Lean on me: Finding friends is crucial to well-being


Posted: Wednesday, January 31, 2007

When you’re in school there are many things you are required to have: paper; a No. 2 pencil; notebook; a backpack; but there is one thing that you should always have that is not on the required list — a friend.

Friends are important, especially in school, becuase they provide company for you, offer advice and have ideas when you’re bored.

When I first began school, there were lots of people that were friendly to me. However there was no one that was a friend. Because of this, I felt alone and timid. How couldn’t I be? I knew no one, and was too shy to make the effort to meet someone. When a friend found me, everything was different in my life!

I no longer felt scared to do new things or unhappy when I sat at lunch. That painful emptiness I felt in my stomach was gone, and in that moment I had become a new me. Now that I had a friend, school became easier, and my grades began to steadily rise. I finally had someone to team up with in a partner activity.

I no longer felt envious and sad when I saw other kids playing or talking with their friends. As it turned out, having one friend was only the beginning. As I started to venture out of emotional obscurity, my friend also began to meet new friends, who in turn, became my friends. It wasn’t long before I had a handful of kids I could also call my friends. We do everything together. We hang out at lunch, stick up for one another, play games and generally do everything fun and enjoyable together. In school, friends made everything worthwhile.

Besides being good company, the right friends can also push each other in the right direction, grade-wise. When I was in elementary school, when someone in the group wasn’t doing well, we’d take time out of our lives to help that person and aid them in the problem they were having. In the end, we thanked one another for it.

Friends also offer advice to each other. Once, one of my friends was thinking about fighting with another person because of something they did. So being friends, the rest of us decided it was best to intervene.

We asked him if fighting that individual was really such a wise choice? Would that solve the problem? Or just make things worse? In the end, he took into account what we said, and decided to handle the situation in a different way.

Being a good friend in school can be hard. If your friends aren’t generally popular with everybody else, there’s a great deal of peer pressure that surrounds the friendship. People may believe or say unkind and rude things to that person. They may even try to influence you to think the same way as well.

When that happens, look inside yourself just as I did when such an event happened to me. I had to look past all the lies and ominous rumors others were saying.

Those things may cloud your judgment. Ignore them and in your heart, ask, “Are they really like this? Or is this simply what other people want me to think?” After you do that, the answer should be clear to you. When I did, I uncovered the truth. For me, the rumors were lies, and I really was friends with that person.

Looking back into all my many years in school, I have often wondered what my life would have been like if I didn’t have friends, or instead chose the wrong friends. When I think about this, I can’t imagine succeeding in school without friends.

So when I really think about it, friends, are required in school.

This column is the opinion of Keeven Macik, a freshman at Kenai Central High School.

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