There's nothing like having a true friend. Someone who has your back no matter what, someone you can laugh with, cry with, do crazy things with, and essentially take on the world with. No other kind of friendship comes close.
Except, of course, the friendship that bonds many true friends together: the squad.
A squad can be three, four, five, six, seven, or more strong, but there's a common thread of loyalty that runs through every one. It's easy to label a group of people who generally like doing the same things together a squad, but if yours doesn't stand the test of time, it's not a true squad.
Luckily, we've compiled a handy checklist you can use to figure out just how real your squad is.
1. Real squads are always in sync.
A key outward indicator of whether your squad is built to last is how well you play off one another. Does your banter have no end? Is your style different, yet clearly connected? Does each member of the squad know what the general mood of the group is at all times?
You have to be in sync when you're out there in the real world. So make sure you're always on the same page.
2. Real squads are always together.
This is such a simple rule, but such a crucial one. How often do you see each member of your squad? Are you all together, all the time? If you're spread out all over the place and never hang out IRL, it's a squad that's not reaching its full potential.
3. Real squads have at least one group chat thread.
Whether it's via text, Facebook, email, or all three and more, every real squad is constantly blowing each other up through the internet to shoot the breeze, crack jokes, and discuss about upcoming plans. If eventually your squad begins to split geographically, group chats will be the most important factor in keeping it alive.
4. Real squads push each other.
Every member of your squad should push you out of your comfort zone, and everyone should be encouraging each other to be a better person. You are who you surround yourself with, so make sure your main squad is full of people who challenge you.
That can be in fun and engaging ways like playing Monster Strike together (on your iPhone or Android), or more educational and career-shaping ways like teaching each other about the unique skills you have. Take advantage of what your squad has to offer!
5. Real squads travel well together.
If going out for a night together is a good time for your squad, then going on a trip together should be even better. Inevitably you'll get into squabbles here and there if you're together for longer than a couple of days, but how your squad responds to adversity means everything. It's like a committed relationship: if you can go on a trip together without killing each other, your squad was built to last.
6. Real squads know when to get serious.
Having a good crew of friends that you hang out with regularly means there should be plenty of joking and messing around. But a real squad also knows when it's time to drop the merriment and adopt a serious tone. If a squad member gets hurt or is feeling down, the others immediately know that it's time to come to their rescue.
7. Real squads leave no member behind.
Physically and metaphorically. It's the ultimate rule.
Cover image: TheArches via Flickr