Friendship and College

“Friendship is everything.  Friendship is more than talent.  It is more than government.  It is almost the equal of family.  Never forget that.”

– Don Corleone to Johnny Fontane

(In context, the Don was telling Johnny, his famous actor/singer godson about the importance of friendship because Johnny was always running around with different people and had no one reliable to help him but the Godfather.)

As I read the Don’s words in the novel, I immediately reflected on my friends and how I have been interacting with them since starting college.

Going to college, away from friends, some that you’ve known your whole life, is kind of scary.  I have definitely noticed a difference in the kind of friends I’ve made in college so far versus the friends I have from home.  Luckily for me, two of my best friends from high school go to Penn State, too.  However, the enormous size of campus and our busy schedules have prevented our getting together as often as we had at home.

I definitely love my new friends here at school.  My floormates and I have become really close.  But, because we have all only known each other for five months or so, the friendships at school aren’t comprable to the ones I have with the friends I’ve known since kindegarten.  Has anyone else noticed that?


I’ve seen many of my friends with older siblings grow closer to their siblings when their siblings leave for college.  (Partly because I have no older siblings) College has made me feel even closer to my friends at home.  My high school best friends and I make a point to get lunch together once a week and go out together once a weekend.  I feel blessed to have a balance of new friends and old friends at school.

old friends(BFFs since 2 years old)

college friends(Still best friends hanging out in college)

But I have definitely come to really value my old friends moreso since coming to school.  I can be moody and awkward and weird around my old friends and they don’t question it.  They care about everything I have to say with full understanding of what I’ve been through and what certain things mean to me.  They are there for me when I am stressed beyond belief.  And I love being able to bring them Nutella when their boyfriends dump them, despite only speaking to them on a weekly basis.

I certainly love my new friends and they are there for me, too, as I am for them.  However, it is still so different.  Thus, I value both old and new friends, but my appreciation of old friends has grown, especially after reading those wise words from the Godfather.

The Importance of Silence

sonny godfather speaks mind

“Never tell anybody outside the family what you’re thinking again.”

These words were spoken from Don Vito Corleone to his son Sonny (pictured above) after a conference with a potential client, Sollozzo.  Sonny’s disagreement with the Don in front of Sollozzo caused an attempt to be made on the Don’s life – rather than get into the details of the film and whatnot, I’ll point out the importance of this statement.

The Don must have read his military strategic books to learn the threat of the concept “divide and conquer.” Don Vito did not want it to be known that the family was at odds with an issue because the enemy would use the discord in the family to its advantage and “divide and conquer” the Corleones.  (Seeing that Sonny, the upcoming Don, agreed with Sollozzo, Sollozzo figured he could just kill the current Don and then the Corleones would be on-board with his proposal because Sonny, the new Don, would be.  Slightly different scenario than “divide and conquer”, but the strategy of utilizing conflicting interests in the family is present.)

Though a completely different situation, I saw the wisdom of the Godfather come out during my English class senior year.  My English teacher told me that she never disagreed with her husband in front of her kids.  She said she did so because she didn’t want her kids to think that they could manipulate my teacher and her husband to getting what they wanted by using the discord between the parents to their advantage.


Looking back at how my family works, I never realized how much I manipulated my parents in the past.  I knew what my mom would let me do that my dad wouldn’t


and vice versa,


so that I could ask permission first from the right parent.  I feel horrible about it now, but this wisdom of the Godfather makes me see it as only natural.  Had they  appeared to be of one mind and one opinion, I would have never been able to manipulate them at all.  However, they exposed their disagreements and so I naturally used it to my advantage.