1. They understand you better than anyone because they were there for all your adolescent firsts.
That time you vomited in your parents bathtub after your first tequila shot? That other time you banged your side mirror up while parallel parking? Rachel was holding your hair back; Rachel was in the passenger seat. She was laughing the whole time because it was just so typical you.
2. You were all awkward at the same time.
It was a terrible time. You weren't fazed by each other's boobs and braces and boy problems. That's true love, right there.
3. Your best stories are of times when you were all together.
It's not that your college stories aren't epic, but nothing will ever top the time you little badasses got caught lying to your parents about some party.
4. They provide some sick #TBT material.
Like that time you all crowded into some dressing room to try on triple D bras just for fun? Yeah, that stuff is great on Instagram now.
5. It doesn't matter if you don't talk forever.
A semester goes by and you are swamped and overwhelmed and all you want to do is talk to Erica about why life sucks at the moment. Erica picks up the phone and you talk for three hours. Life is good.
6. They were there for you when everyone else was terrible.
At some point in your angsty high school career, someone was an asshole to you. Your real friends saw it happen and called it out for what it was. Nothing is better for the soul than letting go of someone in your life who sucks because you realize you've already got people around you who are wonderful.
7. When you need to escape from real life, they're perfect.
The fact that you're no longer physically close to all your friends is not a bad thing. When everyone else around you is the worst, it's refreshing to get an outside perspective on your work, friend, and life problems. Also, you can talk about Facebook stalking your highschool boyfriend for a good half hour and that will take your mind off everything.
8. When you come home, you really have four places to go.
It doesn't feel like a trip home if you don't let Cara's dad feed you and cuddle with Erica's dogs. Your friends won't leave until they get to lie on your floor and talk about people they don't want to run into while they're home.
9. By this point in your life, you know who's really sticking by you.
College friends may ghost after awhile, but the people who really mean the most to you will stay stay stay.
10. High school memories are so effing funny when you're drunk.
Give me and my friends three bottles of wine and let us tell you why failing chem the first time is hilaaaarious now.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.