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Michael McConnell

AP Language & Composition


Classification Essay
Final Draft
Classifying Friends

People one meets can be considered bacteria from the primordial ooze that have the potential to

evolve into our closest friends or our worst enemies. The term friend is used to determine people one

likes (or tolerates) and those one hates. Three stages of friend evolution include: Acquaintances, Casual

Friends, and Best Friends. The difference between the three degrees of friend hood is trust and a factor

of “hang-out ability”

Acquaintances are like pets we exploit for our own pleasure. This group includes people who one

talks to out of awkward obligation. Observed in their natural habitats of classrooms, bus seats, and the

general public acquaintances are random encounters. A person often speaks to this species out of

necessity, loneliness, or boredom – which adds color to both party’s day! For instance when a person is

alone in the bus station with nothing to do, they see a person reading a magazine and decide to make

conversation about that magazine. This is not done to bother the other person, and usually both people

don’t care but it’s a tool to make a person feel less alone. This sect of friends does not evolve past a

random encounter or conversation. Acquaintances include people who one exploits for their own

personal gain. An example of exploitation is class projects whereas a person hates or doesn’t trust most

of the people in their class. However the person next to them is more tolerable than driving a nail

through ones hand or the rest of the class. This person is also proficient in the subject so one would use

this person to boost ones own grade. They are not technically a friend, but they are used as a tool to help

ones own grade. Acquaintances are the last people one would consider friends because they are avoided

at all costs. This species is awkward. For instance one would not want to talk to random people on the

bus because a bus station is the last place one would look for friends.
Casual Friends are the platypuses of the social world. They are not quite evolved far enough into

the final stage of friend ship, Best Friends. They are still socially awkward but not as much as the

acquaintance. Not only does one know their name, but also who they are based on physical descriptions.

One knows these people in three dimensions because one finds out more about them. However, the

pitfall that separates these people from best friends is trust, and whether one considers spending time

with them. For example, person A meets an acquaintance at school that they begin to see more of over

time. These two people start to form a bond of friendship. Since the pair sees each other frequently, the

companionship evolves into the Casual Friend stage of evolution. Now they hang out, but not outside of

work or school. It is still awkward to be seen with this person at home or with other friends because they

do not “Fit-in” yet. This group is dubbed the Casual friend because one only sees them on occasion.

Platypuses are neat creatures but they do not fit in either. They are neither the duck (acquaintance) nor

the otter (best friend).

Best Friend, a coveted title that means a person has made it to the top of the social ladder. To go

any higher would make this person family. This small pod of otters knows virtually every secret and

aspect of your life. You know the same about them and their family. These people are so close that one

can sometimes ref to them as ‘adopted family members’. Aside from how we tie ourselves to these

people, the most defining aspect of this friendship is the idea that one can hangout with them at anytime.

No questions asked. These people catch one when he falls and gives hi advice even if it’s not asked for.

A best friend is someone who universally is awesome and most everything needed for companionship.

We seek the companionship of the people around us so that a sense of loneliness doesn’t bog our

minds. Friends evolve like organisms. Some make it to the top of the food chain while some go extinct.

Through this process we select our friends from different traits in the primordial ooze. Friends make life

less miserable and that is why one needs a classification system to separate people into the groups that
make us the most happy. As and English astronomer once said “A cheerful friend is like a sunny day,

spreading brightness all around.” (John Lubcock) This reason alone is why we have friends.