could still do that. Still, we were very happy and used to come
back to her house tired and hot and sunburnt, and if we were lucky her mum would give us lemonade to drink and sometimes cheese salad rolls for tea. Happy memories indeed!

In terms of why we liked each other, well we just did! We enjoyed doing the same things, we could talk about anything to each other – complaining about school work or annoying parents and other such troublesome worries of the time. She had pet rabbits, and I had pet guinea pigs, so looking after our pets was a shared interest too. It probably helped that we lived quite close to each other and both had bikes too. We also both had a vivid imagination, it meant we could have remarkable adventures together pretending to inhabit whole new worlds that we had invented for ourselves.

We kept in touch for a while, but both eventually moved on. I think she went on to become an artist of some renown, which was not surprising given her early talent for art. Whatever she does and wherever she ended up I hope she is happy and successful too, and I will always remember her as a brilliant companion from when I was young, I wonder if she remembers me too.


What do you think makes someone a good friend to a whole family?
It seems to me that the main element in order for someone to be considered a friend to all members of a family is having common values and interests. If these two characteristics are absent or not compatible, it’s really difficult for someone to be accepted as a family friend or to hang out with.Moreover, if parents see that someone has a good personality and some basic virtues that support the notion of friendship, it is likely that they will like and accept this person to their family. In my opinion, family friends play an important role as there are many cases when parents consort with some people they consider friends, and many times it is likely that their kids also interact with those people.

Do you think we meet different kinds of friends at different stages of our lives? In what ways are these types of friend different?
I totally agree with that statement as I believe we have different expectations and requirements for our friends in different stages of our life. When children are in primary schools, they just have one or two friends and this is because at that stage they are not capable of assessing and appreciate the importance of friendship. In the early stages of our life, we require friends who would love to play with us, do things that we like to do. So, these relationships are slack and nothing is invested as far as feelings are concerned. However, we start understanding the significance of this bond in the high school as we make some friends who have similar interests and can help us in studies. Friends during puberty, on the other hand, are in many cases the most important in someone’s life and often these relationships are really strong and based on solid foundation. At that period of life, people’s’ relationships are true and substantial as real feelings such as love, affection, support and trust are dominant. When we start our career, we will have many friends who are basically colleagues. In the old age, people usually have friends who are more like family members.

So, I would say that friends in the very early ages are just some playmates who kids hang out and spend some time with and the teen to adult stages include very important and worthy people that are much more than friends.

How easy is it to make friends with people from a different age group?
It’s a controversial issue as some would say it is quite easy to make friends from different age groups while others would deny it.In my opinion, the most important characteristics in making friends are communication and common views. In this way, people are able to talk about different things, make meaningful conversations and swap ideas. If these elements don’t exist, even among the people of same age group, then it’s really difficult for someone to make friends. I would say that usually, people find it easier to have friends of same age groups, but if effective communication and common views work smoothly between two persons of different age groups, they can become good friends. For example, a friend of mine who is around my age has a close friend of 60. When I found about that I was surprised, but when I saw that they have so much in common and they have great times together, I totally endorsed it. As far as I’m concerned, I don’t have friends who are much older than I am but I have younger friends and common interests make us a really tight group.

Do you think it is possible to be friends with someone if you never meet them in person?
It’s an interesting question to answer and I would say that it is possible indeed, but it’s not the same as having friends who we meet personally and interact face-to-face. Nowadays, especially due to technological advances, more and more people chat and interact with each other via chatting, calling and social media applications and in this way, they develop different kinds of relationships. There are many cases when someone talks with another person on a constant basis and share personal things, experiences and they turn out to call each other ‘friend’. But in my opinion, I would say that this person is more of an e-buddy rather than a real friend. A friend is someone that people can see in the flesh and consort with them regularly.

Is this real friendship?
As I extensively mentioned earlier, this isn’t true friendship, at least in my taste. Many positive sentiments may be created, such as rapport, confidence and happiness, but friendship is much more than only a word and it entails that people have a contact on a regular basis and hang out with each other. E-friendship is a different type of friendship, I would say an impersonal one because friends aren’t able to meet each other in person and the only thing they can do is talk by typing keystrokes on the keyboard or make video calls. Such friendship is growing faster due to our reliance on technology, but they are not real friendship, in my opinion.

What kind of influence can friends have on our lives?
It is argued that friends are the second most influential persons in someone’s life, after the parents. A famous saying ‘A person is known by the company he keeps’ is indeed a reflection that we are greatly influenced by the friends we have. Especially at adolescence, children are impressionable as they form their personality and character and oftentimes they copy their peers. During this time good friends can instil positive attributes and elements in a person while the opposite is also true.
Friends constitute a big part of our life and they play a very important role. They can contribute to the creation of positive feelings for us such as happiness, self-confidence, esteem and control and can also delude us to have negative feelings and activities. Hence, they can be determinants of someone’s character as friendship can play a vital role in a person’s beliefs.

How important would you say it is to have friends from different cultures?
In my opinion, having friends from diverse cultures is extremely important and helpful. Initially, people learn many things about other cultures such as history, customs, values and points, and this way their knowledge in enhanced. Furthermore, it promotes diversity and cultivates tolerance and understanding as well as positive changes in our attitude. For example, by having a friend with completely different culture, people can swap opinions, broaden their horizons and become tolerant about things they have not faced before. To conclude, I reckon that it is essential that people have pals from different countries because as far as I’m concerned, this could only lead to positive outcomes.