Friendship. Wow. That's a broad category. We apply the label "friend" to a lot of people, some of them people we barely know. That kid who sits next to you in Biology, the next-door-neighbor you occasionally chat with, the distant relative you call up every so often. But when you stop to think about who your real friends are, the list gets a lot shorter. If you don't include the people who have to love you (ie, your family), there's hardly anyone on the list.
Because real friends are tough. Actually being real friends with someone, building that sort of relationship? It takes a long time. It's tough.
A while back I thought about all the people who I knew were my real friends, the ones who I know I can trust to be there for me through everything and who I can goof around with and who are just... I don't know. Defining a real friend is hard. To me it's someone who knows you, who's there for you, who knows your faults and whose faults you know but they love you anyways. And it takes a long time to build that sort of relationship, not because it takes so long to get to know someone, but because sometimes you have to go through a lot with that person before the friendship really becomes a strong one. You have to have a track record of being there for each other and continuing to care about each other even when there's not much point to it. Real friends keep in touch when they're losing track of all the other "friends" they used to have. They let you rant when you need to and they don't judge you for it. They care about what's going on in your life and they let you know they're there for you. They let you be yourself without getting freaked out because you're so weird or different from them or whatever it is. They respect what you believe in even if they don't believe the same. They help you grow into a better person and let you change to become that person, all while sticking by you.
It's a difficult position to fill. You can't predict who's going to end up being one of those amazing friends either. I think all you can really do is be the best friend you can be to the people you want to be friends with and see who cares enough about you to do the same.