The best friendships aren’t sugar-coated

Howard ’21 (pictured right) was anxious to come to boarding school. It wasn't long before he met Toma '21, a friend that he can be "real" with.

He teases me, I tease him back. Sometimes we actually fight. Up until recently, I couldn’t have imagined describing a friendship this way, but Toma ’21 and I have the best kind of friendship. That is, without the sugar coating.  

I’ve always been an introvert. Making friends was a struggle in middle school. Back then, I wished for the perfect friend, someone who would always be supportive of me and always take my side. If I had a problem with a friend, I would overcompensate and try to make the friendship perfect – which usually ended up ruining it entirely.

I was anxious to come to boarding school where I would have to make new friends.

Needless to say, I was anxious to come to a boarding school where I’d have to make new friends. I really hoped that I’d be able to open myself up and stop being insecure, but I knew it would be difficult. Nevertheless, as I prepared to move to Peddie, I vowed to try harder. 

On the first day of school, I walked into the dining hall and searched for a table that looked approachable, which at Peddie isn’t hard at all. I placed down my plate and sat at an empty seat. As I turned to look at the person seated beside me, I almost jumped out of my chair because he looked eerily like me (take a look at our photo – what do you think?). After breakfast, I spent the day with Toma at POCO (Peddie On-Campus Orientation), which turned out to be one of the most impactful decisions I would make at Peddie.

Roommates Toma Hirose '21 and Howard Fung '21

From left: Roommates Toma ’21 (Budapest, Hungary) and Howard ’21 (Daly City, California) 

Five months later, there we were in the middle of the dorm, having an argument. As a prank, Toma had taken my key card, and I really wasn’t in the mood to wrestle him for it after a long day of classes. I was mad, and I reclaimed my card. Not long afterward, we were laughing and joking again.

A real friend is someone you can disagree with and be honest with – and even sometimes argue with – and still respect and support. One of the benefits of going to a boarding school like Peddie is that you can develop these kinds of friendships. When you live on the same campus, you go to classes, activities and meals together, and you are bound to have some low points; but you also have the time to work past them, which in the end makes your friendship stronger.

Learn more about Peddie and plan your visit.