A similar sense of humour
It all started with Chinese food.
Sophomores Ryan Burke and Sean Fell were in sixth grade when they went out to eat at a Chinese restaurant with mutual friends. Both Burke and Fell didn’t want Chinese food, and ended up bonding over their meal — a bowl of plain white rice. That moment occurred four years ago, and since then, the two have become best friends.
“We kind of bonded over that [white rice],” Fell said, “and then we hung out a couple of times, and [our friendship] just grew since then.”
Since that moment four years ago, Burke believes their friendship has evolved significantly.
“We just got closer,” Burke said. “We’ve really seen what each other has been through. We’ve seen each other’s struggles and been able to help each other out, so we’ve kind of bonded together as close friends.”
Both Burke and Fell believe that their close friendship was fostered by their shared interests. Fell describes the duo as childlike and playful, and loves that Burke is always ready to do things that others might describe as babyish, like watching Teen Titans Go and playing Mario Kart.
Not only do Burke and Fell enjoy the same activities, they also share similar personalities. Burke believes a part of the reason why the two boys are so close is because of how well their behavior and personalities fit together.
“He has a sense of humor that I can relate to. Some people don’t take my jokes very seriously, but he’ll respond with his own jokes,” Burke said, “And we can bounce back off each other, so that kind of increases the connection.“
The two have used their unique sense of humor to grow closer to each other and create countless memories. For example, in seventh grade, the pair made up their own swear word, bootchaka, and decided it meant greedy bi***. From that moment on, whenever they wanted to insult people without getting in trouble, Fell and Burke used bootchaka.
Yet another time, the two boys met up at the park with their siblings and played football in the pouring rain for hours. When they finally returned home, the two were drenched and sat on the heater to warm themselves up. Memories that the two make together, whether it be making up their own swear word, playing football in the pouring rain, having Mario Kart marathons or watching Teen Titans Go have added up to form a very unique bond.
“I can just hang out with Ryan for a long period of time and not get bored and just continuously talk to him about random things ...” Fell said. “Some other people, whether or not we have something to talk about, they may not be as entertaining or interesting.”
Even though the two friends have never had a class together until this year, they have found a way to keep their friendship as close as ever.
“Overall, I hope I stay friends with this kid through college and more,” Fell said. “I know that a lot of people don’t always stay friends with people they knew in high school and younger, so I just hope I can continue my friendship with Ryan so I always have someone to go to when I need help.”
Push and Pull
When junior Kevin Zhou moved to MVHS from Cupertino High School three weeks into freshman year, he was in a new environment surrounded by unfamiliar faces. Zhou knew a few people from his elementary school, and through mutual friends, was introduced to junior Ryan Han. He quickly became one of his closest friends.
According to Zhou, part of the reason their friendship is so successful is because of the numerous similarities the two boys share, such as playing video games like Overwatch. In fact, Zhou’s favorite aspect about their friendship is how they have so many things they can talk about and enjoy together.
The two boys have many classes together, something they use to bond as they use Skype to talk to each other about tests and projects, which have led to creating a strong friendship.
“I think that we’re really open with each other,” Zhou said. “We show our true selves to each other, we don’t try to hide ourselves.”
Han believes that their friendship can best be described as a constant cycle of ups and downs. The two friends joke around with each other and enjoy each other’s company, but they can also get annoyed with each other. Oftentimes, Han explains, the way they interact with each other become quite extreme, sometimes even leading to blocking each other on social media for long periods of time.
In order to make sure their friendship stays strong and doesn’t become overwhelming, Hsu and Zhou occasionally have to step back and take a break.
“Sometimes it can get a little intolerable if you’re around someone so much,” Han said.
Despite the friends’ ups and downs, Han and Zhou look forward to creating more memories with each other. Whether it be trick-or-treating with each other or attending the same college in the future, they are both looking forward to what the future holds for their friendship.
A rekindled friendship
Ten years ago, seniors Darren Kopa and William Hsu first became friends. Their friendship originally started in the second grade, when they had a spot next to each other in their roll call lines. Today, the pair still finds themselves side by side.
Although the two have been friends since second grade, their paths diverged after leaving Meyerholz Elementary School. They both went to different middle schools: Hsu went to Miller and Kopa went to Kennedy. However, when high school started, the two boys started interacting through similar classes, mutual friends, and activities like FBLA. Soon enough, the two were close friends once again.
“We did go to different middle schools,” Kopa said, “so we kind of lost touch for a little bit but obviously freshmen year we met up again and rekindled our friendship.”
After entering high school, Kopa and Hsu’s friendship evolved as they took a lot of the same classes and were able to help each other out with things like homework. Gradually, the pair began to hang out more outside as school as well, whether it be eating food, playing video games or working out.
Over time, the two have been able to create a special bond. One part of their friendship that the boys like most is their similar personalities and the ability to always know what one another is saying.
“We’re both really dry and sarcastic about everything,” Hsu said. “So even when we’re like just in our normal conversations sometimes people are like, ‘What are you guys saying?’ But we share that special connection.”
Kopa agrees with Hsu, admitting that sometimes their actions and the things they say to each other are so bizarre that only they are able to comprehend what’s happening.
“Even if no one else understands what’s going on, we get it,” Kopa said.
According to Kopa and Hsu, the boys are so familiar with each other that they tease each other to an extent which can seem impolite. Yet, the fact that they are able to do this is what makes their relationship special.
“Normal friendships, they are loving to each other, they’re kind, they really care about each other,” Kopa said. “Pretty much the complete opposite with us.”
Even though the friends are constantly making fun of each other, Kopa and Hsu both agree that they value their friendship highly and definitely want to preserve it through college and further.
“There’s this bond between of us of hatred and that’s really what keeps us together,” Hsu said. “Everyday we’re like, ‘Oh my god I hate you’, and that’s really what sets us apart and makes our friendship special.”
Additional reporting by Katerina Pappas