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How Do I Know If My Friendship Is Falling Apart Or Just Low-Maintenance?

"You both acknowledge that growing individually doesn't mean growing apart."
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It’s interesting to imagine how friendships work—isn’t it necessary to have persistent contact for friendships to work? How do you remain friends when you don’t even talk? Well, as weird as it seems, such connections actually exist, and they’re often referred to as low-maintenance friendships. If you and a friend have this kind of connection, congrats! It’s a bit difficult to navigate through a complicated social setup, but you’re both making it work. So, how would I know if I am in the company of a low-maintenance friend, or if my relationship with them is simply spiraling down? Here are some things to note:

You don’t see each other for weeks because you’re both super busy, but you’re both very understanding of the situation.

Finals week is coming up and setting aside all the exams you have to study for, there’s still a mountain of papers you have to write and group projects you've yet to accomplish. Your friend, on the other hand, has thesis they need to write and an org project they need to organize. You both have no time to meet up, not even for a quick lunch at the cafeteria. But, even with the lack of physical interaction, you both have this innate understanding that, despite living separate lives, your friendship still remains intact. Your closeness doesn’t go away just because you’re trying to live your best life, even without constantly being at each other’s sides.

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You still make it a habit to check up on each other.

Maybe you and that friend go to different schools and have different schedules. But it’s nice to know that your friend still gets to sneak in a “How are you, I miss you” message on FB during their break time, even if you reply a few hours late because you had three straight classes that day. Sometimes, you would randomly get a text from that friend telling you how hyped they are over a TV show or movie (even if you’re not a super fan like them!) and feel relieved that, despite your busy and draining schedules, there’s something your friend still gets excited about in life and they choose to share it with you. You also appreciate it when they would sporadically reassure you that they are one call away for when you’re having a mental breakdown and feel like crying.

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It never feels awkward to meet up again after not seeing each other for so long.

Do you ever get that awkward feeling at a family gathering when you see that one cousin you used to play tagu-taguan with but haven’t seen in recent years? That isn’t the case for you and your low-maintenance friend, even if you’ve only ever caught glimpses of each other once or twice in the hallways for the entire semester.

Regardless of how petty it seems to other people, you still keep in touch on social media (if you both use it) by liking each other’s tweets or reacting to each other’s Instagram stories. You may not be seeing each other in person as often as you’d like, but you still manage to stay in touch and up-to-date with each other’s lives in some other way.  

You go through different things in life but you both know that your struggles are equally valid.

You never feel like you’re more preoccupied than your friend or that what you’re doing is far more socially relevant than whatever your friend is pursuing in life. You just know that you both have your own things going on. You struggle and cope in different ways, but are always there to cheer each other on for support, even in the littlest of gestures.  

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You both acknowledge that growing individually doesn’t mean growing apart.

Some people go weeks or months without seeing other and feel like they’re meeting up with a stranger because of how much the other person has changed. But for that low-maintenance friend, you’re still that caffeine-driven go-getter they met during the first day of college, only this time, you’re wiser and more emotionally stable than the last time they saw you. They would understand and support the fact that you’ve matured and learned a lot about life despite their absence, and you’d feel the same exact thing for them. 

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Mylene Mendoza
Candy Staff Writer
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I don't know. by Mariella Ysabel Amatus

I don’t know what to do. I feel lost. I don’t know what to do. I feel alone. I don’t know what to do. I feel abandoned. Dreams are things we ought to have. Without them, we might never know where will our future take us. We seem to be trained to have them. I want to be a nurse. I want to be a doctor. I want to be an engineer. I want to be a lawyer. Those are the lines children tell in front of people. It seems simple to dream. To have an ambition. Well, I thought it is. But, now, as I put a book on my lap, thinking about where my fate will lead me, it isn’t.

I feel drowned in the responsibility of knowing what I wanted. The season of college entrance tests are coming. Yet, I feel nothing but doubtful. I studied, but now, I am not doing such a thing. I felt so engrossed the last time I checked myself months ago. Now, I am unsure of what I want to do. I have to study. Yes, I know. However, I feel so dismissive to do something. I can’t even point out what’s the problem in me.

What am I doing? I must go, open some books, and study hard. But, I am never doing it in this present moment. Instead of challenging myself with tons of knowledge, I am here writing this passage with my mind resonating with unspoken words and truth. I seem insane, right? What will happen to me if I keep on doing nothing? Well, simple. I will never be successful - I know that. Then, what must I do?

Asking myself such a question will never suffice what I really need. Because, I’ve been asking myself questions all the time. Yet, I’ve never come up with answers. I don’t know what to do. I feel like being pained. I don’t know what to do. I feel like being tortured. I don’t know what to do. I feel like being misunderstood. I don’t know what to do. I don't know.

A Stranger "Things"

strangers can be not strangers, they can be someone else

Isn't it intimidating to interact with strangers? Majority will say "yes" certainly. No doubt, parents also come up with their very classic "Don't talk to strangers" smart advice for their children. But come to realize to take the opposite approach of it as we grow older, there's a tangled idea in our head it it is beneficial or not.

Finding comfort to someone we don't know is like finding a needle in the bunch of hay. A blurry-blurry thing, a no-percent no-possibility to happen. But not to compare, for others it's like their way of finding comfort, way to socialize, way to widen their circle of acquaintance, that's why psychologist somewhat agree with it. If the person didn't give you a ghastly vibe, why not give it a try to interact. It's kinda weird thing to open doors for strangers,but at the same time, its interesting. Think of this, why its easy for others to share secretes of them, or to have pretty intimate conversation to random person? Cause they say, "No judgement".

Why its okay to ask help to person we dont know if we are in unfamiliar place? Cause they can help us, and same goes in other way. Bottomline, Strangers are not just strangers or a person we dont know, or a person that our parents taught us not to talk to. They can be someone else who can help us in times of unfamiliarity of places or thing. They can be the person who sit next to you in the bus who ask for a little help for direction and end up having a great conversation.

They can be a lot more we didn't expect to, and you can tell by yourself that your best of friends you have today are once a complete stranger to you yet you end up having a strong bond of friendship. They are the person we completely don't know, we dont know their upbringings or what, but sometimes the can be more helpful to us than the others we know. By simply having a casual conversation with them, we're not noticing that they are giving us a diffirent approach to different aspects in life and unfortunately, this idea overpowers by just word "stranger". Hopefully, maybe now or then, we're very thankfull that we took the opposite approach of "do not talk to strangers"

marj carbonel 6 hours ago
Nyla David 6 hours ago

Hi Candy! I saw a repost of your IG story from one of my good friends who happens to be your candy rookie, Margaux Nonato, about students who started their business this quarantine season. I wanted to submit my own story as well but didn’t have the guts to do so, until I read the stories of some students who happen to share the same experience as mine!

Telling my own story might be a little overdue, now that you’ve already published the article but I wanted to give this a try still if it means inspiring other people as well. I am an incoming third year medical student from De La Salle Medical and Health Sciences Institute and I have also decided to do something productive (aside from studying my backlogs of course) and something unique that may help me to challenge myself into exploring new things aside from human anatomy, pathology, and all those medical greatness.

Kudos to everyone who decided to start their online businesses! I must say it isn’t easy at all so we all deserve a round of applause for doing great and getting this far! I’ve always been a fan of baking since I was a kid. I remember making my own chocolate chip cookies when I was in second year high school and back then, I only baked with a microwave (since our oven was whack) and used choco choco as the chocolate in my cookies ???? they are not as bad as they seem! Trust me!

Since then I’ve always dreamed of finding the perfect recipe. I took Biochemistry in college and went straight to studying Medicine so my plan in finding the perfect recipe was always postponed since studying for my future patients will always be my number one priority. (Naks) Then Coronavirus happened. I just finished my last semester for 2nd year Med last June and I’ve decided to finally come up with the perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe, then tried selling them for extra allowance to help in our expenses. In addition to my chocolate chip cookie recipe, I’ve also managed to bake chocolate crinkles and different varieties of brownies! Who would’ve thought that a super busy medical student would have the chance to bake and create her own online business as well? (While in Med School!!!)

So then I started my online business, named “Harina Manila”.You can also find it on instagram and facebook @harina.manila!! I like to call my baked goods “paboridough” because the ones that I bake are indeed my favorites and I‘d like to share it with everyone. Kaya sa mga broken hearted jan, dibale nang hindi ka niya pinili, sa Harina Manila, ikaw ang aming paboridough ???? (hahaha corny!) From deciding what to name your business, to buying ingredients almost every week, and finding the right packaging that fits your style, starting your own online business really takes time and dedication! But as they say, kapag may tiyaga, may nilaga!

This goes not only to medical students like me, but to all students who are struggling to keep themselves sane this quarantine season. Amidst the pandemic that we are facing right now, I hope that we may not forget to take good care of ourselves both physically and mentally. May we find the courage to remain optimistic and try new things that could help us grow and become better. Sharing with you my story this quarantine season, I hope I may be able to inspire other people into believing that they too, can do something amazing, heck there’s no limit to what we can all achieve! As long as we work hard for it, malayo ang mararating natin! I thank you, Candy Mag, for spreading good vibes and inspiration to everyone by publishing good stories! To all the lovely readers who took their time to read Candy’s article, if this ever gets published, I hope you remind yourselves today that you are capable of doing amazing things and that there is no limit to what you can achieve. Fighting! Dont forget to visit, like, and follow my page on Facebook and Instagram, Harina Manila (@harina.manila) and try out some of our baked goods! We got you covered, my paboridough! Thank you! ??

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