By Maddie Rodriguez

Why Your Tribe Matters.

Tribe, crew, soulmates, squad—there are a million different names for them, but you always know who they are. They are the tried-and-true friends, the good-times-and-bad friends, the always-and-forever friends. They’re the ones that have your back and always support you. They keep you grounded and they lift you up. They don’t just throw out easy, empty compliments. They’re always genuinely happy about your accomplishments. They challenge you to be a better version of yourself. They give the best advice, but only when you ask for it. They check in, and sometimes, if absolutely necessary, they check you.

We all need people that help us stay centered even when things are spinning out of control, but this cherished group doesn’t look the same for everyone. Sometimes these groups are sprawling and sometimes they’re a select few. Sometimes they’re related to you by blood, and sometimes water is thicker. Sometimes you meet on opposite ends of a coffee shop table and sometimes on the opposite side of a computer screen with a whole world in between. No matter what you call yours or where you find them, all that matters is that they are. That you give your love to them and know that you are worthy of their love in return.

So here’s to love—and here’s to friends.