What friends are for

Best friends explore the growth of their friendship


Mira Wagner

Freshmen Anuvaa Joshi and Jooha Kim pose for a photo.

We interviewed four sets of best friends from different grades and asked them to describe the evolution of their friendship. From late night hikes to poker games on the weekends, freshmen Anuvaa Joshi and Jooha Kim, sophomores Ethan Pham and Dylan Chaahoub, juniors Rojel Acot and Aneesha Sinha and seniors Auria Polefka and Sia Mahajan share their memories in this podcast. 


EE: How did you guys meet each other?

AJ: It was definitely in sixth grade because we went to different elementary schools.

JK: But we had four classes together. Yeah. I don’t think we really got to know each other. No, we got to really know each other in Mr. Sharman’s class. Not in the beginning of the year, but after he placed us together we were really loud and disruptive together.

AJ: I think that we did a bunch of things that made the class really fun and I feel like that’s how we bonded. 

JK: Definitely him putting us together, it was just fate in a weird way.

EE: What class was it specifically?

AJ: So in sixth grade it was our core classes. So we were together, math and science and then lit and social studies. 

EE: What were your first impressions of each other? 

JK: Anuvaa back then was really short and small. I mean, still now I’m kidding. But I didn’t know she was very loud and had a lot of friends. So I think her loudness was my first impression.

AJ: Also, Joo Ha was kind of popular, like a lot of people wanted to talk to her so I think her being popular, and her being really nice to everyone was my first impression.

EE: What is your favorite trait of each other’s?

AJ: Jooha makes really dumb jokes and I think that’s really funny because she can turn any scenario into something funny. 

JK: I like how she communicates with others and there’s no quiet space when I’m with her. It’s really nice.

EE: Are there any specific jokes that you remember? 

AJ: We were in PE playing something and I’d make a really good shot or whatever and I’m like, ‘I’m crazy’ and she’ll be like ‘literally.’ She makes really good jokes that aren’t [super] funny.

EE: What’s your favorite memory together?

AJ: I remember that in sixth grade we did the Lip Sync Battle together. So I went over to her house and we worked on music. That was kind of fun, she kind of rubbed off on me, like even I make some dumb jokes sometimes. But she’s also really nice. And she really cares about other people. 

EE: How do you guys feel like your friendship has grown in the time that you’ve known each other?

AJ: [We] started off talking to each other only at school, but now we talk over the phone sometimes. And we call each other. Oh, we’re in DECA together so we did projects and then going to state was fun. I think we bonded over time. 

JK: I think our conversations got deeper and they broke the surface area of just, ‘What classes are you taking’?

EE: Name one thing that this person has taught you. 

AJ: This is really niche. So when Jooha gives gifts she actually puts time into it. She doesn’t just buy anything. For my birthday she crocheted me a cake. And that must have taken a lot of time. So actually thinking about the other person and just being caring towards them. Yeah, that’s a really good trait.

JK: For Anuvaa she’s  pretty emotional, not in a bad way. She doesn’t hide her emotions, whether that’s happiness or being pissed off. So in that way, she kind of rubbed off [on] me and I’m more open [with] my feelings now.


EE: How did you meet?

DC: In woodshop [class] in seventh grade, I’m pretty sure we just started talking. Because this kid was kind of a loser. He was hanging out with Krish and he was new because he came from Peterson [Elementary School]. So we didn’t really know who he was but then in woodshop [class] we just saw him around, started talking and then we became friends.

EP: I swear that’s not how it went.

DC: Then how’d it go?

EP: We had Mrs. Kirsch first period together. 

DC: Yeah, I know but we met in woodshop [class], that was our first period.

EP: No, Kirsch was our first period. We met in Kirsch and then we all sat at a table.

DC: Wait, did we meet in Kirsch?

EP: Yeah, we did. I swear we met in Kirsch.

EE: How long have you known each other?

DC: Three years. Seventh, Eighth, Ninth… 

EP: So, four years? 

DC: Three and a half. 

EE: What was your first impression of each other? 

DC: I didn’t like Ethan because his eyebrows were so huge that we hated it and we got really mad at him, I don’t know why. 

EP: Alright, I don’t know I thought Dylan was a thug because he just got in trouble all the time. 

DC: That’s cap. 

EE: What is your favorite trait of each other? 

DC: You go first. 

EP: Dylan’s helping personality.

DC: Ethan’s really down to earth, he’s a really down to earth guy.

EE: In what way? 

DC: Me, Matt and Pranai are so crazy and Ethan’s actually somewhat mature around us.

EE: What is your favorite memory with this person? 

DC: You go. 

EP: Probably Yosemite was probably one of the best parts…

DC: Oh yeah, probably Yosemite. 

EE: Why? 

DC: Because we were in the same cabin and it was just my favorite people: me, Ethan, Pranai and Elijah and then we were just hanging out. So that’s why I liked it.

EE: What’s your favorite thing to do together? 

EP: Just chill out and play poker. 

DC: Play poker.

EE: Name one thing that this person has taught you.

EP: How to do math. He’s taught me work ethic.

DC: Well, definitely poker but everytime I go into any kind of situation I probably don’t  get overexcited or go crazy about it and just think about it with reason.

EE: How do you think your friendship has grown since then?

DC: Oh, my God, we talk every day and we’re a lot closer than we were. I mean…

EP: Yeah, I’d say that we talk every day and we’re pretty close. And before we weren’t as close and we never hung out. And now we all hang out a lot. 

DC: Ethan is a very good guy, I like him a lot.

EP: Dylan is a very hard working man.

DC: I’m very close with Ethan.


EE: How did you meet each other?

 RA: Oh, it was a Thursday. 

 AS: You remember the day?

 RA: No, no, either it was a Monday or a Thursday. It was after [Homecoming] practice, and everyone had to go and we were the last two because we both have practices. And we were just sitting in the student union. 

AS: Because we have free seventh.

RA: Yeah. 

 AS: And that was when we first talked alone. 

EE: What was your first impression of each other?

AS: I thought he was nice. I mean, I was only watching him dance and stuff. And that was kinda you know, eh. He was nice and friendly. 

RA: Yeah, same for you, you’re also really nice.

AS: You’re so un-original. 

RA: No but you were also one of the people who led the dances, so that’s my first impression.

You were much nicer out of all the people who led compared to… I’m not gonna name anyone but they were less nice about us dancing and they were more strict about it.

EE: What is your favorite trait of each others?

AS: Um, you can go first, I need to think about this.

RA: She’s always been super kind to me and always checks in with me all the time. So that’s what I really admire about her. 

AS: Same, I think he’s one of the only guy friends that I have that actually checks in and he can tell if I’m having a bad day, which I appreciate. 

EE: What is your favorite memory together?

RA: I can’t think of anything… Oh, probably when I went to her dance performance. It was the first time I saw her actually dance for real compared to [Homecoming]. 

EE: Can you describe a little more about that?

RA: Because she had a duo, it wasn’t with a group. So it was the first time I was able to see her from a different perspective, apart from just talking with her… more of an outside perspective. 

EE: What is your favorite thing to do together?

AS: Talk, like Facetimes and stuff. Well, that’s my favorite, I don’t know about you.

RA: Same, same.  

AS: I mean we just kind of talk about how our days are going and then kind of…

RA: Any tea that’s happening at school, we always talk about that.

EE: Name one thing that you have taught each other. 

RA: Self Care. Self care, because she always makes sure I’m taken care of.

AS: Um I don’t know.

RA: Did I not teach you anything?

AS: No! I think it’s self care and kind of self love. He makes sure that if I’m self conscious or something he’s like, “don’t be” but not like that. 

EE: How do you think your friendship has grown over the time you’ve known each other? 

RA: We definitely got much closer compared to when we first met and I guess that just comes with time too.

AS: Yeah, and we started talking a lot. Because before, it used to be kind of awkward, but now that we talk a lot more it’s less awkward, and more of a closer relationship.


EE: How did you meet? 

SM: Actually funny story, a mutual friend was like, ‘Hey, let’s go on a night hike,’ to me and I was like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t want to’ and then he was like, ‘No, I have to introduce you to my two close friends Gaia and Auria.’ And for the longest time I thought that [Auria] was a dude and I was like, ‘I don’t want to meet some random dude at 12 A.M., and he was like, ‘No, no, just go, you’re gonna be fine. And then I had to climb up this pitch black mountain and she’s on the top dancing behind this campfire.

AP: We weren’t dancing. 

SM: Yes, you were, you and Gaia were both swinging your hands around and then I was like, ‘What did I get myself into?’

AP: Yeah, yeah. That happened. That was the story.

 SM: That essentially was the story and then on the mountain we held hands and came down.

AP: Yeah, because it was hard to come down because it was steep or whatever.

EE: What was your first impression of each other?

SM: I think she was wearing a collared t-shirt. And I was like, this girl’s interesting, let me get to know more about her. I wouldn’t say it was an instant, ‘Oh my god, she’s my best friend.’ But I was like, I need to get to know her.

EE: What is your favorite trait of each other’s?

AP: Oh, I was actually thinking about this last night. Not only about that, but, I don’t know, me and Sia are very different people and something that I’ve gotten from her that I haven’t really gotten from any of my other close friends is that she’s very different. So that helps me to grow. We used to be opposites. I would really people please and she didn’t really understand how people worked emotionally. It took her a little bit to learn emotional situations and I feel like we kind of started to combine those traits. And now I can put myself first more and I feel like Sia is now able to read a lot of emotional situations and know how to handle things and communicate really well. So I like how she helps me grow.

SM: I can say pretty much the same thing for Auria. Her and I value very different things. For example, how I say it is like, if we both had a house mine would be like 60 degrees and hers would be like 120. Because just so many people, she just has all this warmth, to give out to the world. And I think it’s just very kind and that I wish I could kind of express that love for everything.

EE: What is your favorite memory together?

AP: Oh my god. So me and her used to be really obnoxious and scream songs in the car. Like, so loud, like the top of our lungs and everyone would turn their heads and get so annoyed at us. But it was probably one of the most fun times that I’ve had this year. Just screaming and not caring. 

SM: Yeah, I agree.

EE: Name one thing that you have taught each other.

SM: How to care more about others, I think.

AP: Priorities. Like how to prioritize certain things. I used to put everything in the same category and put a lot of attention towards things that maybe I shouldn’t have. And something I guess like I’ve also liked with Sia is, I’ve had to be able to prioritize how we communicate to make our relationship stronger. I guess learning how to prioritize myself and another person. In a way, I mean, it’s kind of like a relationship, like being best friends with someone because you have to, like, be there for that person. And they’re there for you. Learning how to communicate, learning how to be there when maybe it’s hard for you to be there for other people and being able to open up. I guess I’ve learned a lot of emotional communication skills through this.

EE: How do you think your friendship has grown over the time you’ve known each other? 

AP: I feel like in a way we’ve both, from when we first met, I feel like we’ve both come out of our shell because I would say originally, we’re both very shy people and then throughout the years of getting to know each other and learning all these lessons that we’ve kind of taught each other, it’s much easier to express who we are. And I know personally I’ve felt more like my childhood self and Auria said she’s been feeling more like her childhood self. So I think through our friendship, we’ve really learned how to be ourselves. And I think that’s a big reason why we’ve grown and how we’ve changed. Want to elaborate more?

AP: I guess just being around the person who you’re able to be vulnerable it helps you feel like that, “childhood” whatever. Because your childhood is like the most vulnerable part of your life and then when you’re able to be vulnerable with someone, you can go back to that.