Megan McGinley

So, I have this friend.

Actually, she’s my best friend.

She’s a ginger (obviously soulless), she has a real knack for photography, and she’s also one of the most interesting and mature people I have ever known.

We became good friends our sophomore year of high school.  I was going through a bit of a hard time, and she made me talk to her about it. After that day I ended up telling her about pretty much every aspect of my life over the rest of our high school career.

Then came graduation. I was terrified that I was going to lose her to distance and new friendships. But I knew I had to hold onto this friendship – it was different than any other friendship I had ever had. So, I made it my mission to stay in touch.

Interestingly, over the past two years (and a few weeks) of us being at our respective colleges, our friendship has only gotten stronger. This didn’t come from just seeing each other over breaks, but from letters, random life updates and a lot of effort from both of us.

You might be wondering where I’m going with this.

A long-lasting friendship is more than hanging out and having numerous inside jokes. It’s about the distribution of effort that goes into it. A friendship where one person gives 75 percent of the effort and the other person gives 25 percent will not last and is tremendously unfair and painful to the one giving more effort.

I am obviously still learning this, considering I only have one close friend left from high school. There were many others that I had considered to be among my best friends, and I tried to connect with them initially, but there was no effort from their ends. I haven’t talked to most of them in months, even a couple of years for some others. However, because of this, I learned that if I am not a priority to someone, he or she doesn’t have to be a priority to me, and that’s okay.

This is a harsh reality. It’s scary to think about letting go of someone – especially if at one time this person meant a lot to you – but sometimes it’s actually what’s best for you in the long run. It isn’t wrong to look out for your own well-being (something I learned from my aforementioned best friend).

I guess what I’m trying to say is this: if you have a friendship that you deeply care about, give the effort necessary to maintain it, but if the other person is not putting in enough effort it may be time to move on. Don’t put yourself through the pain of trying to hold on to something that’s broken.

I’m lucky that I have made so many close friends since coming to Wooster. I know that maintaining these friendships will take a lot of effort, but I’m willing to do what I have to do to in order to stay friends for a long time. However, if I find myself putting in a disproportionate amount of effort to the other person, I will also do what I have to do.

Megan McGinley is a Staff Writer for the Voice and can be reached for comment at