1. The friend who’s in medical school.
It’s impossible to know how much you need a friend who’s also a doctor-in-the-making until you have one and she asks you things like this: “Yo, what kind of doctor should I be? What do you think you’re going to want when you’re older? Plastic surgeon?” God bless her sweet soul. It’s also very likely that you have no idea how far a casual breast exam goes until your best friend can perform one on you, faster than you can say areola. Having had to complete countless med school applications, this friend will also usually possess a rare form of responsibility and organization that also doesn’t hurt to have around. And the best part is: to them, whatever you do is cool. (They’ve been living under piles of textbooks for the past 8 years; they don’t know the truth.)
2. A friend who you can show your private parts to.
Sometimes you just need someone to laugh at your Hitler-looking bikini wax with. Don’t wait until the last moment to find this friend, when your pants are pulled down to your ankles and you’re chasing a reluctant co-worker around the office, just trying to find someone who will tell you if that is indeed an ingrown hair.
3. A foodie blogger friend.
It’s important to have one of these around too. You want this friend to remain strong and persistent amidst the profusion of food bloggers who have yet to make it; someone with unrealistic hopes and expectations for him or herself when it comes to the food niche in the blogosphere. Staying up-to-date with new restaurants and food crazes isn’t easy. Which is why it’s important to have someone in your life who will make that reservation a month in advance, so that when you’re asked if you’ve tried the sriracha-flavored sorbet from Hala Dudu, you can casually say yes.
4. A nonjudgmental friend.
As you grow up, you learn that judgmental friends, more than anyone else, just get in the way of fun pastimes like hooking up with a toxic ex, or belligerent pizza-eating contests. They’ll tell you that they have your best interest in mind, and just as you’re starting to believe them they’ll go ahead and snatch your 6th cocktail right out of your kung fu grip.
5. The friend with Apple TV.
As a living, breathing human, you’ll inevitably reach a point when you can no longer not watch Orange Is The New Black (that is, if you haven’t already see it). And so you’re left with two choices: to, one, watch it on your computer with your unruly internet; or two, to sink into your friend’s couch and not lift a finger as she screens the show for you on her TV.
6. The bookish friend.
When you finish school, one year quickly morphs into five years and suddenly you can’t recall even one of William Blake’s proverbs. Which is why it’s important to have someone in your life who won’t let you forget these things, who will wish you a “Happy Bloomsday!” every year on June 16th, who you can always go to for book recommendations, and who will send you an interesting Nabokov quote just because.
7. A friend who’s older than you.
Purely for selfish reasons, you’re going to want this person around when you’re feeling crestfallen. Sometimes a mere glance at this older friend as she’s trying to figure out her healthcare (she was kicked off her parent’s plan) or signing for a renal car (which you have to be older than 25 to do) is all it takes. Just a brief and friendly reminder that you don’t have it so bad – or, at least not as bad as she does.
As you get older, you’ll find that your proclivities and pastimes become increasingly more in line with those of a cat. It’s crucial you don’t mistake this as a coincidence. Cats make a great friend; it’s quite simple, actually, to underestimate the power and solace of having a nimble friend who can’t talk back, until you have one.
9. A mom-ish friend.
You probably have a whole slew of irresponsible friends to choose from. Friends who are so steeped in their own life and pile of cigarette butts that they’ll tell you their awful whooping cough is “just allergies” and that “it must just be a coincidence” when you come down with strep three days later. What I presume you don’t have enough of is the mom-ish friend who knows words like “Echinacea,” “oregano oil,” and “Neti Pot.” You’ll need this friend to mitigate the chaos engendered by the irresponsible ones.
10. A friend whose parents are doctors.
A far, far cry from a doctor-in-training, those with doctor parents are usually the fun, quirky, kind-of-illegal doctor-type. As opposed to your friend who’s in med school and can back up her claims with real, empirical evidence, those with doctor parents know a catalog of quick-fixes for colds, sore throats, scrapes and fevers. They’re the ones who believe putting a paper towel over a cup of water and then drinking it upside down cures the hiccups. And miraculously, every time you’ve tried this, it works too. They also tend to have an overabundance of medications handy – really obscure ones, like a pill that claims to kill hangovers.
11. A friend who knows a lot about the Internet.
Unless you want to sit dumbfounded as people around you say things like “the feels,” “much excitement,” and “v special,” while you try desperately to decipher what these words mean, then I suggest you find an Internet-friendly friend. And fast. A pal who can summon a GIF for anything, who gets into heated debates on Reddit and who can tell you all about the underground world of online bodybuilding forums.