Besties for the resties

Seniors reflect on their best friendships over the years while looking to the future


Many people are awoken by blaring alarms, hitting snooze a few times before finally forcing themselves from the comfort of their beds and heading to school. Senior Shion Paris, however, is also greeted each morning by the tired and somewhat irritated face of his best friend, senior Owen Lynn. 

Like any strong relationship, Paris and Lynn built theirs on proximity and a penchant for light-hearted insults. Having known each other since kindergarten, the two neighbors are, according to many students, something of an iconic duo. 

“He’s the one person who’s allowed to walk into my house unannounced,” Lynn said. “I’ll walk upstairs and [my parents and him] will be having a conversation for 20 minutes and they didn’t tell me.”

After befriending one another in what Paris recalled as a teary-eyed first year of elementary school for Lynn, they bonded over summers at Lynn’s beach house and Paris’ abrupt fits of anger that amused the six-year-old.

“He is verbally confrontational,” Paris said. To that, Lynn responded, “You’re verbally obnoxious.”

Despite their differences, this duo maintains that their personalities complement one another and are what balance them in their personal and academic lives.

“We do keep each other in check because we know each other so well,” Paris said. 

From gaming to finishing each other’s sentences mid-interview, it is rare that Paris and Lynn are not together or with the friends they have formed over the years.

“With our group of friends we picked up along the way, we are all still best friends – it’s awesome,” Lynn said. “I know some people who went to high school and either their friends didn’t go to high school with them, or they stop[ped] being friends because they grow apart, but we’ve had all the same people with us the whole time.”

Although Paris heads for Virginia Commonwealth University in the fall, and Lynn is undecided about where his future will take him, they plan to visit and hang out during school breaks. To take it a step further, 80 years from now, the two fully expect to be best friends still, even if they forget who each other are and must do it all over again.

“He’ll definitely be the best man at my wedding,” Paris said.


Bella and Annabelle

Although it is rare for a giant stone bird to grace the front yard of a home, it was not the least bit out of the ordinary for senior Bella Volz’s mother in 2005. A family tradition to mark her pregnancy, she thought nothing of it as a senior Annabelle Cameron’s almost-due mom stared at the stork statue in confusion. The successful meet-cute for the parents led to an 18-year friendship between their families. 

Volz and Cameron, having siblings and parents of similar ages, knew there was no escaping each other. Although the thought was comforting, having a built-in bestie since birth emphasized their glaring differences – Volz was a hardcore tomboy, and Cameron was a horse girl.

“When we got to middle school, I thought she was weird,” Volz said. “We drifted for, like, 2 years.”

However, it was nothing some time apart could not fix. When Cameron moved to England to attend a French private school, the two realized just how much they value their friendship. They punctuated this longing with hand-written letters, exchanging gossip and pivotal experiences from across the pond.

“We’re each other’s first-ever friends,” Cameron said. “She has just always been a constant in my life.”

When she returned a few years later, the two became as inseparable as they once were, seeing each other at least six times a week – not including the car ride to and from school, or their shared third-period class.

“Being able to say whatever in front of each other, do whatever in front of each other, to not feel pressure [makes us best friends],” Volz said. “There’s not a whole lot of boundaries.”

To be fair, they are basically related after a five-year-old Volz and Cameron’s brother married in an (unofficial) ceremony over a decade ago, making them quasi-sister-in-laws. Volz and Cameron explained that spending so much time together only made them grow closer.

“I don’t have any sisters, so [Bella] and her sister are like mine,” Cameron said. Volz said, “I know she hates it when I hang out with them, but I love her brothers.”

Their plans for the future extend beyond just staying in touch or visiting during long weekends, as the two guarantee they will remain just as close in college – being only an hour plane ride apart. Wherever the rest of their lives might take them, they promise to always return home to their biological and chosen family.

“I hope our kids are as close as us,” Cameron said. Volz said, “I think we’re going to have intertwined families like we have now.”