Test of time: how seniors have kept long lasting friendships

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Test of time: how seniors have kept long lasting friendships

Jessica Xing

Story by Kalpana Gopalkrishnan and Jessica Xing

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Seniors Karan Mehta and Salil Uttarwar have been friends since fourth grade. They often walk home together since their houses are next to each other. Photo by jessica Xing

Seniors Salil Uttarwar and Karan Mehta didn’t get off to the best start. In fourth grade, the two attended Regnart Elementary School but didn’t know each other very well. But that all changed on the way home from school one day. Uttarwar, who was walking home with another friend a short ways behind Mehta, noticed some rocks on the side of the road, picked up the rocks, and threw them at Mehta’s backpack. After the bombardment, Mehta started crying and ran all the way home.

“I’m not sure if the rock hit him or hit his backpack,” Uttarwar said. “I’ve always thought it hit his backpack, but [Mehta] argues otherwise.”

A remorseful Uttarwar got home that day and went up to his room to play video games. However, when his mom got home from work, she called Uttarwar down, asking why she got a call from a Mrs. Mehta whose son was apparently hit by rocks her son had thrown.

And through the mutual bond of their parents, from that day on, Mehta and Uttarwar became “pretty good friends.”

The friendship took off once the two began to play football together at lunch. And even now, their love for football has led to new friendships at MVHS as well.

“We live right next to each other, so [our friendship] is unavoidable,” Uttarwar said. “But it’s not like we try to avoid it.”

Not only are the two neighbors, but they also are in the same Boy Scout troop, their families are close friends and the two share very similar interests.

“Something that started a couple years ago is we started playing basketball and football together,” Mehta said. “We also started swimming and I think I got Salil into swimming and he got me into football.”

Although their friendship has been a constant, Mehta and Uttarwar know that they have helped each other change. Uttarwar appreciates how laid-back Mehta is, while Mehta appreciates just the opposite, he values how Salil takes everything seriously. While both are heading off to distant colleges, they look forward to the familiar walk to each others’ houses when they come back home.

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Seniors Catherine Yi and Vivian Zhang have been friends since second grade. They met in Faria Elementary School. Photos by Jessica Xing

Seniors Catherine Yi and Vivian Zhang have been friends since second grade. They met in Faria Elementary School. Photos by Jessica Xing

SENIOR CATHERINE YI REMEMBERS how the two of them had to stand next to each other in classroom photos because they were both the tallest girls in the class. Senior Vivían Zhang recalls how they had to spend hours at each other’s houses while their parents were at work. Since second grade in Faria Elementary, the two have been pushed together through a set of coincidences: same school, same classes, same family circle.

With the amount of time they spent together, it was inevitable they became friends. Their friendship in middle school was fueled by obscure multi-player games and cooking experiments. There were homemade lemonade, rice krispies and rock candy disasters at Yi’s house, although Yi says that all the “good food” like pizza pockets, lemon cupcakes and microwaveable shredded cheese was at Zhang’s house.

Now in their senior year, the two of them find themselves still stuck in multiple classes together, coming over to each other’s houses to study and cooking weird foods at each other’s houses. For a recent AP Statistics project they had to make three hundred sugar cookies, so much so that Zhang says the two of them hate sugar cookies now. They’ve managed to become a reassuring constant in each other’s lives — influencing one another from interests to mannerisms.

“I’m sarcastic, but deep down [Yi] knows I’m trying to be nice,” Zhang said. “So I can be really mean, but she knows I’m kidding.”

Even as they are about to graduate high school, they aren’t done with each other yet. As it turns out, both girls are going to college in southern California. And while they aren’t quite as close as before, Yi promises to visit Zhang as much as she can.

“I end school earlier than her, so when I go back the first thing I’ll do is stop by Irvine then I’ll fly back,” Yi said.

Looking at their friendship in the future, Zhang jokes that they’ll probably get a condo on the beach together and raise a pug family.

“Even when she doesn’t show it I always know that [Zhang] is really nice deep down,” Yi said. “In the end we were always loyal to each other. Whatever problems we had we were able to work it out between us.”