Blog: Bestie for the Restie


Katelynn Jones

Kage Harlow and Julia Gibson after 13 years of friendship.

Kage Harlow, Office Manager

Senior year. It came out of nowhere. I can remember the first day of freshman year, terrified thinking this would be the longest four years of my life. But it flew by faster than I could have imagined. 

We can thank covid for that. Yes, it altered my high school experience a lot. It “ruined” my experience by me not being able to have as many normal high school memories or familiarity.  

Luckily, I have great mentors and even better friends who guided  me through it all. One friend, in particular, has been there since the beginning. 

I remember the beginning of kindergarten when I first met her. Seeing her with that big grin, the bright pink dress, and the “larger than life” presence, became a core memory in my life. 

Then, one day, she moved. Going to the swingset and not seeing her there waiting for me, that was my first experience of a good friend leaving my side. It even made me cry. To this day we joke and laugh at the fact that I cried when she left. But, that was how important she was to me. Eventually, she moved back and we resumed right where we left off. 

I cannot recall much of second through fourth grade, but fifth grade and on is where the memories become vivid. Fifth grade we were in the same class and spent every waking moment together. Fifth grade eventually came to an end, we were all terrified to start middle school.

Even after middle school started, we were still going strong. Sometimes, a memory from my phone will pop up of us and it is just so crazy how long we have truly been friends. 

Everyone always has that “one friend from middle school” who sticks around for a year or two, if you’re lucky. But, then you just drift apart. But, we stuck side by side all through those unforgettable middle school years. 

Of course, in all friendships, you always have a period of distance. When high school started, we were close, but not like we used to be. And then, it happened. Covid hit and the whole world shut down. It was a devastating and terrifying time for everyone. The social distancing and school being shut down was the hardest part. We didn’t see or really talk to each other there for a while. But, as all true friends, we made it through. Through thick and thin, we survived the pandemic and stuck by each other’s side. Junior year started and things try reverting to their old ways. The world felt kind of normal again. Still going strong, as we always did, we became even closer when the iconic “summer before senior year” happened. 

It’s very hard for me to open up. Especially about my personal life. In particular, my sexuality. It is something I have always struggled with and hated for the longest time. Thinking, no one would stick by my side because of who I truly am. Well, she did. She always knew about me, and she accepted it with no hesitations. 

A friendship like this is something you truly don’t see a lot. Someone who loves you no matter what. That’s a true friend. As we enter and begin our senior year together in hopes of us making it out of high school together, I want to say… keep the true friends who have been there since the beginning. People always say it’s about quality, not quantity. But, that’s not always true. To me, personally, it’s both, and I have that with her. 

Thank you, Julia, for being my person. My shoulder to lean on, my more than a school-life friend. My forever-lasting friend. Love you JuJu, always and forever.