“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” ― William Shakespeare
As someone who went through a period of time without friends, I did what most generation Z teens do- turn to the internet for comfort.
During my free time I would look up “how to make friends online”, I even stumbled upon this app that was literally a friendly tinder for teens (trust me on this I do not recommend using it ). I felt so alone, I had no one to talk to and was literally looking for one friend. During my search I happened to stumble upon this amazing organization called ‘The Buddy Project’
Buddy Project™ is a non-profit movement that aims to prevent suicide and self-harm by pairing people as buddies and raising awareness for mental health. Founded by Gabby Frost, who at 15 noticed many of her school and online friends were going through mental health struggles. Her thought was that pairing people with a friend online could save a life, and boy was she right! Since April 8th, 2013, Buddy Project has been pairing teens and young adults with a buddy.
So at first I was a bit skeptical. “Will this really work? What if the person doesn’t like me?” I went onto the website and entered my name, age and the preferred social media platform I would like to be contacted on. (I chose instagram but they also have twitter!) and then my interests. Of course my first was Harry Styles, followed by other things such Youtube and Photography. I pressed submit and patiently waited for a response. Usually it takes a few days, since Gabby and her team do the pairings themselves. Finally, 3 days later i received an email saying that i have been paired.
So once you receive the email, you go onto their website and type in your username. There it gives you the name of the person you’ve been paired with, what you both life, and then their social media handle! I happened to got paired with someone named Cam, (not going to share her real name for many reasons) and we both liked Harry Styles. She was the one who initiated the conversation by following me on instagram then sending me a message! We started talking about our odd love for one direction, then it got a lot more personal. We exchanged snapchats and started talking EVERY DAY.
Fast Forward 5 months later, and we’re still great friends. Everyday we send each other multiple snaps, from our school life, to personal life, to sending cute snaps of our pets. Without the Buddy Project I don’t think I would’ve met such a great friend. I am now a campus rep, where I will spread the message within my community.
In conclusion, The Buddy Project is an amazing organization that has such a great message and impact. If you are looking to make a great friend, I recommend signing up at http://www.buddy-project.org/signup/ .