This I Believe

Margaret - Wichita, Kansas
Entered on November 17, 2006

Friends are the Best Therapy

I am a junior in the IB program at East High School, and I am beginning to feel the effects of the rigorousness of the workload. Not only does homework come by the tons, but as an upperclassman I am told that this is the most important year in building my college résumé. Therefore, I have been performing a balancing act between a handful of extracurricular activities, community service projects, homework, and exam preparation since the first day of school. Sleep is seldom heard of, and stress, above all, has been a frequent visitor.

There are an infinite number of ways to de-stress. Whether it is exercise, meditation, or ibuprofen, it is definitely a personal preference. I always thought that my own method was working out. I nearly wrote this essay about my faith in exercise when I realized that I had a complex, even stronger support system that I have always taken for granted: my friends.

One specific instance comes to mind when I think of how they have helped me survive. I recall that it was after school, following a long and difficult day brimming with tests. In addition to this, I had also stayed up the night before in pursuit of preparing for these tests and finishing other assignments. Needless to say, I was exhausted and in much need for regeneration. Without any thought, my fingers were already dialing my best friend’s number. We spoke for a little bit and, as we did, I could gradually feel the iron vice release itself slowly from around my head, a condition that usually comes hand-in-hand with stress. By the time the conversation ends, I was ready to resume my balancing act.

Remembering this memory has made me realize how liberally I do employ this remedy. Every time I am the least bit stressed, I always find some way to communicate with my friends. They reassure me of my abilities and restore my self-confidence after a long and hard day. I do the same for them and the favor is continually passed on from person to person. In this way, the network of friends works.

My friends have always been there for me and I can always count on them. I believe in my friends as they believe in me.