Like most other concepts in human society, friendships tend to run much deeper than the surface level that they are observed at. Although some may run deeper than others, almost all friendships are forged through shared experiences and feelings.

These experiences create bonds that can last for decades, perhaps even lifetimes, rivaling the bonds shared by family members. Although the family unit is supposed to be composed of the most important relationships of your life, I believe that friendships can hold bonds that are just as strong as a family.

I have a specific group of friends that are extremely close, to the point where we have agreed that we hold a brotherly love for each other. Our group of four has forged our bonds through continuous interaction over the course of four years.

The group has faced multiple major changes throughout the course of our friendship, due to the fact that we are a predominantly online group. We share experiences through online games, including times of hardship, victory, and most of all, companionship. The group has survived major relocations, both across online platforms and geographical locations.

Throughout the last three years, these experiences that we have shared have forged bonds that are stronger than steel, and rival the bonds I share with my family. The group has even consoled one another through family issues, providing emotional support to those who need it.

Due to the online nature of the group, it would be assumed that the friendships between them are surface level at best, although this is hardly true. The group is treated as a family, with strong bonds holding them as if they were welded together. As such, This I Believe: That friendships can be just as important as family relationships.