Friendships through fandoms


Caroline Williams

Caroline Williams (12) and Zach Matheney (12) attend an Ole Miss game together.

Friends are hard to find, especially in high school. Sharing a common interest or being a part of the same fandom, however, can be a major help.
A fandom is a community of people who are interested in and dedicated to the same form of entertainment, whether it be sports, a TV show or music. The fanbase is often a tight-knit community, which provides a sense of unity and often makes it easier to discover new friends.
Students Caroline Williams (12) and Zach Matheney (12) are prime examples of this.
“I had gone through my entire high school career, and I thought I was the only person that liked Ole Miss,” Matheney said.
After sharing a class together last year, a friendship quickly developed between the two once they realized their shared appreciation for the Ole Miss football team. Their love for the team brought them closer together, providing them with an easy conversation topic.
Williams and Matheney talked about football games in class early in the year and even started attending weekend games together.
“We probably would have eventually [started talking], but it would have been this year not junior year that we would have met through mutual friends,” Williams said.
Discovering this shared interest allowed for the two to become better friends and form a tighter bond than they would have if they had simply met through other means.
Sharing fandoms not only helps with meeting new friends but also helps with reconnecting old ones.
Connor Hofeditz (11) and Laura Zonarich (11) were close friends in elementary school. When they moved onto middle school, they drifted apart from each other. In eighth grade, however, they reconnected through their mutual love for Star Wars.
“We both really liked Star Wars at that point, so we bonded over that, and now we’re best friends again,” Hofeditz said.
Their shared interest in the Star Wars fandom allowed them to reconnect and become closer than they were before. If they had not had the mutual affinity for the series, their bond would have taken longer to form and would not be as strong as it currently is.
Stronger friendships may also be formed through fandoms. Acquaintances discover their shared interest and begin talking, becoming closer through that.
“I kind of knew who [Neha Larson (9)] was, but we hadn’t really talked until she mentioned [Korean pop] to someone in our class, and I overheard her,” Ella Wilson (9) said.
After meeting in their eighth grade CLUE class, Wilson and Larson quickly bonded over their mutual intrigue in the music genre of Kpop.
“We became closer once we realized we had something in common that we both really liked,” Wilson said.
The two had many mutual friends, yet did not talk to each other much. When they discovered their shared passion, however, a friendship quickly began to form.
Fandoms help unite people from various social groups. Finding that one similar interest provides a common ground that can help form new bonds.
“Having something you both can relate to is a really helpful thing when making new friends,” Larson said.
Having a topic that you can both talk about allows you to feel more comfortable with the other person, creating a closer relationship. Fandoms provide a starting point to help develop friendships that can last a lifetime.