Childhood companionship leads to lifelong friendship


Sophia Richardson

Friendship is – according to Merriam Webster – “a relationship of mutual affection between two people.” However, these “people” can likely recognize that friendship is so much more than just a relationship. Friendship can be seen everywhere in day-to-day life: in neighborhoods, in school hallways, or even on social media. But as common as these “relationships” seem to be, there’s a lot more to friendship than initially meets the eye. As lifelong besties, freshman Cameron Bachman and her friend Kaitlyn Thompson are a perfect example of the underlying bond that comes along with building a strong friendship. 

Bachman and Thompson were enjoying school recess in the second grade when they met each other for the very first time. One thing led to another and they instantly became best friends, inseparable ever since. Although they have changed and grown over the many years since they first met, what has not changed is their dynamic as best friends.

“From early childhood I can still so vividly remember us playing on the playground together,” Bachman recalled. “We’d mess around on the monkey bars, do flips, play tag, and try to see who could swing the highest. Fast forward to this year and we still do everything together. A great memory I have of the two of us was at my most recent birthday party; we did bingo at Chicken N Pickle and played giant Jenga and Battleship with all our friends. Afterwards we ran to Freddy’s in the rain to get ice cream. It was super fun and we were both laughing so hard the entire time.”

But Bachman’s friendship with Thompson means so much more to her than just having fun. Instead, she values her time with Thompson because of the lessons they learn from each other and the way they encourage one another to learn and develop into better people. Over the many years that they have been friends, the two girls have helped build each other up into strong and faith-filled young women. 

“Long term friendship means being able to just talk to someone and get to know them,” Bachman commented. “When you’re with the right people and surround yourself with the right friends, all you want to do is just hang around them all the time. With good long-term friends, you know they’ll always be there for you and they know you’ll always be there for them. Kaitlyn was always there for me through the ups and downs of late elementary and middle school. We’ve kind of always just supported each other in that way.”

However, as with any relationship, the girls’ friendship certainly has not been perfect. Although they have had their disagreements, Bachman argues that learning to accept each other’s opinions is all part of the process. As both girls have learned, laying the foundation of a good and virtuous friendship requires both sacrifice and understanding as well as patience. 

“There are so many qualities we’ve acquired over the years that have helped to make our friendship a lasting one,” Bachman remarked. “One of these qualities is respecting each other’s boundaries. We certainly have our differences (obviously!), but an important part of maintaining a friendship is overcoming those differences by accepting and embracing them. I also think it’s really important to learn each other’s personality and sense of humor early on, because that plays a huge role in the dynamic the two of you have with one another. One last thing I’ve learned is that it’s important to give each other space but still spend time together. Kaitlyn and I usually try to spend time with each other like every to every other weekend.”

Like any best friends would, Bachman and Thompson have already had many discussions with one another about their plans post high school. Ever since they were in elementary school, the girls have been sharing their aspirations and goals for the future.

“We’ve actually talked quite a bit with one another about what we plan to do after high school,” Bachman noted. “We’ve looked at and discussed colleges together, and we’ve talked a lot about how we plan to get into those colleges too. In these types of situations, especially now that we’re in high school, I’ve found that communication is key. I know that Kaitlyn has always wanted to be a lawyer, and I’m planning to go on to be an OB-GYN.”

Post high school plans, going off to college, and life after graduation can be tender subjects in many relationships, but Bachman and Thompson are determined to maintain their friendship in spite of it all. The girls are positive that, even despite their different career paths, they will always be friends with one another, even after high school. 

“As far as our future plans are concerned, there’s really not much to it. We’d definitely try our best to keep in touch even when the both of us are off at college. I know that even when we’re far apart I’ll always be calling and asking her to hang out all the time.”

 From second graders on the playground swings to freshmen in the high school halls, Kaitlyn Thompson and Cameron Bachman have stuck together through thick and thin. Over the past seven years, they have learned not only what their similarities and differences are, but also what it means to have a true friendship: setting boundaries, having good communication, learning to disagree respectfully, and realizing that nobody is perfect.