At every decade of your life, you will hear someone older than you giving advice. This is especially true in your 20s. The most common advice I’ve received is to cherish this time now because you’ll never realize how important it is until it’s over. And the one piece advice that always holds true: cherish your friends, they are the family you’ve chosen for yourself.

Everyone has a few tiers of friends, with friends often fluctuating between each tier.

Tier 1: The friends you call on at the drop of a hat, and have slowly become part of your everyday life whether you live near each other or not. You may not always have time to text, but they are never far from your mind. I’m lucky enough to have gained one of those friends from each big event in my life. From grade school, high school, college and then my first job. It’s those friends that you can text with just a few words, who you can go without seeing for weeks and when you finally see them it’s as if no time has passed.

Tier 2: The friends with specific roles in your life. The friend you call for happy hour. The friend you call when you need to go shopping. The friend you call for a bitch session. The friend you call when you need TV show recommendations. They hold a very specific and important role in your life that can’t be filled by just anyone.

Tier 3: The friends you see every day, mostly out of habitat, that have become part of your world. For me, these are coworkers. For others it’s clients, or the people you know by name at your local deli. The people you may not have chosen to hang out with initially but you now see them more often than your tier 1 people, and you know they have your back. You may not know all the details of their personal lives, but you know when you see them each day for whatever amount of time, they are there for you.

These are the people in your life that you’ve chosen to stay close with. They make an impact on your everyday life, and you can’t imagine a world without them in it. We’re all guilty of getting wrapped up in life and not always making enough time for our friends. As you get older it becomes easier and easier to tune out people that aren’t coworkers or family, the ones that aren’t daily interactions.

In case you’ve been wrapped up recently and are feeling a little guilty of friendship neglect, here are few easy ways to remind your people how much you care:

Send a card – No one receives mail anymore. The art of letter writing is dying, making receiving personal mail that much more exciting and thoughtful.

Make a mix CD – When that song comes on the radio and it immediately brings you back to a great memory with your best friend. Remind them of all your favorite moments together with the songs of your friendship, all in one place.

FaceTime – Calling your friend via video is that personal step above a text message. Schedule a time when they are free and block out all other distractions. It’s an easy but efficient way to remind your friend that they are a priority.

Get together – It’s really not as difficult or time consuming as we build it up in our heads. Grocery shopping? Working out? All activities made more fun when doing them together.

Appreciate those friends that have become your family; they are the best part of every decade.


Ali Hughes is a twenty-something living in northern California with her handsome husband. Born and raised in Ohio, Ali is a die-hard Cleveland sports fan and nostalgic for changing weather seasons. Most days you can find her practicing yoga, hiking or baking. Follow: @MrsAliHughes

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