This I Believe

Janet - Columbia, Mississippi
Entered on August 1, 2006

Friends can mean the world:

I believe in the importance of close friends who can serve as a family. Throughout my life, friends have always been more important to me than my family. My parents were never there for me when I cried, and they were never there to support anything I did. Nothing I did was good enough for them. I could not make them happy no matter what. I never missed my parents like a normal kid would. I could not even remember what my mom looked like when she left for vacation. I did not care for them at all. All they did was work.

After I began high school, my parents started working 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week, which made me see them even less. Lacking a family in my life, I desired one, and my friends fulfilled that need. Through school, I met some of my close friends. I learned to be there for my friends during the toughest situations, I learned to be loyal to them, and I learned to trust them.

With two years of high school left, I was forced to change schools. I had to go to a boarding school, located over 200 miles away from my home. I hated it at first, but I started liking my new school because I met the two coolest people ever, Nili and Helen. They would become closer to me than anyone ever has due to the fact that we lived together in dorms. Nili and Helen are my family now, and when I was upset or in a tight spot, they were there to help me out. When my mom expected me to do the impossible and go to court for her because she did not speak English well, I did not know what to do. What if it was my fault that she lost the case? I could not think clearly, but Nili and Helen were there to tell me that the responsibility and pressure was too big to be on a teenager’s shoulders. When they were there to comfort me, I realized how lucky I was to have such great friends.

I had found friends who meant everything to me, who provided me with what money could not buy: a reliable family who protects and supports me. One time, I slid while running through a rocky parking lot, leaving a deep cut on my knee. At first, I was hesitant to do anything about the cut, but Nili yelled at me, saying that if I do not treat it, it will get infected. She made me lean on her shoulder and supported me all the way back to the dorm while blood was oozing down my leg. Usually, I am not the type of person who cleans any cut, but she carefully cleaned off all the blood and disinfected it for me.

I know that Nili and Helen care for me, but they may not realize how much they mean to me. I want them to know that there is nothing more important to me than having close friends who you can trust with your life. This I believe.