Girl squads offer support, guidance

The Wichitan

Kylie Austin

I’ve never really cared much about having girl friends. I was always around my older brothers and their friends, or my three boy cousins. I never really got along with girls, and I was never interested in all the drama that came with it — which is still true. Sure, I had a couple of close girl friends growing up, but all of my best friends were guys. It was low drama and low maintenance, which I was there for; however, in the world we live in, it is more and more important that we have a group of girls around us that support and help us grow: our own girl squad.

The realization hit me my freshman year of college. In a way, I had my own girl squad my entire life through my soccer teammates, but not in a totally healthy way. I’ve played competitive sports since I was 7 years old, and girls aren’t exactly the best at separating the difference between on and off the pitch. College ball was no different. It’s a family, but a highly dysfunctional one at that. This was a quick realization that I needed a healthier support system outside of my team where support outweighed competition.

Enter in my sophomore year group of girl friends. All the pieces came together and clicked well initially. The group text was always popping off, and I always had someone to go with me to eat, shop or go out. There’s a saying I’ve always heard about college friendships that goes something like this, “You have real, genuine friends who you can depend on, and you have occasional friends who you only call up to go out with.”

These girls were the latter.

Don’t get me wrong, I harbor no ill will or feelings against these girls. I genuinely hope that they are growing into the women that they want to be; however, we are growing separately, and that is okay.

There were parts of these friendships that I didn’t understand and wouldn’t support. The biggest of them was putting down other women viciously and then expecting the rest of us to write them off and do the same. I never understood why I had to harbor negative feelings toward someone just because a friend of mine did. First of all, it is her problem with this person, not mine. Secondly, she needs to let go of that hurt. People are only as relevant in your life as you let them be.

Let me say that again, just a little louder for the people in the back: People are only as relevant in your life as you let them be.

Let go of that hurt and let yourself grow. Your girl squad needs to have a like-mindedness of bettering themselves and holding themselves accountable in life.

Fast forward a couple of years to early 2017.

I have an amazing job with the Dallas Stars that I love with my whole heart and soul. It genuinely brings me so much joy to be able to lend a helping hand to those in the community. Through this job, I met my girl squad. I can fully trust and be real with them about anything and everything. We can talk about faith, family and the future while supporting each other through it all. The other girls celebrate one of our successes, as it was a success of their own. When everything gets a bit stressful, we take a girls weekend and recharge together. We’re all focused on growing, graduating school, finding jobs, moving cities and exploring the world — and we’re doing it together.

In a world where society constantly pits women against women, diminishes our abilities and tells us our dreams aren’t feasible, the girl squad has never been more important. When the world works against us, we can stand together in solidarity.

Kylie Austin is a history senior.